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Yoga for Back Pain | Effective Yoga Poses to Relieve Back Pain

Do you have an achy back? In the majority of cases, if you have back pain it’s because one or more of your vertebrae are misaligned. This can put pressure on nerves that run through the spine and cause sciatica nerve pain to radiate down into your legs. Back pain can be a great source of discomfort if not attended to immediately.

Yoga is a great way to stretch and strengthen back muscles, and it can help to relieve tension and pain from your lower back. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the best yoga poses for relieving back pain. We will also provide a few tips on how to get started with yoga if you are new to the practice.

yoga class

According to research published in July 2017 in the Annals of Internal Medicine,

Yoga may be more effective than physical therapy at reducing back pain, and it may even help reduce the need for pain medication.

A study was conducted for three months on patients with back pain. At the start of the three-month study, one group was assigned to physical therapy for their back pain, a second to yoga, and a third to reading about pain management strategies.

70 percent of the subjects were taking medication. By the end of the third month, the number of people taking medication in the reading group stayed the same, whereas 50 percent of the yoga patients in yoga therapy stopped taking medication

What are the main causes of back pain?


There can be many reasons why your back is paining, it can be muscular pain, it can be due to pressing of nerves, etc, twisting the spinal disc, issue in the lumbar disc, etc. Some of the most common reasons for backaches are uncomfortable sitting position, long hours of sitting, standing for a long duration, improper sleeping position, etc.

How does yoga help to reduce back pain?


Yoga provides great strength to the back muscles and also, brings flexibility and mobility in the joints which can help to perform day-to-day activities easily. Yoga is also a great stress buster, it helps to relax and calm down our mind. Stress can be one of the biggest reasons for leading a sedentary lifestyle where we tend not to work out much or exercise at all. Yoga includes asanas that are effective in reducing muscle tension from different parts of the body including back pain.

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Tips for doing yoga for beginners:


If you are new to yoga and want to cure back pain with yoga therapy, start under the guidance of an experienced yoga practitioner.

When choosing a yoga class, make sure that it is tailored for people with back pain. There are many yoga classes that focus on healing and relaxation, which can be helpful if you are struggling with back pain.

Start slowly and don’t push yourself too hard. Yoga should be comfortable and relaxing, not painful. If a pose feels uncomfortable or too challenging, skip it and try another pose instead.

Focus on your breath throughout your yoga practice.

– Start with easy yoga asanas first like shavasana (corpse pose), tadasana (mountain pose), etc., do not push yourself too hard

Practice these asanas to get relief from your lower back pain.


This set of asanas will relax the back muscles and release tension from the particular area. Practicing yoga will also increase body awareness and help you mentally connect with the body parts. This will help you understand which part of the body is holding tension and how to release those tension.

  1. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukh Svanasana)

  2. Marjari Asana (Cat-Cow Pose)

  3. Ardh Matsyendra Asana (Half Lord of the Fishes)

  4. Balasana (Child’s Pose)

  5. Setu Asana (Bridge Pose)

  6. Supta Udrakarshan Asana (Lying Abdominal Stretch)

  7. Shava Udrakarshan Asana (Supine Spinal Twist)

  8. Saral Bhujangasana (Sphinx Pose)

  9. Markat Asana 3 (Monkey Spiral Twist)

  10. Salbhasana (Locust Pose)

1. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukh Svanasana)


This asana is a great way to stretch the entire back, including the hamstrings, calves, and spine. It also opens up the chest and shoulders.

Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukh Svanasana)

How to do it:

  1. Come onto all fours with your hands shoulder-width apart and knees hip-width apart.

  2. Spread your fingers wide and press down into the mat as you lift your hips up and back, creating an inverted V shape with your body.

  3. Keep your gaze toward the floor and hold for ten breaths.

If your thigh and calves feel extra tight and you are unable to put the feet flat on the ground then, you can slightly bend your knees. After sometimes you will feel that muscles of the thighs have loosened and you are able to stay in downward facing dog comfortable.

2. Marjari Asana (Cat-Cow Pose)


This is one of the most basic yoga poses that can be practiced by people of all ages. It helps to warm up the spine and release tension from the back muscles.

Marjari Asana (Cat-Cow Pose)

Marjari Asana (Cat-Cow Pose)

How to do it:

  1. Come on all fours with your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees hip-width apart placed firmly on the ground. Try to bring awareness on your back movement.

  2. Spread your fingers wide and tuck your toes under.

  3. Inhale and tuck your chin as you round your spine up towards the ceiling, arching your back like a cat. Do not lift your hands or feet off the floor.

  4. Exhale and drop your stomach towards the floor as you press your spine flat, curving it downwards like a cow. Hold for five breaths.

  5. Inhale and come back to Cat pose. Repeat this yoga pose for 10 rounds.

3. Ardh Matsyendra Asana (Half Lord of the Fishes)


This yoga asana is beneficial for people who are suffering from diabetes, digestive disorders and sciatica pain.


Ardh Matsyendra Asana (Half Lord of the Fishes)

How to do it:


  1. From the seated position fold your right leg in such a way that right heel is touching the left buttock.

  2. Now crossover left leg towards right and keep left foot beside the right thigh.

  3. Left knee should be raised upwards.

  4. Keep left hand behind you for the support. keep the spine straight.

  5. Now wrap your right hand around your left knee and thigh and hold the right ankle.

  6. Now inhale and while exhaling twist your body towards the left side.

  7. Hold for ten counts and come back to the initial position while inhaling.

  8. Repeat from both sides two times.

This yoga pose helps to stretch the spine and also provides a good massage to the abdominal organs.


4. Balasana (Child's Pose)

This yoga pose is great for stretching your lower back, hips, and thighs. It also helps to calm the mind and relax the body.


Balasana (Child's Pose)

How to do it:

  1. From Marjari asana, lower your knees on the mat and sit on your heels.

  2. Extend your arms forward so they are parallel to the floor and rest your forehead on the floor.

  3. Hold for five breaths.

  4. Release and repeat for five rounds.

It may look like you are just resting, but this asana is great for low back pain, stretches hip flexors, and is also a great de-stressor.

5. Setu Bandha Asana (Bridge Pose)

This yoga asana is a great way to stretch the spine and chest. It also helps to open up the hips and groin.


Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)

How to do it:


  1. Lie flat on back with your feet flat on the floor and shoulder-width apart.

  2. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground, hip-width apart.

  3. Press into your heels and lift your torso and upper legs into the air, forming a bridge shape with your body.

  4. Keep your shoulders and head pressed down onto the floor. Hold for 30 seconds.

  5. Release and repeat two more times.

6. Supta Udrakarshan Asana (Lying Abdominal Stretch)

This yoga pose is great for people who are suffering from digestive problems, lower abdominal problems and back pain.


Supta Udrakarshan Asana (Lying Abdominal Stretch)

How to do it:

  1. Lie down on your back with both legs extended straight out.

  2. Bend both your knees and keep both the feet firmly on the ground, heel should be touching the hip.

  3. keep the knees joined together and inhale. Now while exhaling drop both the knees to the right side.

  4. Turn the head towards the left. keep left shoulder pressed towards the ground.

  5. Inhale and come back up.

  6. Repeat both the sides two times.

This yoga asana stretches the sides of the waistline and spine.


7. Shava Udrakarshan Asana (Supine Spinal Twist)


This yoga pose is great for relieving tension in your lower back and hips. It also helps to improve circulation and digestion.


Shava Udrakarshan Asana (Supine Spinal Twist)

How to do it:

  1. Lie down on back with both legs extended straight out.

  2. Keep your right knee straight and bend your left knee. Place left foot flat on the right knee.

  3. Hold your left knee with right hand.

  4. Keeping your back pressed to the floor, twist your torso to the right and bring the left knee towards the floor.

  5. Keep your shoulders and upper body pressed on the floor.

  6. Do not exert unnecessary pressure on your back.

  7. hold for ten counts. slowly come back to the center.

  8. Repeat same with the other leg.


8. Saral Bhujangasana (Sphinx Pose)


This yoga asana is great for people who sit in one posture for long time. It helps to relieve lower back pain and stiffness.


Saral Bhujangasana (Sphinx Pose)

How to do it:

  1. Lie on your stomach with legs extended behind you.

  2. Place your palm beside your ear, keep elbows and your forearms on the floor and pressed against the body.

  3. Breathe in and slowly lift your head, shoulder and chest up. Keeping the elbow and arms on the floor.

  4. Keep your toes pointed back toward you, without scrunching them under, and engage the thighs as you press down through both heels. 

  5. Keep your neck long and gaze softly upward. Hold for ten breaths.

  6. Slowly exhale and come back.


9. Markat Asana 3 (Monkey Spiral Twist)

This yoga pose is great for people who are suffering from back pain and sciatica.

Markat Asana 3 (Monkey Spiral Twist)

How to do it:

  1. Lie on the back and extend both your legs straight.

  2. Lift your left leg up and place the heel of left foot on right toes.

  3. Spread both the arms on the side.

  4. Now inhale and while exhaling twist your lower body towards the right side, and turn your neck towards the left.

  5. Keep your shoulders pressed to the floor.

  6. Inhale and come back to the front.

  7. Repeat twice on the both sides.

This yoga asana helps to stretch the spine and opens up the hips.

10. Salbhasana (Locust Pose)


Salabhasana yoga pose is great for strengthening the lower back and stretching the shoulders, chest, abdomen and thighs.

Salbhasana (Locust Pose)-Single Leg

Salbhasana (Locust Pose)

How to do it:

  1. Lie on your stomach with legs extended behind you.

  2. Keep your palm under your thigh. 

  3. Inhale deeply contract your hip muscles, thighs lift your right leg straight up.

  4. Hold for ten breaths.

  5. Exhale as you slowly lower your leg down.

  6. Repeat the same with left leg.

  7. Now inhale contract the hip muscles, thighs and lift both the legs together.

  8. Hold for ten counts.

  9. Exhale and slowly bring both the legs down.

It’s not always possible to avoid back pain, but it is possible to manage the soreness and discomfort. We hope this article has helped you learn more about these ten yoga poses that can help your sciatica nerve and back muscles relax. If you want personalized instruction on how to do any of these exercises, we recommend booking an appointment with one of our experts in person or online at Mrityunjay Yoga.

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