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The Best Yoga Poses for Back Pain

a woman in child’s pose doing yoga

Natural Back Pain Relief with Yoga & Doctor Hoy’s®

With every 8 in 10 Americans suffering from back pain at some point in their life, natural remedies for back pain and inflammation can help you stay healthy, mobile, and pain-free. By improving muscle strength and flexibility, yoga can help relieve back pain and even treat common causes.

Doing the following yoga poses for back pain and using topical Doctor Hoy’s Pain Relief Gel can help ease discomfort, providing everyday natural pain relief for lower back pain.

In This Article

elderly person with back pain sitting on a yoga mat and holding their lower back

Is yoga good for back pain?

According to the National Institutes of Health, evidence supports mind and body practices like yoga for back pain relief. The American College of Physicians even recommends yoga for treating chronic lower back pain.

Yoga is good for back pain because it helps reduce tension, build muscle strength, and improve back-related function naturally. In a 2017 study, participants who tried yoga for their back pain found it worked just as well as physical therapy, and they were less likely to use pain medications after just three months.

The perfect complement to your yoga routine, Doctor Hoy’s is a natural alternative to painkillers. Our roll-on pain relief gel provides clean, safe, and effective relief with a roll-on applicator for hard-to-reach areas that’s perfect for lower back pain.

closeup of a person applying Doctor Hoy’s roll-on pain relief gel to lower back

Benefits of Yoga for Back Pain Relief

Poor posture and weak core muscles are common causes of back pain followed by pregnancy and injuries like muscle strains. When your body tries to overcompensate for weaker muscles, it puts excess stress on your spine that eventually turns into pain.

Yoga keeps you moving through various poses at different intensities to strengthen muscle groups in your back and core for a healthy, balanced spine. You also gain better awareness of your body so you can see where you hold the most tension.

With greater strength and awareness, yoga helps improve posture and mobility. It also relaxes the mind and body, incorporating mindfulness and deep breathing exercises to reduce stress that can cause pain. If you have trouble sleeping with back pain, yoga before bed can remove some of the tension that makes it hard to fall asleep.

9 Easy Yoga Poses for Back Pain

Doctor Hoy’s Pain Relief Gel can make it easier to start a workout routine like yoga when you have back pain. Great for use before or after exercise, this pain-relieving topical gel eases inflammation and warms the muscles to prepare them for activity.

When starting out, choose your favorite pose that relieves the most tension and do it a few times a day. Then, you can add more poses into your routine until you have a good 10-to-20-minute yoga session that you can do about five times a week.

The following yoga poses for lower back pain can be done in the comfort of your own home. Take your time working your body through each pose, maintaining awareness and allowing the breath to flow through you.

a woman doing a standing forward bend yoga pose on a patio

1. Child’s Pose

The child's pose is a relaxing stretch that relieves tension throughout the neck, back, hips and thighs. It is the easiest stretch for people with back pain that feels better when sitting.

  1. Sit on your heels with your toes pointed behind you and knees together.
  2. Bend forward, walking your hands out in front of you.
  3. Rest your forehead on the floor.
  4. Relax your body and focus on releasing tension in your back.
  5. Stay in this pose for up to 5 minutes.

          2. Sphinx Pose

          If you have back pain that feels better when you stand or walk, the sphinx pose gently extends the back and stimulates core muscles to improve posture and strength.

          1. Lie flat on your stomach.
          2. Engage your lower back, buttocks, and thigh muscles.
          3. Bring your elbows under your shoulders with your forearms on the floor.
          4. Lift your upper torso and head, engaging your lower core.
          5. Keep your gaze straight as you hold this position for up to 5 minutes.

                  3. Cobra Pose

                  Like the sphinx pose, the cobra pose offers a gentle bend that can help reduce fatigue, lower back pain and sciatica.

                  1. Lie on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders, fingers facing forward.
                  2. Draw your arms into your chest and inhale as you lift your head, chest, and shoulders.
                  3. Maintain a slight bend in your elbows and let your head drop back.
                  4. On the exhale, release the post and rest with your arms at your sides.
                  5. Rock your hips from side to side to release tension.
                  6. Repeat 5 to 10 times.

                            4. Cat-Cow

                            This gentle backbend mobilizes the spine with an active stretch, working your neck, shoulders, and torso.

                            1. Get on all fours with your wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
                            2. Maintain a neutral back, balancing your weight.
                            3. Inhale as you look up, dropping your stomach down toward the floor.
                            4. Exhale and tuck your chin into your chest, drawing your stomach into your spine and arching your back.
                            5. Continue this movement with breath for a full minute.

                                    5. Downward Facing Dog

                                    A common beginner’s yoga pose, downward facing dog can help relieve back pain from sciatica and improve imbalances.

                                    1. Get on all fours with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
                                    2. Press into your hands, curl your toes under and lift your hips up, straightening your legs.
                                    3. Spread your fingers and press your palms into the floor.
                                    4. Keep your head in line with your upper arms and your chin tucked in.
                                    5. Hold for one minute.

                                            6. Standing Forward Bend

                                            As one of many yoga stretches for lower back pain, the standing forward bend reduces tension throughout the entire back and body. You don’t need to be able to touch your toes to do it, either.

                                            1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
                                            2. Slowly bend forward at your hips, bringing your hands toward the floor.
                                            3. Slightly bend your knees and cross your forearms, holding onto opposite elbows.
                                            4. Lift your hips up toward the ceiling and let your head hang, releasing tension in your neck.
                                            5. Breathe and hold for 30 seconds to a minute.

                                                    7. Reclining Spinal Twist

                                                    The reclining spinal twist relaxes the spine and reduces stiffness, but it can aggravate existing lower back pain. Only perform this stretch if you can do so without pain.

                                                    1. Lie on your back with your arms straight out to the sides, forming a “T.”
                                                    2. Bend your knees and inhale, lifting your feet off the floor.
                                                    3. Cross your knees over your hips with your spine straight.
                                                    4. Exhale and let your knees feel to your side, creating a right angle.
                                                    5. Hold for 1 minute, then bring your legs back to the center and repeat on the other side.

                                                            8. Bridge Pose

                                                            The bridge pose for back pain is a restorative pose that takes tension off the lower back and may help relieve headaches, too.

                                                            1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your heels just below your buttocks.
                                                            2. Rest your arms beside your body.
                                                            3. Slowly lift your tailbone, pressing your feet and arms into the floor.
                                                            4. Lift until your thighs are parallel to the floor. You may place your hands under your hips for added support.
                                                            5. Breathe and hold for one minute.

                                                                    9. Knees to Chest

                                                                    Drawing your knees into your chest relaxes the lower back and provides a gentle massage for your muscles. It can be bone on a yoga mat or in bed.

                                                                    1. Lie on your back.
                                                                    2. Pull your knees into your chest and hug them.
                                                                    3. Gently rock your body back and forth while holding onto your legs.
                                                                    4. Continue for five deep breaths.

                                                                          If you’re doing yoga with back pain, you must do these poses properly to avoid injury. When attending an in-person class, talk to the instructor about ways to change poses to make them more comfortable. You can also use equipment like blocks and bolsters for extra support.

                                                                          a woman performing knees to chest yoga pose in bed

                                                                          Which type of yoga is best for lower back pain?

                                                                          The best type of yoga for lower back pain is whatever gives you the most relief with minimal to no discomfort. Spinal twists, child’s pose, and other restorative yoga stretches that lengthen the spine or use gentle movements are great places to start.

                                                                          Even low-impact exercises like yoga can have you overexerting yourself. Listen to your body and stop any poses that make your back pain worse. Beginner yoga classes are the best for back pain because they give you a chance to take it slow and adjust to your comfort level, especially if you have sore muscles.

                                                                          Should I do yoga if my back hurts?

                                                                          Not everyone with back pain should do yoga before talking with their doctor. Since back pain has several other causes, it’s important to ask your doctor before doing yoga if you have pain that:

                                                                          • Continues to get worse despite rest
                                                                          • Interferes with your daily life
                                                                          • Lasts more than two weeks

                                                                          Relieve Back Pain with Doctor Hoy’s & Yoga

                                                                          Natural remedies for back pain include practicing yoga and using natural topicals like Doctor Hoy’s Pain Relief Gel. Doctor Hoy’s helps you get the most relief from lower back pain, making it easier to move through each pose and the rest of your day with a soothing sensation that’s fast, effective, and long-lasting.


                                                                          3 Ways Yoga Can Help With Back Pain. (2021, February 24). NJ Spine & Orthopedic.

                                                                          Cronkleton, E. (2017, October 18). The 10 Best Yoga Poses for Back Pain. Healthline.

                                                                          Low-Back Pain and Complementary Health Approaches: What You Need To Know. (n.d.). NCCIH.

                                                                          McCoy, J. C.P.T. (2022, November 17). 12 Yoga Poses That Feel Great When Your Back Is Tight and Achy. SELF.

                                                                          Mood, A. (2021, August 3) These 8 Yoga Poses Are All You Need to Ease Lower Back Pain. Yoga Journal.

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