Low back pain can be a debilitating condition, so it’s important to find ways to relieve the pain and improve mobility. For people looking for a low-impact form of exercise that can still offer relief, yoga can be an excellent choice. By stretching the muscles and improving body awareness, certain poses can reduce stress on the spine and help the body become stronger and more flexible.
Supine Spinal Twist
Supine spinal twist helps to open up the entire back, including the mid- and lower-back. It also helps lengthen and stretch the muscles in the hips, buttocks, and legs. To do the supine spinal twist, lie on your back with your arms extended in a T-shape. Bend the legs, crossing the right leg at the ankle over the left thigh. Reach the right hand around the outside of the left thigh and draw it in until you feel a gentle stretching sensation. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.
The cobra pose is a great way to strengthen the muscles of your back and can be helpful in reducing pain in the lower spine. Begin by lying on your stomach with your head turned to the side. Place your hands by your rib cage and slowly press up, squeezing the shoulder blades together. Keep your hips and stomach on the ground and lower your head back until you feel a stretch in your back. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat several times.
Thread the Needle
The thread the needle pose is designed to open the hips and stretch the torso. Start by lying on your back and drawing the right knee into your chest. Cross the right ankle over the left thigh, and then take the left hand and reach through the triangle formed by your legs. Gently rotate the torso so you can reach the right arm around the back of your left thigh, and guide the leg up towards the sky. Take a deep breath in and hold, allowing your body to relax into the pose. After holding for 30 seconds, release the leg and repeat on the other side.
Cat-cow is a gentle pose that helps to stretch and strengthen the spine, while also improving body awareness. Start in a tabletop position, with your hands and knees shoulder-width apart. Inhale and arch your back, lifting the tailbone and chest up towards the sky in a cow-like position. On the exhale, round the back, tucking the tailbone between your knees in a cat position. Continue this gentle flow for several rounds, focusing on the breath and the feeling of the spine moving through different ranges of motion.
Reclined Bound Angle Pose
The reclined bound angle pose helps open up the entire body, especially the inner thighs and hips. To do this pose, start by lying on your back and bring the soles of your feet together. Use your hands to press your knees towards the ground and relax your hips, allowing your lower back to sink into the floor. You should feel a gentle stretch in your lower abdomen; if there is still tension in your legs, you can use a strap or a rolled-up towel to help you keep your legs in this position. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat several times.