Low Back Yoga Stretches To Help Ease Pain

Medically Reviewed By | Dr. Kate Panawash, PT, NCS, DPT

Yoga practice is a form of exercise for supporting your strength and helping you live a healthier life, but it can serve many excellent purposes and provide more benefits. More specifically, yoga poses can help strengthen and stretch your muscles, promote balance, and relieve pain.

Choosing the right poses can also help you find relief in your lower back. All you need is a yoga mat and some dedication, and you can find yourself on the way to lower back pain relief and peace of mind.

Will Yoga Relieve Low Back Pain?

There is a wealth of research surrounding yoga's benefits for reducing muscle tension and relieving pain. Plus, if you are experiencing pain, yoga is a low-intensity option that offers benefits past pain relief. 

Because yoga has so many benefits, the reward of trying far outweighs any potential risks. Just 15 to 30 minutes daily can support increased flexibility, strength, and protection against future injury.

If your pain is long-lasting, you should consult a medical professional and discuss the possibility of physical therapy before jumping into your own yoga routine. However, a stretching routine may be just the answer you have been looking for to relieve general discomfort. “Seeing a Physical Therapist before starting a routine will also ensure you are well-educated about your lower back pain and provide you insight into how you could modify different poses to meet your needs and comfort,” notes Katelyn Panawash, Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and Board Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist (NCS).

Remember that yoga stretches may not be the correct answer for everyone. If you experience any pain during these stretches, consult your doctor immediately, as this could be a sign of a more serious issue.

The Best Yoga Poses for Lower Back Pain Relief

By incorporating low-back yoga stretches into your daily routine, you can reduce the tension in your lower back and increase your chances of relief. You can try the following stretches to relieve lower back pain.

Child’s Pose

The child’s pose helps target the lower back and provides relief by taking weight and pressure off the spine. This pose can also help stretch out your hips, neck, and quads. Even better, it is an excellent option for beginners.

To do this pose:

  1. Position yourself on your mat with your knees spread hip-width apart.
  2. Pull your hips back so you are sitting on your heels.
  3. Reach your arms out to the top of the mat and bring your chest down to your knees.
  4. Rest your forehead on the mat.
  5. Hold this pose for up to a minute while taking deep breaths. “Taking slow and controlled breaths helps calm the system down and can aid in reducing tension throughout the body,” notes Panawash. If this stretch feels good do it as frequently as you'd like.

Downward-Facing Dog

Downward-facing dog is one of the most foundational yoga poses because it helps stretch and strengthen multiple muscles, like your hamstrings, lower back, and core. A strong core is one of the best remedies for low back pain, so this pose serves many benefits.

This pose might be a little challenging for beginners, but with consistent practice, you can accomplish this in no time.

To do the downward-facing dog pose:

  1. Start on all fours with your hands near the top of the mat and your feet near the bottom of the mat.
  2. Raise your glutes and hips back and up toward the ceiling.
  3. Keep your legs and torso straight to maintain a 90-degree angle.
  4. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to a minute while taking deep breaths. “When you’re done with the pose, take a few extra seconds getting back up so your body has time to adjust,” adds Panawash.

Bridge Pose

The bridge pose is another fundamental yoga pose that is great for your lower back and core. This type of backbend allows you to stretch your abdominals, lower back, and hips. You can also strengthen the lower back muscles and glutes by supporting yourself in this pose. 

To do a bridge pose:

  1. Lie on your back on your mat with your arms at the sides, and your feet planted down on the mat so your knees are pointing straight up.
  2. Push into your feet and lift your hips off the ground, pointing them toward the ceiling. Panawash notes that “It is important to not over extend as you push up. Push gently through the legs and don't push past increases in discomfort.”
  3. Hold this pose for 30 seconds to a minute while taking deep breaths.
  4. Be sure to release this pose slowly as you bring your hips down to the floor.

Reclined Pigeon Pose

This pigeon pose variation allows you to lay down, taking the pressure off your spine while stretching your hips, glutes, lower back, and inner thighs.

To do this pose:

  1. Lie on your back with your feet planted on the ground.
  2. Lift your left leg and cross your left foot over your right knee.
  3. For a deeper stretch, pull your right leg into your chest.
  4. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds to a minute and then switch sides, crossing your right foot over your left knee. 

Spinal Twist

The spinal twist helps reduce stiffness and tension by promoting mobility and flexibility in the spine, from the upper back to the lower back. This stretch also benefits the shoulders and hips.

To do a spinal twist:

  1. Lie on your back on the mat with your knees lifted in the air over your hips and your arms extended out to the sides.
  2. Keeping your legs together, slowly lower your knees to the side of the left arm, rotating at the hips and lower back.
  3. For an added stretch, you can use your left hand to push down on your knees. “Or conversely, if this is too much, you can place a pillow on either side of you, and as you rotate, it will reduce the range of motion,” Panawash adds. 
  4. Hold this pose for about 30 seconds, and then repeat on the other side.

As an added bonus, finish this pose with Happy Baby by grabbing your big toes with your hands and rocking back and forth. 

Forward Bend

Also called a forward fold, a forward bend is a great stretch that targets the lower back while relieving tension in the hamstrings and the rest of your spine.

To do a forward bend:

  1. Stand straight up in the center of the mat.
  2. Then, bend forward at the hips, bringing your hands down to the mat as your torso hangs down.
  3. Maintain only a slight bend in the knees and the spine while relaxing your upper half.
  4. Hold this pose for about 30 seconds to a minute.

Cat-Cow Pose

The cat-cow pose is one of the easiest yoga poses you can do and can do wonders for supporting your lower back. This pose promotes motion and flexibility in the spine for reduced tension and pain relief.

To do this pose:

  1. Position yourself on your hands and knees on the mat in a tabletop position
  2. Inhale and drop your stomach toward the mat while bending your spine downward
  3. Then, exhale and push into your hands, lifting your shoulder blades up toward the ceiling, bringing your chin down, and arching your back.
  4. Alternate these two movements for a minute or more. “Take each position change slowly. As you get more in tune with how your body moves through this, try and think about moving segment by segment of the spine starting at one end and working toward the other (head to pelvis, pelvis to head),” Panawash says.

Sphinx Pose

The sphinx pose helps promote flexibility and mobility in the spine. The sphinx pose also targets abdominal muscles, providing extra support for your lower back.

To do the sphinx pose:

  1. Lie face down on your stomach with your legs extended back behind you
  2. Place your palms facing down on the mat next to your shoulders. Your elbows should be pointed back behind you.
  3. Push into your hands and slowly lift your upper body off the ground, starting with your shoulders and curving down your spine.
  4. Lift your body slowly while focusing on pointing your eyes straight ahead and lifting your head without putting pressure on your lower back. “Only push as far as you are comfortable with. If you reach a point that increases your symptoms back off a little by lowering your chest back towards the floor a little until you find a more comfortable spot,” says Panawash.
  5. Hold this pose for up to five minutes.

Achieve Long-Term Lower Back Pain Relief

By incorporating just a few yoga stretches regularly, you can relieve the tension in your lower back and enjoy consistent relief. For many, though, relief takes time and a combination of tools. Fortunately, Incrediwear can help supplement your stretching routine for added relief.

Incrediwear technology promotes blood flow to the target area and optimizes the body’s natural recovery process. By improving the transfer of oxygen and nutrients to the area, Incrediwear helps to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

Try our back brace for a comfortable tool to relieve lower back pain. Then, explore our complete collection to see how our products can support pain relief and better comfort in daily activities.


Yoga for Pain: What the Science Says | NCCIH

Benefits of Yoga | American Osteopathic Association

Stretching and strengthening are key to healing and preventing back pain | Harvard Health

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