Best Yoga Poses For Back Pain

Studies have shown that Yoga poses can be one of the best exercises for back pain.

However, as effective as Yoga may be to reduce the pain of back problems.

Knowing exactly what poses to use, for how long, what to counter the poses with and in what sequence to execute them.

These are the other factors that should be taken into consideration before using it as a therapeutic relief from back pain.

I will go over some of the poses for back pain and also give you instructions on the proper poses to counter the spinal motions when applicable.

As well, I will discuss the duration of time required when practicing these poses.

These poses are best to be practiced under the supervision of a Yoga Instructor.

Since the aim here is more for back pain relief versus exercising, it is not mandatory that you hold them more than 5-15 seconds.

Depending on your level of comfort.

The use of a yoga mat or any other soft surface is recommended in the practice of these poses.


Shoulderstand (Savangasana)

This is regarded as the queen of poses. It is a more advanced pose to perform.

Depending on the severity of your back pain, use modified versions of this pose if needed.

I will be leaving links to posts with modified versions of this pose.

  • Spread a thick blanket on the floor and place your yoga mat on it. Lie on the back.
  • Slowly raise the legs. Lift the trunk, hips and legs to a vertical position.
  • Rest the elbows firmly on the floor and support the back with both hands.
  • Raise the legs till they become vertical. Press the chin against the chest.
  • While performing this pose, the back of the neck, the posterior part of the head and the shoulders should touch the floor.
  • Breathe in and out through the nose only.
  • Dont allow the body to shake.
  • Hold for 30 – 60 Seconds

Now For The Counter Poses to The Shoulder-Stand, Try to Incorporate The Following:

Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose (Sethu Bhandasana):

From the Shoulder Stand position, stretch the legs and slowly touch the floor with the feet.

It is done to bend the spine in the opposite direction.

Hold for 30 – 60 Seconds

Fish Pose

Fish Pose (Matsyasana):

Lie on your back.

Stretch the legs and keeps the hands palm down under the thighs.

Raise the chest with the help of the elbows and, bending the neck as much as possible backwards, rest on the top of the head.

Hold for 30 – 60 Seconds


Wind Relieving Pose

Wind Relieving Pose: (Vatayanasana)

Lie down flat.

Now take a deep breath and hold it.

Now fold your right leg at the knee and press the folded leg against the abdomen.

Make sure to keep the alternate leg straight while doing this.

Now, switch legs and to conclude this use both legs at the same time.

Hold for 30 – 60 Seconds

Plough Pose

Plough Pose (Halasana):

Lie flat on your back on your blanket.

Keep the hands, palms down near the thighs.

Without bending the knees, slowly raise the hips and the lumbar part of the back.

Bring down the legs till they touch the floor or go as far as you can.

The key here is to get as deep a stretch for the lower back as possible.

Hold for 30 – 60 Seconds

Forward bend

Forward Bend (Paschimothanasana):

Lie flat on your back on the blanket, with arms overhead on the floor.

Keep the legs and thighs firmly on the floor.

Stiffen your body.

Slowly raise the head and the chest and assume a sitting position.

Now exhale till you are able to catch you toes, ankles or heels.

You may even bury your face in between your knees.

Hold for 30 – 60 Seconds


Reverse plank

Inclined Plane Pose (Purvottanasana):

Rest on your hands on heels, keeping the body straight.

Hold for 30 – 60 Seconds

Bow Pose: (Dhanurasana)

Bow Pose

This pose is hailed as the best backward bending exercise.

Lie Prone on the blanket.

Relax the muscles.

Now bend the legs over the thighs.

Catch hold of the right ankle with the right hand and the left ankle with the left hand firmly.

Raise the head, body and knees by tugging at the legs with the hands so the whole body rests on the abdomen.

Hold for 30 – 60 Seconds

The Wheel Pose

Wheel Pose (Chakrasana)

Lie down. Bend the arms and legs. Raise the body and rest on the hands and feet.

Tuck your head firmly in between your shoulders.

This pose is a difficult pose for the beginner so be careful.

Hold for 30 – 60 Seconds

Spinal Twist

Spinal Twist: (Ardha Matsendrasana):

  • Sit on the floor with both legs out in front of you.
  • Bend your right knee, lift your right leg over your left, and place your right foot on the floor next to your left knee.
  • Sitting with spine straight, place your left elbow on the right side of your right knee.
  • Bend your left arm so that your left fingertips are touching your right hip, while at the same time, twisting to look over your right shoulder.

Since this actually involves a twisting of the back, make sure you go only as far as it is comfortable.

As a matter of fact, it is advised that depending on the severity of your case, you only go as far as the poses allow you to at any time.

Hold for 30 – 60 Seconds


Corpse Pose (Savasana):

This is the relaxation pose.

From experience, after the spinal twist above, if you immediately get into this pose, there is a feeling of relief from tightness in the back.

  • Lay motionless on your back with the arms and legs slightly extended.
  • Breathe softly through the nose only.
  • (inhalation-retention-exhalation)
  • Lay for as long as you desire and you could mentally send relaxation messages to your body parts. Remember to start from the toes working upwards.

Hold for as long as possible.

As a guide i would suggest 5 minutes as a minimum.


Mindfullness needs to considered when practising yoga.

The aim is not to injure oneself anymore than is.

My first post earlier in the year was on back pain and the ways to remedy this situation.

I will leave a link to this post so you can take a look at this as well.

Please remember just do what you can i have done many posts now.

I could assume you have started at the first post or this could be where you have discoverd me for the first time.

You can do some real damage to your body if it is not ready for it.

I highly recommend seeing a yoga teacher to begin wth.

I would love to hear your thoughts about this post or this site in general.

I will answer all the comments on my website personally so drop me a line below if you have any Yoga questions or comments.

I’m happy to help any way that I can.

copywrightNamaste Shane.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietitian before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.


6 thoughts on “Best Yoga Poses For Back Pain”

  1. Hi and thanks for your informative and timely article,

    I’ve been a keen gym goer for a number of years but have recently been experiencing back pain. I haven’t been to the gym in over 3 months now and I feel that my health and fitness is really taking a dive while I wait (seemingly in vain) for my back to repair itself.

    I have recently done some research into yoga and having gotten the all clear from my doctor feel that it would be a good way for me to continue with my exercise without putting undue pressure and strain on my back and joints. Reading your post has provided me with a number of poses that I can easily do in the comfort of my own home and save time and money but being a complete beginner, I worry that I will get it wrong if I don’t join a studio. What are your thoughts?

    • Hello Marketa, 

      Appreciate the comments and questions. 

      Seeing a doctor is certaintly a good decision you made. 

      I would highly recommend you start a yoga class with a teacher. 

      Starting out on your own can do more damage to your back. 

      Regards Shane.

  2. Hello Shane, I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. my fiance is having a hard time with her back pain and I proposed her to try yoga but she doesn’t believe in that despite the claims of other people. I am glad you explained everything in detail so I can prove to her that it is good and that it is working.

    • Hello Danijel, 

      Thank you for taking the time to read my post. 

      Yoga should help with people’s with back pain. 

      Best to take it easy at first and build up, so not to make it worse.

      Regards Shane.

  3. Hi, Shane.  Yoga has been used in many ways to help with and avoid many issues.  It certainly improves strength and flexibility so I can see how this would also help with back issues as well.

    I have a few lower back and neck issues which are at the moment NOT  causing me any issues 🙂  🙂 and I figure as long as I can behave myself I should be ok.

    I’m also thinking it might be in my best interest to consider starting some type of stretching or flexibility exercises.  I think that’s called being pro-active.  However, after reading this post I’m thinkin that I am not ready for these and will check out some of your earlier posts.  Probably the very beginner stages would be a good place to start.

    Definitely going to check this out more and I’ll try to keep you posted on my progress.

    Thanks for trying to help so many be better physically,


    • Hello Wayne, 

      Thank you for reading my post. 

      Being proactive is the best choice. 

      Best to take it easy at first and not over do it. 

      Please keep me up to date on your progress.

      Regards Shane.


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