Yoga stretches are the best way to relieve your lower back pain and discomfort, which occurs due to muscle spasms, stiffness, and soreness. You can even try to enhance the mobility of your body and spine through just a few effective yoga stretches.
Here is everything you need to know about yoga stretches, how they can help you with lower back pain, and the easiest beginner yoga stretches to relieve lower back pain.
Yoga Stretches and Lower Back Pain
Many people experience lower back pain regularly for several reasons, such as a tough routine, maintaining a bad posture, sitting or standing for prolonged periods, and muscle strains.
While there are many reasons for experiencing lower back pain, some people even wish to stretch their lower back muscles for enhanced flexibility and relaxation. You shouldn’t avoid lower back pain at all costs, as not paying heed to prolonged discomfort can lead to tissue rupture, muscle soreness, and even muscular ailments in rare cases.
Getting your lower back checked by a physician is a good thing; however, it is not the only option. You can even try the most effective and inexpensive treatment way at home by daily yoga stretches.
Yoga stretches are movements and holds that build flexibility, mobility, strength, and stamina; they are necessary for a healthy and active lower back. Yoga stretches correct not only your breathing and posture, but also reduce any lower back pain, muscular stiffness, and soreness.
While yoga every day is a safe routine and practice, one should never stretch when they experience sharp or pinching pain in the muscles or veins. The sharp pain is the body’s way of telling you that you have pulled a muscle or vein, or you are doing a stretch the wrong way.
Yoga stretches should balance and combine muscle release and tension, as the tension following the release relieves pain and stiffness from the muscles. If you experience general muscle stiffness and tightness, daily yoga stretches can be the best exercise to relax them.
Some particular yoga stretches, while enhancing mobility and flexibility, also correct body alignment, releasing tightness and stiffness from the muscles. Suppose you suffer from prior lower back injuries, uncontrollable or persistent pain, and issues with your spinal disc. In that case, it is better to consult with a physician first or opt for yoga stretches and yoga sessions in the presence of a yoga instructor. Following is a list of beginner yoga stretches for the lower back that you can opt for and add to your daily routine.
Beginner Yoga Stretches for the Lower Back
The following extensive list is a series of yoga stretches for the lower back; however, if you are new to the yoga regime and not quite flexible for all kinds of stretches as a beginner, it is ideal to start with four to five yoga stretches and then start adding other stretches in your daily routine, as you start experiencing flexibility and relaxation in the muscles.
1. Child Pose
The child’s pose is a yoga stretch that easily relieves pressure from your lower back by elongating and aligning your spine. This pose decompresses your spine while giving it a nice stretch and relaxation. The following steps will help you perform the child’s pose:
- The first step is to kneel on the floor with your feet aligned and your knees spread according to your hip width.
- Inhale deeply, and dive on your torso over the thighs as you exhale.
- Lengthen and stretch your spine and neck by elongating your neck from your shoulders and your tailbone from your ribs.
- Place your forehead on the ground as you extend your arms in front of you.
- Hold this position for one to two minutes.
2. Cow Pose
The cow pose, also called the cat pose, helps you have a nice extension and flexion of your spine by promoting mobility and releasing any tension or stiffness in your lower back. The cow pose also helps you focus on your neutral spine, which is in the middle, and prevents it from being too rounded or arched at the same time. Here is a step-by-step guide to performing the cow pose:
- Get on your knees and align your shoulders with your wrists and your knees aligned to your hips.
- Slowly inhale and round your spine while dropping your head to the ground for the cat pose.
- For the cow pose, you need to inhale slowly while lifting your head, chest, and tailbone facing to the ceiling and arching your back.
- Keep repeating the stretch for one to three minutes.
3. Downward Facing Dog Pose
Many times, people experience lower back pain due to tightness in the back of the legs. The Downward facing dog pose is a great way to stretch your calves and hamstrings. However, if you feel discomfort or extra tightness in this yoga pose, you can bend your knees a little bit to make your stretch feel more comfortable. The following steps will help perform the downward facing dog pose:
- For this pose, you need to first come into the child’s pose, and place your hands on the floor. Then, perch up on the knees and lift your backside while pressing back into a downward facing dog pose.
- Spread your fingers and try to straighten your legs while lowering your heels to the ground.
- Relax your head between the arms and direct your focus through your legs or belly button.
- Hold this position for 30-60 seconds.
4. Standing Forward Bend
This yoga pose also stretches your legs and lengthens your spine, as both factors greatly help you relieve lower back pain. You can modify this stretch by bending your knees slightly if the leg straightening hurts your back or inflicts pain and discomfort. Following are the steps to perform the standing forward bend:
- From the downward facing dog pose, you need to slowly step forward to the top of your mat and stand with your feet and shoulder wide apart.
- Straighten your legs as much as possible and let your torso face down.
- Tucking your chin towards your chest, relax the shoulders and turn the crown of your head towards the floor to elongate your spine.
- Hold this posture for 30-60 seconds.
5. Sphinx Pose
The sphinx pose creates a nice stretching and natural curve of your spine that relaxes your lower back while releasing any muscular tension and stiffness. This pose also engages your abs a bit and supports your lower back to endure pressure. The following steps will help you perform the sphinx pose:
- Lie straight on your stomach with your legs attached and spread behind you.
- Align your elbows with your shoulders and place your forearms on the floor while you lift your chest off the floor.
- Straighten and elongate your spine while pressing your thighs and hips on the floor and keeping your shoulder relaxed all the while.
- Sit up and experience a nice stretch in the lower back but do not hyperextend if you feel any pain or discomfort in the posture.
- Repeat and hold each position for 30-60 seconds.
6. Knees to Chest Pose with Slow Rock
Bodyweight massaging also greatly helps in lowering the pressure and tension in the lower back. This stretch with a slow rock is a basic posture that helps you in relaxing your muscles and lower back. Here is the step-by-step guide to performing the knees to chest pose with slow rock:
- Lie down on your back on the mat.
- Hug both knees, joining them to your chest.
- Slowly start rocking your torso back and forth while holding your legs close to your chest.
- Repeat this exercise for one to two minutes.
7. Reclined Spine Twist
Twisting movements can greatly relax and release lower back pain for most people; however, they can irritate it further for some people. If this pose hurts your back, stop immediately. Or, if you feel tightness in this pose, you can modify it a little bit by putting a towel underneath your knees to ease the stiffness and tightness during the reclined spinal twist. Here are the steps to perform this pose:
- Lie down on your back.
- Bring your knees close to your chest. Drop your knees to one side while twisting your torso in the opposite direction.
- Try to keep your hips and knees aligned to each other as much as possible when you draw them closer to the floor. At the same time, keep your chest as straight to the ceiling as you can.
- Hold this posture for thirty to sixty seconds and repeat on the opposite side.
8. Reclined Pigeon Pose
The reclined pigeon pose is also called the ‘figure 4’ pose, and it basically stretches all of your body parts, including your butt, hips, inner thighs, and spine. When you have relaxation in all these integral parts of your body, you will automatically experience lesser or relieve lower back pain. Here are the steps to perform the reclined pigeon pose:
- Lie down on your back.
- Cross your right foot over the left quad while bending your left knee.
- Holding the back of the left leg, pull it closer to your chest.
- Hold the position for thirty to sixty seconds when you feel and experience a comfortable stretch.
- Repeat the posture on the opposite side now.
9. Upward Facing Dog Pose
If you experience discomfort and pain when you bend forward, then this pose is the ultimate solution for you as it stretches your lower back effortlessly, relaxing it of any tension and stiffness. This pose also helps in stretching the surrounding muscles of your spine, which benefits and supports painful areas and muscles in the lower back. Following are the steps that can help you perform the upward facing dog pose:
- Prepare yourself in a plank posture, assuming you’re about to do a push-up, keeping your elbows close to your body and lowering yourself halfway to the floor.
- Dropping your hips down to the floor, flip your toes, placing the top of your feet on the floor mat.
- Straighten your arms and tighten your torso while pushing your chest up. Squeezing your shoulder blades, now pull your shoulders back and tilt your head to the ceiling while opening up your chest.
- Hold the posture for thirty seconds to one minute or even more if you can manage.
10. Crescent Lunge
The crescent lunge targets your quads and hip flexors, allowing them to strengthen for optimum support and providing maximum stretching. This posture is beneficial because it takes away the pressure and tension off your lower back. Here are the steps to perform the crescent lunge:
- Start by taking a big step with your left foot forward in a staggered stance while keeping your feet apart for almost the length of the floor mat.
- Bend on the front knee while keeping your back leg straight and your heel lifted from the mat. Now bend your left leg in a way that your thigh gets parallel to the floor. Now square your hips to the front.
- Extending your arms up to the ceiling, stretch up the arms on both sides of your head while pressing yourself into the mat and feeling the stretch at your hips.
- Hold this position for thirty to sixty seconds and repeat the posture with the opposite leg forward now.
Related Questions Regarding Yoga Stretches for Lower Back
Following are the most commonly asked questions related to yoga stretches and lower back pain:
What causes lower back pain?
Anything can cause lower back pain, such as muscular strain, muscle spasms, an injury, bad posture, and sitting or standing for a prolonged period. The lower back pain is caused by muscle stiffness and tightness in the lower spine and lower back muscles.
How do yoga stretches help with lower back pain?
Yoga stretches are basically stretching postures that relax body muscles and ligaments responsible for stiffness and tightness. Relaxed muscles automatically relieve muscular tension and lower back pain.
Is it safe to perform yoga stretches in lower back pain?
Yes, it is completely safe; in fact, it is quite beneficial to perform yoga stretches to relieve lower back pain as it relaxes your muscles and reduces or eliminates any persistent pain in the lower back. However, if you have a past injury, surgery, or prolonged pain in the lower back, you should consult a physician before yoga or a skilled yoga instructor during your yoga sessions.
What are the best beginner yoga stretches for the lower back?
Above mentioned is a list of all the yoga stretches that a beginner can perform easily and effortlessly. However, if it gets too overwhelming for you to perform all the poses at once, you can start off with initially four to five yoga stretches a day and then add more stretches each day to your routine as your stamina and strength increase.
What is the best way to perform yoga stretches for the lower back?
The best way to perform yoga stretches for the lower back is to keep your body as calm as possible. These stretches are sure to relax your body by providing efficient stretching and flexibility to your body. However, you need to immediately stop stretching if you experience sharp or pinching pain in your body while stretching.
There are various kinds of yoga stretches that you can opt for a healthy lifestyle; however, the beginner yoga stretches mentioned above are the easiest postures to start with. These yoga poses can not only relieve lower back pain for you but also enhance flexibility and mobility of your body. This article discusses how yoga can help with lower back pain and the ten effective beginner yoga poses for the lower back.