Work and life makes our backs hurt; let’s be honest. It doesn’t matter if you have to move a lot for your job or if you sit at a desk for most of the day! The lower back usually suffers the most since we rely on it for so much of our movements. However, if you don’t have the time or funds for professional help such as a chiropractor, then you need to do some stretches and exercises at home that will relieve the pain. You don’t have to exercise or practice yoga regularly to use these helpful 10 yoga moves for your lower back pain.
1. Child’s Pose
This one of the most basic yoga moves. A lot of yoga routines will use child’s pose as a way to break between more difficult poses. This yoga move stretches out the lower back in a vertical direction, pulling all those muscles to help work out kinks and knots. Start by kneeling on your yoga mat. Then, bend forward and stretch your arms out as far as possible without moving your knees. You can relax in this pose for about thirty seconds to get a great stretch.
2. Cat-Cow Pose
This is another simple yoga move. This one requires some movement. You’ll want to start by getting on all fours on your yoga mat. Keep your back parallel to the floor when you start. This is the “cow” part of the move. To get the “cat” part, you just need to arch your upper back up and down. This will stretch out more than your lower back, and you’ll feel immense relief.
3. Sphinx Pose
This yoga move creates a nice curvature in your back that will stretch the lower back muscles in a way they may not be accustomed to. Stretching those muscles in an opposite direction will alleviate some of the pain you get from constantly bending or sitting in one position. You’ll want to start by laying flat on your belly. Then, you’ll lift your upper body off the mat and raise your head. You don’t want to stretch as far as you can go, though. This is a gentle stretch, and it’s ideal if you don’t have a lot of flexibility.
4. Cobra Pose
Cobra is a deeper stretch than sphinx. It’s essentially the same position, though. In this yoga move, you’ll want to raise your upper body as much as possible and stretch back as far as you can. Don’t do this if it causes you more pain or if this move is too difficult. Always listen to your body! But if you need more than what sphinx pose provides you, this yoga move will help a lot.
5. Locust Pose
If you want to get a bit of an ab workout in with your stretch, then this yoga move will help. This move requires you to lift your legs and arms from the mat, relying on the ab muscles to do so. As you can imagine, a lot of the pressure on your lower back lifts during this stretch, allowing it to take a breather. You’ll want to start by laying flat on your belly. Then, bring your arms and legs up at the same time and lift them from the mat. Your arms should be lifting behind you rather than in front of you. Only your lower abdomen and the tops of your thighs should be touching the mat. Make sure that you really push out your arms and legs as well so there is plenty of vertical stretch. This yoga move creates a nice curvature in your back that pushes your muscles in a different direction than they’re used to.
6. Bridge Pose
Your abs also get a workout in this yoga move. Now you’re going to push your lower back into the complete opposite direction. You’ll still want to look for that “c” shape in your spine, but you’ll be pushing up rather than bending back. Start by laying on your back with your knees up and arms at your side. Then, you’ll use your abs and hips to thrust up into the air as far as you can go. The “c” shape won’t be as dramatic, but it’ll be enough to really stretch out your lower back. Pay close attention to the demonstration below. It may look like her body is a straight line, but notice the slight dip in the lower back. It’s not a dramatic curve, but you’ll still push your muscles in a way they aren’t used to and stretch them out.
7. Spinal Twist Pose
This is the last yoga move you’ll start by laying on your back. We’re also moving away from curving the back. We’re going to focus on twisting now. You may experience some light popping in your back when you try this move, so don’t be alarmed. Lay flat on your back with your arms spread out wide and bring your knees up. Then, lay your knees to the side without twisting your torso and hold the pose for about ten seconds. Instead of coming out of the pose, you’ll want to flip your knees to the other side and hold. You can also skip the holding and just move your knees from side to side. Moving from one side to the other without holding is more likely to cause some light popping, so be careful.
8. Sitting Spinal Twist Pose
Let’s go ahead and sit up and work our way to standing. For this yoga move, you’ll want to start by sitting up with your legs stretched out in front of you. Slowly tuck one leg under your bottom and throw the other leg over your thigh. It’s a weird way to sit, but you’ll then twist against your top leg. Twisting your lower back against the direction of your legs will stretch those muscles and might even pop your back. This yoga move is a little more difficult and requires some balance. Make sure you’re careful as you practice.
9. Triangle Pose
Now we’re going to completely stand up. For this yoga move, you’ll want to spread your feet apart, but no more than shoulder-width. Your left leg should be somewhat aligned with your left hip. The toes on your left foot should face forward. Your right leg should stretch out to the side with your right toes at an angle. Your legs should be making a triangle with the mat as the third side. Once your legs are positioned, raise your arms so that they’re parallel with the floor and your palms are facing down. Gently bend forward at the hip and come forward, keeping your arms straight. They should move like the hands on a clock as you come down. As you come forward, make sure you turn your neck so that you end the stretch by looking up at the sky. Your right hand should land flat on the floor next to your right foot. However, if this is too deep of a stretch, you can go forward until the tips of your fingers touch the mat, as shown in the demonstration below. This yoga move works hard to stretch out your lower back and neck. Be careful with this move if you’re not very flexible or if your pain increases as you lean forward.
10. Downward-Facing Dog Pose
This is another basic yoga move for almost every routine. You’ll want to start by standing up, then slowly bend over to touch your toes. Once you’re touching your toes, you’ll walk your hands up towards the edge of the mat without moving your feet. This is a common stretch for dogs, hence the name of the pose. Your whole body will make a sort of triangle with the floor and really stretch your lower back. This is a great finishing move, too.