Yoga Therapy: Chronic Low Back Pain

Updated: Sep 7, 2020

If you, like many low back pain sufferers, cannot escape the constant nagging pain in your spine, you may find that practicing Yoga on a consistent basis can help.

The low back is a target area for pain, mostly due to the consistent pressure from sitting for long periods of time. When we sit, we keep the muscles that surround the sacrum and and SI joint in a compact position. Over extended period, this can actually shorten these muscles. The shortening of these muscles limits mobility and causes tightness, pain and tingling in the low back and the surrounding joints. A tight low back can lead to hip pain, knee pain and can travel all the way down to the arches of the feet.

Yoga philosophy tells us that it is impossible to think of any part of the body in isolation. This means everything is connected! Tight low back, tight hips. Tight shoulders, chronic wrist pain. In order to create a healthier body system we must give attention to all parts of the body.

This short sequence is designed to be practiced once a day or every other day in order, to help relieve low back pain. Remember to always be kind to your body and move out of the pose if you feel any pain. It is also important that you consult and get approval from your physician before practicing any type of Yoga.


Stretched Out Savasana: 5 Deep Breaths

Benefit: Elongates spine, creates room for blood & lymph to flow

How To: Lay flat on your back, preferably on a hard surface with a mat or a blanket underneath you. Reach arms above the head and stretch out the legs. Arch your back for the deepest stretch.

Apanasana (Knees to Chest Pose): 5 Deep Breaths

Benefit: Stretches out the low back and releases tension on the SI Joint

How To: Draw both knees into your chest, and hold your thighs or shins. Squeeze the knees into the body and relax the head and neck.

Tip: Gently rock from side to side to stretch the hips

Supine Twist Right & Left Side: 10 Deep Breaths ea. side

Benefit: Detoxifies the liver, stretches the entire spine

How To: Draw the knees into the chest, then roll them over to one side. You can support them with a block or a blanket underneath. Reach arms out to a T.

Tip: Look over the opposite shoulder to take the stretch into your neck

Cobra Pose: 5 Deep Breaths

Benefit: Applies gentle pressure to the low back to encourage release and blood flow

How To: From laying on your belly, draw your hands underneath your shoulders. Press down through the palms and lift the heart up any amount. Keep the hips and legs relaxed and heavy.

Child's Pose: 10 Deep Breaths

Benefit: Counters cobra pose, stretches the shoulders and opens up the hips

How To: From laying flat on your belly, push through your hands all the way back. The knees can be together or apart, whichever feels best to you.

Supine Shoulder Stretch: 10 Deep Breaths

Benefit: The shoulder stretches from rolling to one side and applying pressure on the socket, the low back stretches out from the placement of the foot behind the bottom leg.

How To: From laying flat on your belly, extend your right arm directly out. Push through your left hand with the elbow pointing up, then take the left foot and bring it behind the right knee so the knee points up. Gently roll onto the right shoulder/arm.

Tip: Perfect stretch to try if you need your back to pop and it just won't!

Neck Stretch: 5 Deep Breaths

Benefit: Drains built up lymph and fluid from the neck and head

How To: From a comfortable seat, take both hands and interlace the fingers behind the head. Drop your chin to your chest and let the elbows be heavy.

Tip: Round your back and try to touch your elbows to your knees for a full spine stretch!

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