Yoga for Back Pain: 5 poses for a healthy spine

These 5 easy yoga poses will help release stiffness in your spine and promote flexibility.

Got back pain? This post is for you! I have chronic back pain and I’m constantly searching for ways to ease the pain. Today I’m specifically talking about ways to keep your spine healthy and mobile. I’ve always had some issues with my tailbone area of my spine but when I was pregnant it got extremely painful. It felt like my lower spine was all out of place and crunching on nerves. Ouch! Since I started doing yoga for back pain and stiffness, I’ve felt SO much better and I want to share my tips with you!

Yoga can help make your spine feel aligned and flexible instead of stiff and painful. I volunteer at a local non-profit community centre so I’m lucky enough to get free yoga classes. I’ve become friends with the instructor and turns out she also has that stiff, crunched feeling in her lower back! There are several yoga poses that we do that are an absolute lifesaver and today I’m going to share them with you!

You can follow the poses below as a sequence or pick and choose which ones sound good to you. It’s all about listening to your body and doing what makes it feel good.

1. Cat/cow- start on all fours, hands under your shoulders and knees in line with your hips. As you inhale, lift your tailbone up, curve your spine, stretch the shoulders and neck up and gaze upward. As you exhale, curve your tailbone down, pull your belly button toward your spine and arch your back, head looking downward. Repeat 10x, moving according to the breath.

2. Cobra/updog- lay on your stomach and place your hands underneath your shoulders. Pull your chest up slightly, using your back strength. This is cobra. For a deeper stretch, move into updog: plant your hands and push up so that your arms are straightened and the rest of your body comes up off the mat. Gaze upward, chest open and reaching forward, and hold for a few breaths. After a 5 deep breaths in either cobra or updog, push back into downward dog- hands pressing into the mat, hips reaching toward the sky, and heels relaxing down toward the mat.
3. Butterfly- come to a seated position and bring the soles of your feet together with your knees out to the side. Allow ample space between your feet and your hips. Gently let your head drop toward your feet. Find wherever is comfortable for you and rest there, breathing deeply for 10 breaths, before slowly rolling up to seated.

4. Laying twist- lay on your back and hug your knees to your chest. Then drop your arms out to the sides so that your upper body is like a T. Allow both knees to drop over to one side. Breathe here for 10 deep breaths. Then bring knees back to centre. Now drop them to the opposite side and breathe there for 10 deep breaths. Bring knees to centre, hug them into your chest, then let your legs slowly come flat on the ground.

5. Savasana- lay flat on the ground, arms out to the side either close to the body or out a bit, whichever is comfortable. Relax your entire body and breathe deeply for 5 minutes. You may even get a pop and release in your low back if you’re very tight there! Be sure to take your time getting up.

I hope you enjoy these poses and your newfound flexibility and alignment! Share this yoga for back pain sequence with a friend who needs a good stretch 🙂

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