Many people believe that rest is best for back pain, but in reality, what your back really needs when it’s hurt is exercise. Regular exercise relieves back pain by strengthening and stretching the muscles that support the spine and helps prevent future injury. This is a use it or lose it situation: the more you rest, the weaker your back becomes, even if it’s hurt. Studies have shown that you can heal your back pain faster and get back to your regular activities with just two days of rest. This article will focus on yoga exercises. Remember to contact your doctor before beginning any exercise program.


A good regular yoga practice will go a long way in relieving the stress and tension that sometimes causes minor back pain, and in fact, studies have shown that yoga is the number one most effective exercise for back pain relief. However, not all yoga poses relieve back pain, and in fact, some can aggravate existing pain, so it’s important to know which poses will be most helpful in relieving back pain. It is best to do these exercises under the supervision of a certified yoga instructor, and if you encounter any problems with these poses, you should consult an expert. Even a session or two with a yoga instructor can help, as an instructor will help you with your form and posture during the poses. Here are some of the best yoga poses to relieve back pain. Each pose should be held for five to ten seconds, depending on your comfort level, and should be done on a mat or other soft, supportive surface.

BODY: Lie on your back in a relaxed position, arms resting at your sides, palms facing down, and legs flat naturally, knees slightly out. If your back hurts having your knees turned out, do this pose with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Breathe in and out for a few seconds as you allow the tension to leave your body.

CAT STRETCH: Start on your hands and knees with a flat back. Your hands should be directly below your shoulders with your fingers spread apart. The knees should be directly below the hips. The head is held loosely so that it is facing the ground between its hands. Inhale, and as you exhale, arch your back toward the ceiling, tuck your chin into your chest to look at your belly button, and tuck your tailbone under. Hold, then release back to your original position.

WIND RELEASE POSE: Lie on your back as in Corpse Pose. As you inhale, bend your knee, place your hands just below your knee, and bring your leg up toward your chest. Your left leg should remain flat on the ground. Exhale and raise your forehead to touch your knee. Inhale, and then as you exhale, return to your original position. Repeat with the other leg.

SAGE TWIST: Warning for this pose: It involves twisting your back, so be extra careful not to twist too much or you risk aggravating any existing back pain. This should be a gentle stretch; turn as far as is comfortable. Sit on the floor with both legs in front of you. Bend your right knee, lift your right leg over your left, and place your right foot on the ground next to your left knee. Sitting upright, place your left elbow on the right side of your right knee. Bend your left arm so that your left fingertips touch your right hip, and at the same time turn to look over your right shoulder. This is where you have to be careful not to twist too much. Hold for a few seconds, release, and repeat on the opposite side.

PALM TREE: Stand feet forward, arms at your sides, weight evenly distributed on both feet. Raise both arms over your head, interlock your fingers, and turn your hands so that your palms are facing up. Next, place the palms of your hands on top of your head and turn it so that it is facing slightly upwards. Stretch your arms up while standing on your toes if you can do it without pain. Stretch your entire body up and hold, if you can. Some people have a hard time balancing during this pose, so only do the stretching part if you have to.

FISH POSE: Lie on your back with knees bent and arms at your sides. Arch your back as far as it can comfortably and lift it off the floor by pushing off the floor with your elbows. If you can, tilt your head back and rest the top of your head on the ground. Breathe deeply from your diaphragm and hold for a minute if you can.

LOBSTER: Lie on your stomach with your arms by your sides, palms facing down, and elbows slightly bent with toes pointing toward your feet. Raise your legs and thighs as high off the ground as possible without hurting your back. Hold for one second and repeat up to twelve times. This can be a vigorous exercise, so you must be careful to strain already injured muscles.

FORWARD BEND POSE: Stand up straight with your feet together and your arms hanging loosely at your sides. Inhale deeply and raise your arms above your head. As you exhale, lean forward and touch your toes if you can. If you can’t reach your toes, hold onto your ankles or calves. To complete the pose, you need to touch your knees to your head, but this may be too difficult for many people who suffer from lower back pain. Your movements during this pose should be smooth, not jerky.