Poses & Sequences: Yoga for Low Back Pain

Poses to Consider

  • Cakravakasana (Ruddy Goose Flow / Table to Extended Child’s Pose) – to stretch & relax low back
  • Apanasana / Pavanmuktasana (Knees to Chest / Wind Relieving Pose) – consider one knee at a time & potentially straightening other leg
  • Supta Padangusthasana (Reclined Leg Stretch) Variations – to stretch hamstrings & low back (remember variation of placing opposite foot on floor to protect tender low back)
  • Reclined Twist (with one bent leg) – stretch & strengthen core, stretch hamstrings, relieve tension in low back, open rib cage for fuller breath
  • Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide Leg Standing Forward Bend) – to stretch hamstrings
  • Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge) – variations to stretch hip flexors / psoas
  • King Arthur’s Pose – (may be too intense for many cases) to stretch hip flexors / psoas
  • Opposite Limb Extension – to strengthen back
  • Sphinx Pose – to strengthen low back muscles
  • Salabhasana (Locust) – variations that are not too strenuous for student; to strengthen low back muscles & bring circulation to hips
  • Ardha Parsvottanasna (Half Pyramid Flow) – variation found in viniyoga to stretch & strengthen low back; with right leg forward place back of right hand on sacrum, lift other arm by ear; exhale fold, inhale half-way up, exhale fold, inhale all the way up (for photos, see Yoga for Wellness 1999, p 172)
  • Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose Variation) – to strengthen glutes, squeeze block between thighs & lift so that knees, hips & shoulders in a line (rather than a backbend); for more glute work, lift toes & press into heels + option to lift one leg (Jenny Thomas)
  • Bridge Flow – to relax & stretch, and/or to counter abdominal strengthening
  • Yogic Abdominal Strengtheners – including Plank Pose
  • Yoga Tune Up pose variations & sequences – this link goes to a page with over 30 brief videos (1 to 3 minutes each) for back pain relief, including poses such as “Sidewinder,” Locust variations & abdominal strengtheners
  • Restoratives
  • Legs Up Wall (Leg Variation: Baddha Konasana Legs) – Julie Gudmestad recommends to press gently on thighs


Please see Sequence Library: Conditions & Accommodations