Yoga Stretches For Back Pain Relief

If you are someone who suffers from lower back pain. I understand your pain. I remember going to yoga classes and coming out feeling better than when I started. Yoga stretches the lower back muscles to help bring relief to back pain caused by over-stressed back muscles.

Spine rehabilitation too is done through yoga exercise. Yoga stretches the back and promotes better blood circulation in the area. You will hear many people complain of back pain occasionally.

Lower Back Pain Is Most Common

The most common area of back pain is the lumbar region of the spine. This is the region that bears most of the body weight. Sudden twisting and bending can cause injury to the back. Back pain also occurs when the muscles get stiff because of poor posture. Back exercise stretches the stiff muscles to provide relief.

Yoga Stretches For The Back

Yoga stretches need to be performed softly. You should treat your back gently and not subject it to sudden movements. The yoga routine that you follow should start gently, and gradually build over a period of a few weeks.

You could cause more harm than good, if you do not follow expert advice in matters of yoga exercise.

Important To Warm Up

Warm up your body before you embark on a yoga routine. Yoga stretches the muscles, ligaments and tendons in the area surrounding the back. The muscles and tendons associated with the spine are designed for movement.

Hence, they need to be stretched every day to perform optimally. The hamstring muscles are an important factor in back pain problems.

Most people with back pain have stiff hamstring muscles. Stand comfortably with your feet shoulder width apart. Now slowly bend forward and try to touch your toes with your hands without bending your knees. Your action should be smooth and not jerky.

Don’t Over Do It

Be careful not to over do the stretching part. Stop when you feel pain. This exercise stretches your hamstring muscles.

Your back pain will improve gradually, as you continue with the exercise. The exercise can also be performed while lying down. Low-impact exercise such as yoga are great way to strengthen your core including back muscles and in turn, help reduce back pain.

You are able to adapt your personal practice so that you leave a yoga class pain-free. Here are some adjustments that will help you flow through your practice pain-free.

Downward dog

Downward Dog

Hands turned out, engage the inner thighs. Begin on all fours.

Tuck your toes and push evenly through your hands, lifting your hips high and reaching your butt toward the ceiling while pressing the heels toward the floor.

In the final position you will form an upside down “V” with your body.

Then, turn the hands out slightly, pull the navel in towards the spine, squeeze the inner thighs in towards each other. These steps can also be used in cobra and wheel pose.

Turn the hands out in poses like downward facing dog and cobra, the typical cue is to keep your hands, wrists and forearms in alignment, parallel with the sides of your mat.

However, if you have tight shoulders, or elbow or wrist issues, try turning your hands out away from the center slightly. This allows the shoulders to have more space and takes pressure off of the wrists. Pull the abs in, step feet hips-distance apart.

Instead of keeping your legs together as you hinge forward, first step your feet hips-distance apart this is called mountain pose.

Then, hinge forward at the hips and pull your navel in towards your spine as you reach your arms down towards the ground. These steps can also be used in plank and downward facing dog.

Warrior pose

Warrior I

Step the feet hip distance apart.

In poses like crescent pose, Warrior , and standing forward fold.

Opening the feet as wide as the hips allows more room for the pelvic floor and low back to release instead of tighten.

Typically, the is to step one foot forward and one foot back in crescent pose and Warrior.

In a forward fold, the big toes touch or the feet are fist-width distance apart.

However, if you suffer from low back pain or over-arch your low back in these positions, step your feet out as wide as your hips.

Shoulders down, feet as wide as the hips standing straight, step one foot back, making sure the feet are as wide as the hips.

Turn the back foot out on a diagonal and reach the arms up over your head.

Pull the navel in towards your spine and relax the shoulders down away from the ears.

Pull your navel in at (almost) all times whether you’re bending forward, stretching with your arms over your head, or in a warrior position.

Pulling your navel in towards your spine engages the abdominal and helps keep your back from over-arching. While there are some yoga poses that focus on strengthening the core, usually in a pose like a swan dive or forward fold, the aim is to lengthen the spine and stretch the hamstrings.

But when you bend forward at the waist, engaging your abs it is crucial to maintain the integrity of your body’s alignment. Relax your shoulders while your arms are overhead.

While the arms are up over your head or when they’re at shoulder height like in Warrior II, is to relax the shoulders down away from the ears. This helps prevent neck and upper back tension.

You can do this by shrugging your shoulders up towards your ears and then releasing them down. Or if you’re near a mirror, you can glance at your upper body to make sure the shoulders aren’t hunching up towards the ears.

Engage your inner thighs in plank position, upward facing dog, mountain pose, and many other poses, squeezing the inner thighs towards each other.

Whether your inner thighs are touching or not, intentionally squeezing them towards the mid line of your body is important to keep the core and center line tight. This can help prevent lower back pain and even help improve posture.


Teachers are leading a large class, making it hard for them to pay attention to every student’s form. Not only do these asanas help your back, but they will help relieve shoulder, elbow and wrist pain during your practice as well. Not to mention, help you get more out of each pose!

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.


Namaste 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.


2 thoughts on “Yoga Stretches For Back Pain Relief”

  1. I really enjoyed this post, as I am someone that has had back issues for years and have gone to the chiropractor since being in college. I have always wanted to try yoga but didn’t know if it would really do anything for me. I appreciate you naming the different techniques that would work best to help your  your lower back. I look forward to trying them in the future. 

    • Hello Nicole, 

      Thank you for the positive feed back. 

      I also saw a chiropractor many years ago, It was helpful at the time to do so. 

      Yoga followed shortly after seeing the chiropractor, It was the best thing I could have done for my back. 

      Namaste Shane.


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