Yoga Poses Can Help Back Pain

Low back pain has several causes, but the most common is lack of core strength.

Yoga, which is known for boosting your core among many other benefits, can be one of your tools as you seek relief. There are several poses that, when done correctly, can build up your abs, obliques and other key muscles without aggravating your issues.

Here’s a sample. Move into these poses slowly, and don’t try anything that’s beyond your level of experience. Stop if you feel new pain or discomfort in your lower back.

  • Cat-cow pose — Kneel and put your hands on the floor in front of you to get into tabletop pose.

Inhale deeply while curving your lower back downward and bringing your head up, tilting your pelvis like a “cow.” Exhale deeply and bring your abdomen in, arching your spine and bringing your head and pelvis down like a “cat.”

  • Seated spinal twist — Sit on the floor or on a folded blanket in a cross-legged position.

Elongate your spine, and as you inhale place your right hand flat on the floor behind you and your left hand on your right knee. On the exhale, move deeper into the twist while looking over your right shoulder. Hold for five breaths, then switch sides. Repeat several times.

  • Locust pose — Lie on your stomach with your legs extended, arms against your body with palms facing up and chin resting on the mat. Inhale and lengthen your legs and spine, then exhale and lift your head, shoulders, chest and legs off the ground, extending your arms behind you. Hold pose for three to five breaths.
  • T-spine windmill pose — Lie on your back and form a “T” with your arms out to the sides.

Bend your knees and inhale as you lift your feet off the floor, bringing your knees over your hips to form a right angle. Exhale and lower your knees to your left. Keep your shoulders on the mat. Hold for 1 to 2 minutes. Bring your legs back to center and switch sides.