Many of us struggle with tension and pain in our back, especially in the lower back. Luckily, there are some easy yoga moves and stretches that you can do to help ease the pain and to relieve tension. Yoga is a great practice to help relieve tension, as the entire practice helps to relax and strengthen the body, bringing your body and mind into balance and alignment.

No matter your experience level with yoga, you can do these easy poses to help alleviate your back pain. Here are the best ones you should try.

downward facing dog

Downward facing dog

This basic yoga pose is wonderful for relieving back pain and tension. It helps elongate spine and helps strengthen the core, which helps to build strength in the back and relieve pain for the long term. Start on your hands and knees, tuck your toes, lift your hips and press back, bringing your heels to the ground. Elongate through the spine, and draw your shoulders down your back. Hold for a few breaths.

Seated spinal twist

This pose is a great spinal stretch for releasing lower back tension and is perfect for activating the muscles in the lumbar area. Sit on the floor, bending your right leg so that your heel touches your sit bone. Cross the left leg over your floor leg. Reach your left arm back and rest your palm on the ground. Twist and place your right elbow on your left knee. Hold for 3 breaths, then alternate.

Forward fold (also known as ragdoll)

This stretch is excellent for releasing tension in your lower back. While at first, you may think this may be just a stretch for your hamstrings, try giving yourself a slight bend in your knees and focus on elongating your spine. If it feels comfortable to you, hold on to your elbows and dangle. Hold for a few breaths before slowly coming up to stand, one vertebra at a time.  

seated forward fold

Seated forward fold

This pose is excellent for releasing lower back tension and helps stretch lower back muscles. Extend your legs in front of you, heels together. Draw your belly in and up, hinge from the hips, lengthen through the spine, and reach to your feet. Make sure you keep your spine elongated, and don’t hunch through the upper back.


This pose is an excellent back strengthening exercise, especially for your lower back muscles. It also helps relieve tension that originates around your lower spine. While lying on your stomach, put your hands below your shoulders. Extend so that your arms are straight. Gaze upward, and keep your core tight and engaged. Avoid craning your neck backward.

floor bow pose

Floor bow

This pose is wonderful for strengthening your back muscles. It is definitely a more intense pose, so don’t overstrain yourself, and do what feels comfortable to you. Lie on your stomach. Push the backs of your thighs to the sky, look forward, and reach back to grab your ankles and calves. Hold for 3 breaths.

Author: Maggie Harriman


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