5 Yoga Poses that Reduce Lower Back Pain

This post is authored by Midtown Yoga Founder Emily Wallace.

Most of us at some point have suffered from a stiff back from a long flight or car ride, sore back from over-lifting at the gym, or standing in line too long at the DMV. A weak core, tight hips, or tight hamstrings can all be common contributing factors of back discomfort. If you are experiencing this pain longer than 72 hours or have a history of disc issues or lower back injuries, consult a physical therapist before doing any of these exercises.

As a yoga teacher who is 28 and already suffering from lower back pain I wanted to fill you in on some of my favorites below! These poses can be done at the gym after a workout, at work in front of your desk, or even on your living room carpet when the kids are napping. 


Child’s Pose

  • Come into a table top position. 

  • Spread your knees wide and lower your hips to your heels. 

  • Place your forehead on the mat and extend your arms out in front of you palms down. 

  • Let your belly rest in between your thighs and relax your elbows on your mat. 

  • If your hips are feeling tight place a block underneath your glutes.

  • Hold for 1-3 minutes.

Cat Cow

  • Make your way into a table top position. 

  • Bring your shoulders over your wrists and hips over your knees. 

  • Take an inhale, lower your belly, arch your back, and look up toward the sky. 

  • On your exhale, tuck your chin, round your spine, and puff up your back like an angry cat.

  • Repeat 4-5 times nice and slow.

Downward Facing Dog.jpg

Downward-Facing Dog

  • Come into a table top position.

  • Curl your toes under and lift your hips up and back.

  • Think of creating a upside down "V" shape with your body.

  • Spread your fingers wide to the webbing and press firmly into your knuckle mounds.

  • Relax your head and neck.

  • Melt your chest toward the floor and your hips up to the sky.

  • Press your thighs to the back wall and press your heels down toward the floor.

  • Hold for long as comfortable.

Reclined Pigeon Pose (Figure Four)

  • Lay on your back.

  • Bend your knees placing the soles of your feet on the floor.

  • Stack your left foot on top of your right thigh.

  • Thread your left hand through the hole that you created and reach underneath the right thigh clasping hands.

  • Gently pull your right thigh toward your face and press your left knee away from you.

  • Take 5 deep, slow inhales and exhales.

  • Switch sides.

Forward Fold.jpg

Forward Fold

  • Come into a standing position, feet shoulder-width apart.

  • Start to lower your head and torso down coming into a forward fold position.

  • Relax your head and neck.

  • Straighten your legs as much as you can but feel free to put a little bend in the knees if that takes pressure off the lower back.

  • Let your arms hang heavy or you can reach for opposite elbows and gently sway back and forth.

Want more helpful poses for a sore lower back? Try out a MY Unwind class for 60 minutes of soothing stretches and guided meditation.

Amanda BittnerComment