Wellbeing & Motivation > How Yoga Poses Can Help Deal With Back Pain

How Yoga Poses Can Help Deal With Back Pain

24th Apr 20

When it comes down to back health, there’s always controversy about what helps and what hinders, but yoga and the best poses for back pain are hard to argue with. It’s an incredible way to help your body in a number of different ways, and almost all of them contribute to helping your back.

The great thing about using yoga poses to help manage back pain is that it treats so many different issues we face in everyday life. Too much exercise is bad, too much sitting is bad, and even too much time looking at your phone is bad. There are so many different ways to damage that it can feel a lot like a losing battle. That’s what makes yoga and the ability to do it anywhere at any fitness level so great.

It requires balance, stability, flexibility, focus and strength, all of which, at the same time, can be a little tricky. If you do find it’s something you do love, though, as so many others do, it can have a vast range of benefits for your body, from your core strength to your muscle development, especially in your back.

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The Benefits of Yoga for Back Pain

Woman in the cobra pose

Yoga is a growing trend in the fitness and health world. Its never failing, ever-evolving popularity is making it one of the most popular health trends in the world consistently, and there is a good reason behind it. It has so many benefits it can be hard even to keep track. It’s an excellent way to help develop yourself mentally and physically, which is something that generic exercise can’t always do in the same way. The benefits to your back come into play when you look more into the specifics of what it is you’re doing with your body.

So many yoga poses mean that you have to carefully contort into different shapes and variations, all of which require you to be moving around and support yourself safely. This is what helps to develop and strengthen and even stretch out the areas of your back where you’ll likely be having issues. Stretching means that the muscles are in the right place at the right time, and strength means that you can reverse the damage you do without knowing on a daily basis and become strong enough to support yourself in everyday life.

Potential Issues with Yoga and Back Health

Woman in pain sat cross legged

This doesn’t mean that yoga is without its problems, though. According to various studies, yoga can actually be a common way to cause back injury if it isn’t done properly, especially among people over the age of 65. If you are going to do yoga, especially with the intent to heal what is already a weakened or vulnerable area, such as your back, you need to be on your game.

The most important thing is to know what you’re doing. Make sure you brush up on what you have to do and that you’re really taking your time. Any sharp, rapid or jerking motions are the biggest culprits. Just take things slowly and work your way up to the more intensive things. Fast yoga kind of defeats the object of the whole thing, anyway!

Yoga Poses to Help With Back Pain

There are so many different poses in yoga that it can hard to know which ones you actually need to help your back pain or for anything else you want. That’s even more apparent if you are limited in what you can do, you’re just starting out, or you already know what you don’t like if you’re a seasoned yoga enthusiast. These four yoga poses are a great place to start for managing back pain though. Take them slowly and see what they do for you.


Man in the cobra position

The cobra pose is one of the more simplistic poses that you can be doing, and it’s definitely one of the most helpful for your lower back region if you manage to nail it. All you really need to do is lay flat on the floor, face down, and with your hands on the floor, make an arch in your back so your upper half is off the floor and you are looking forward. Hold, and return to flat. Don’t push too hard, and listen to your body.

Downward Facing Dog

Downward facing dog example

The downward-facing dog is another classic, and it’s another pose that isn’t particularly challenging. You are essentially making an upside-down V by putting your hands and your feet on the floor and then raising your mid-section so that your glutes are pointing directly upwards and are the highest part of your body.

Cat Pose

Woman in the cat pose

The cat pose is one of the less commonly seen yoga poses, but for your back pain, especially if you are already suffering, it’s a good idea to get it on your list of daily exercises. All you need to do is rest on the floor on your hands and knees and then look upwards to the degree that works best for you, with an inward arch of the back. That’s all. Hold and return to a relaxed position when you feel comfortable to do so.

Half Lord of the Fish Pose

Half lord of the fish pose example

Finally, the most complex pose on the list but likely one of the best for immediate relief of back pain if you can manage it. Sat on the floor with your legs flat in front, place one leg over the other and bend the knee, almost forming a bridge over it. Bend the other leg as if you were going to be sitting cross-legged, turn your body so that your elbow is over the bridging knee, and hold. It does sound a lot more complicated than it is.

So, can yoga poses help with back pain? Essentially, yes. The only real complication to this is the reason for your back pain. Make sure that you’re in good enough of a condition to try it by talking to your doctor or physio.

Take your time with the poses and do them properly to prevent injury, and you should start to see your back pain go pretty immediately.


Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.