Can yoga help back pain?

Yoga class stretching

I am one who believes in the healing power of yoga, and I believe yoga can help heal a wide range of ailments our bodies and souls suffer. From improving cardiovascular systems to improving mental health, from head-to-toe, fingertip-to-fingertip, yoga has an important role to play in healing.

As people explore the possibilities of yoga, they present a lot of questions to their instructors, ranging from “Where do I buy yoga clothes?” to “What kind of yoga should I do?” However, amid all the usual and predictable questions about yoga pants, mats, studios, and instructors, another question inevitably almost always rises to the top: “Can yoga help back pain?”

What a wonderful question! After all, if yoga is intended to help us thrive and live life with maximum wellness, you would hope yoga could aid in removing back pain, too. Because it’s awfully difficult to live happily when plagued with ever-present back pain.

So, to help answer the question, “Can yoga help back pain?”, I’ve compiled three yoga sequences that have proven helpful in reducing (and effectively) removing back pain from my life. For a list of even more yoga poses to aid your back, here is a great list from

Yoga mat for person preparing to use yoga to help back pain

3 yoga sequences to help lower back pain:

The Flat Back Rock-and-Roll

-Start flat on your back

-Take a deep breath, and feel the support of the Earth.

-Wrap the arms around your shins and let the knees come in toward the chest.

-Keep your shoulders down, and rock from side-to-side while holding your palms on your knee caps.

-Remember, to always maintain steady, deep breathing.

-When you’ve completed this sequence, grab your feet and cross your ankles (while still on your back).

-Now, rock back-and-forth so your spine gets a little massage action going on. This will help relieve the tension in your back even more.

-Rock one final time so that you are now in the seated position.

Seated Chin Raising

-While in a seated position, with your legs cross-legged, sit nice and tall with your chest open.

-Place your chin to your chest. Don’t go so far that you cause discomfort to your neck, though.

-Keep breathing deeply, as your progress to LIFTING your chin (slowly) and stretching your chest while looking skyward.

-Repeat as many times as you wish.

-Again, remember to keep breathing deeply. Deep breathes can be soooooo healing.

The Cat Lunges

-Move yourself to be on all fours

-Move your right foot forward so it is under your right shoulder (like a runner’s lunge position).

-Now streeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetch by leaning forward and lifting your hip slightly, but not lifting your left knee of the ground..

-Now, lean backward on your left knee while stretching your right leg straight in front of you.

-Repeat on the other side.

In conclusion

As you work these exercises, please remember that you should never “suffer” a workout. Honor your body and honor your limits. Every person is different, which means you are the best judge as to what your body needs. Hopefully, as you try some of these yoga-centric practices, you’ll find healing in your back, and as a result healing in your soul.