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Simple Yoga Poses for Lower Back Pain

The idea of moving too much isn’t pleasant when you’re in pain. However, lower back pain yoga poses can actually help to release your tense, tight muscles.

Stretching and relaxing your body helps ease the pain, but remember to move into and out of poses slowly and gently.

These poses can help you stretch most areas of your body, increasing flexibility. Yoga is also good for relaxing and de-stressing.

1. Cat-Cow

Start by getting down on all fours on your yoga mat. (It’s always best to use a mat to keep you comfortable and balanced. You could even fold it up to relieve any pressure on your knees.) Make sure your wrists are underneath your shoulders and your knees are underneath your hips.

Breathe in deeply, and slowly move your head until you’re looking up at the ceiling. Relax your stomach. Your back should dip downwards a little, but keep your movements relaxed and natural. This is the “cow” part of the exercise.

As you breathe out, lower your head, tucking your chin into your chest. Suck in your stomach, arching your spine upwards. This is the “cat” part of the exercise.

This pose should be natural and relaxed, not holding any one position for too long. The best rhythm to keep is your deep breathing. Stay aware of your body. Stretch your muscles, but don’t push yourself too hard.

2. Sphinx Pose

The sphinx pose is a backbend designed to stretch and strengthen the muscles of your lower back, glutes, arms, and more. However, it’s important to keep your whole body engaged during this stretch.

Start by lying on your stomach on your yoga mat, legs out behind you. Keep your forearms on the ground, tucked into your sides with your elbows under your shoulders, palms flat on the ground.

Keeping your buttocks, lower back, and legs engaged, push through your forearms, gently lifting your torso and head, it is a tiny movement. Move slowly; take your time, you should feel a nice stretch through the belly too. There’s no rush.

Keep the pose for a minute before slowly lowering yourself down again.

3. Downward-Facing Dog

The downward dog pose stretches the back and legs. It can be a little tricky for beginners, so go slowly if it’s your first time in this position!

Start on all fours, lining your wrists up under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Gently raise your legs until your tailbone is pointed towards the ceiling and you’re pressing down on your hands. Your weight should be distributed between your shoulders and hips.

Your arms should be straight, but keep your knees slightly bent. Don’t flatten your feet completely. Keep your heels slightly lifted.

Press into your hands, straightening your spine and lifting your tailbone. You are aiming for a triangle shape but don't worry if your knees are bent. It can take a long time to get a good triangle shape and every body is built differently so poses look different on everyone. Keep your head in line with your upper arms.

Press back as far as is comfortable, keeping your tailbone the highest point in your body. Hold the pose for a minute, you can peddle out your feet if that feels good.

4. Child’s Pose

This is a good pose as a relaxing position between more challenging poses. It especially focuses on the neck and back.

Start by kneeling on your mat, sitting back towards your heels.

Slowly walk your hands forward until you’ve bent forward enough to rest your forehead on the mat in front of you. Your knees can be together or wide apart.

You can stretch your arms out in front of you, or let them lie back alongside your body, palms up.

It’s important to stay aware of your body during this exercise. Focus on relaxing your body, letting your muscles release. Your weight should fall gently on your knees and thighs.

You can use this pose between poses, as a warmup or cool down to a yoga session.

5. Two-Knee Spinal Twist

Finally, we have the two-knee spinal twist. This is an easy position to try in bed before sleep. It improves flexibility in the spine, helping to reduce pain and stiffness.

Start by lying comfortably on your back. Draw your knees up to your chest, with your arms extended to either side. Remember, you shouldn’t be tense or overstretched.

Slowly lower your legs to one side of your body. You may need to use a pillow to rest against your knees. Take it slowly, and don’t push your legs further down than they’re willing to go. Breathe deeply, relaxing into the movement. Stay like this for around thirty seconds.

Lift your legs to the starting point, with your knees up to your chest, then repeat the movement on the other side.

While you’re doing this, you can look straight ahead or turn your head to the side. Keep your body relaxed.

Yoga helps us to stay aware of our body, to assess how we feel and when we’re overstretched or holding stress and tightness in the body. While yoga and stretching may not take away the root cause of our pain (depending on what causes the pain), it certainly helps to stretch out stiff muscles and improve flexibility.

Better flexibility helps to keep your muscles supple and some of these poses will also help strengthen the spinal muscles.

Take your time, listen to your body.

Thanks to for providing help to write this article.

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