7 Posture Improving Yoga Poses for Lower Back Pain Relief

Before you can improve your posture it is necessary to first strengthen the muscles that surround your back, spine, and core. If you suffer from a chronic condition like low back pain then the fastest way you can do this is to begin a yoga practice. By practicing posture improving yoga poses for lower back pain relief not only will you begin to strengthen your back and core muscles responsible for good posture, your entire physical and mental health will improve as well.

How to Improve Your Posture


Improve Your Posture

Posture improving yoga poses counteract bad posture.

You might think that good posture means that your spine is completely straight from top to bottom but there are actually three natural curves in the spine while in its neutral position – an inward curve in the lower vertebrae, an outer curve of the vertebrae in the upper back, and an inward curve again at the base of the neck. To have good posture just means that your spine is its neutral position and is not experiencing any outside forces causing it to bend unnaturally.

A common outside force that affects millions of people today is sitting at a desk hunched over a computer for work. Without stretching and strengthening your muscles to counteract the affects of poor posture it is possible for chronic conditions such as sciatica to form and cause even more discomfort.

The reason you most likely have poor posture in the first place is because the muscles in your back and core have weakened overtime and are unable to support your body weight properly. Gravity then takes over and your shoulders might droop and your upper back could begin to hunch causing the natural curve of your spine to become unaligned.

If your spine is out of alignment it is only a matter of time before a sudden movement or weakened back muscles will lead to even more pain. To improve your posture and make sure that your spine is always in its neutral position then you need to strengthen your back and core muscles without causing further stress on the rest of your body.

Posture Improving Yoga Poses


Practicing yoga helps improve your posture so well because each movement that you make during yoga is designed to rehabilitate every muscle and joint in your body. While this rehabilitation is occurring during your practice you are also using every muscle in your body, even ones you never knew you had before, more than you ever thought possible.

Overtime your practice will actually start to heal chronic aches and pains in your body leaving you free to go deeper and hold poses longer than ever before. The following yoga poses are designed to lengthen and realign the spine, strengthen your core muscles, and reverse the affects poor posture.

1. Cat-Cow Pose

Cat-Cow Pose is a great way to get your spine warmed up and and start to loosen any tension in your back muscles. Throughout the pose focus on keeping your core muscles engaged and your spine aligned. While in the full expression of both Cat Pose and Cow Pose make sure your shoulders are over your hands and your knees are below your hips.

Cat Pose

Cat Pose

Cow Pose

Cow Pose

2. Bird-Dog Pose

Bird-Dog Pose is going to start lengthening your spine and build strength in your back and core muscles. Keep your core engaged the entire time and work to bring your lower stomach up and in towards your belly button. While in the full expression of the pose make sure your fingers are stretching forward and your foot is stretching backwards like it is standing on an imaginary wall behind you.

Bird-Dog Pose

Bird-Dog Pose

3. Cobra Pose

Cobra Pose focuses on releasing tension in your lower back muscles which allows your lower spine to curve naturally. While in the pose your fingers should be directly below your shoulders and your upper back and shoulder blades should working in towards each other. Keep your feet on the ground throughout the entire pose and really focus on lifting your chest off the ground with your head straight in front of you.

Cobra Pose

Cobra Pose

4. Extended Child’s Pose

Extended Child’s Pose allows your spinal vertebrae to lengthen all the way from your neck down to your lower back. While moving into the full expression of the pose your knees should be slightly wider than your hips and your feet should be barely touching. To get the most out of the pose work to lengthen your tailbone to your feel and your arms as far out in front of you as you can.

Child's Pose

Child’s Pose

5. Camel Pose

One of the biggest chest expanding poses that is available in yoga is Camel Pose. This pose opens your shoulders up to the sky and allows any tension in the neck and upper back to release. While moving into the pose place your hands on your lower back for support and work to move your elbows in towards each other. Make sure that you are lifting your chest up to the sky instead of sinking in to your lower back while in the full expression of the pose.

Camel Pose

Camel Pose

6. Standing Backbend with Interlaced Hands

One of my favorite stretches that helps counteract the effects of sitting hunched over at a desk in Standing Backbend with Interlaced Hands. This stretch is going to open your shoulders and chest while increasing the flexibility of your spine. As you move into the full expression of the stretch work you bring your palms together and your arms and hands straight down to the ground.

Standing Interlaced Backbend

Interlaced Backbend

7. Standing Forward Fold with Interlaced Hands

Moving directly from the last pose start to bend forward until your arms are above your shoulders and your head is below your chest. This is a great stretch for the hamstrings as well as the lower back and helps strengthen the back and core muscles responsible for good posture.

Interlaced Forward Fold

Interlaced Forward Fold

Consistently Practice Yoga Poses for Lower Back Pain Relief


When you first attempt the yoga poses that are mentioned above you might not be able to go very deep into the pose at first. This is because as your muscles become inactive they weaken and are more prone to outside forces causing issues in your body. As your body tries to compensate for these issues your muscles tighten and your spine might move out of alignment causing all sorts of other problems.

The fastest way to start strengthening the muscles that are responsible for improving your posture is to start a regular yoga practice. Once your muscles get stronger they will be able to support your body weight and your posture will improve as well as many other health benefits that a regular yoga practice provides.

It is possible to correct your posture, and in turn relieve your lower back pain, but it’s not going to happen overnight. Depending on your condition its possible that your body has endured years of strain that are finally starting to show up as aches and pains. It’s not going to take as long to start healing your body but the sooner you start the faster you will find relief from your pain.

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What can you do today to start improving your posture?

Stick With It!

-Nate

comments

6 Comments

  1. Derek Marshall

    Hi there Nate,

    I find it very interesting the whole variety of applications that yoga has for everyday life. I never thought that it could help me with my shoulder pain. I am right in assuming that the first two poses would help me with my shoulder pain and poor posture from being slouched in an office chair too long?

    Reply
    1. Nate (Post author)

      Hi Derek,

      I would have never thought yoga could be as beneficial to my overall health as it is. Depending on what type of shoulder pain you have, the main thing that yoga helps is to give more mobility to your muscles and joints.

      Yes, you are correct, Cat-Cow Pose is a great stretch to start with for poor posture! If you have shoulder pain it will help stretch your upper back and shoulders as well. Thanks for the comment!

      Reply
  2. Kevin

    I almost never do this, but I bookmarked this article to my computer. I’ve been wanting to give yoga a try because I’ve noticed I’m starting to get random pains in my lower back while working out.

    I do the Insanity and T25 workouts, so no doubt doing those for the last two years has put a strain my back a bit. So now I’m looking for a way to get a bit more flexible to ease up the pain.

    Thanks for the well written article!

    Reply
    1. Nate (Post author)

      Hi Kevin, I’m glad you found the post helpful!

      I did the Insanity workouts for about 6 months a few years prior to practicing yoga and was dealing with low back pain throughout the entire workout (since it was a lot of jumping which put stress on my lower back). At that time I didn’t realize that my low back pain was as bad as it was and after every workout my entire left leg would go numb to the touch and I later found out I was suffering from a herniated disc causing sciatica on my lower spine.

      The Insanity and T25 workouts are great if you’re healthy, but if you have low back pain, especially if it’s not just acute pain that will eventually go away but chronic pain that has been with you for awhile, then they can put a lot of strain on your lower back.

      I hope you are able to find relief from practicing yoga. It’s going to feel strange at first but the more you practice the better you will start to feel in your other workouts and just in your overall heath in general.

      Thanks for the comment!

      Reply
  3. Nemira

    Hello, your article is important for thousands of people sitting at home or at office desk. We forgot that movement is the engine of life. Without it we can be stiff as hundred year old trees.
    I like all poses especially cobra pose and extended child pose. For me these poses give instant relaxation and relief.
    I guess it must be understandable that if we stretch muscles to on position, sooner or later we must make opposite action. It is not good when some of muscles work and some of them not.
    Unfortunately people are stuck with daily routine and forget to take care of health.
    These your mentioned yoga poses are great prevention against illnesses and complications from the wrong posture.
    All the best, be healthy and wealthy, Nemira.

    Reply
    1. Nate (Post author)

      Hi Nemira!

      It is amazing how much of a difference adding a regular yoga practice to your life can improve all aspects of your physical and mental health. Those that have never practiced yoga before, or have convinced themselves that another workout is better for their body, are really missing out on something special that has been around for thousands of years and is helping millions of people across the world, everyday.

      All the best!
      -Nate

      Reply

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