5 Yoga Exercises for Lower Back Pain and Tight Hamstrings

Yoga Exercises for Lower Back Pain
Desk jockeys who are chained to their laptops fall prey to a sedentary lifestyle which inevitably leads to tight hamstrings and lower back pain. If your back is feeling stiff and achy and you’re in a time crunch, then the following 5 yoga exercises for lower back pain and tight hamstrings are just what the doctor ordered.

Before You Start The Exercises…

When rehabbing your back on your own, and correcting your sitting posture, spend some time loosening your hamstrings with a foam roller.

Tightness in the hamstrings limits the motion in your pelvis, which can stress the low back and make it more difficult to truly stand upright.

Foam Roll Your Hamstrings

Yoga Exercises for Lower Back Pain

Place the foam roller underneath your upper hamstring muscles below your glutes. Cross your right leg over your left leg and roll the foam roller down from your glutes to right above your left knee. Do 10-12 slow and steady passes. Repeat on the other side.

When rehabbing your back on your own, and correcting your sitting posture, spend some time loosening your hamstrings. Tightness in the hamstrings limits the motion in your pelvis, which can stress the low back and make it more difficult to truly stand upright.

Yoga Exercises for Lower Back Pain#1: Downward-Facing Dog

Yoga Exercises for Lower Back Pain
Start on your hands and knees, with your hands slightly in front of your shoulders. Pressing back, raise your knees away from the floor and lift your tailbone up toward the ceiling.

For an added hamstring stretch, gently push your heels toward the floor. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, and repeat the pose five to seven times.

Yoga Exercises for Lower Back Pain #2: Upward Dog pose

yoga exercises for lower back pain

To start, lie face down with your legs straight out. Bend your arms and rest your palms on the floor on either side of your chest.

Look straight ahead of you. Take a deep breath in and shrug your shoulders up to your ears. Squeeze your shoulder blades together.

Now exhale and press your hands down and straighten your arms. Bring your torso and legs off the floor, evenly distributing your weight between your hands and toes.

Try to elongate your body, while keeping your neck long. Hold the position for 5–10 breaths.

Yoga Exercises for Lower Back Pain #3: Cat and Cow Pose

Yoga Exercises for Lower Back Pain

Starting in an all-fours position, move into cat pose by slowly pressing your spine up, arching your back. Hold for a few seconds and then move to cow (pictured at left) by scooping your spine in, pressing your shoulder blades back and lifting your head.

Moving back and forth from cat to cow helps move your spine onto a neutral position, relaxing the muscles and easing tension.

Repeat 10 times, flowing smoothly from cat into cow, and cow back into cat.

Yoga Exercises for Lower Back Pain #4: Bird Dog pose

Yoga Exercises for Lower Back Pain

Begin on your hands and knees and draw your abdominal muscles up in toward your spine and knit your front hips rims and ribs towards each other (as if you’re wearing a corset). Extend your left arm forward at shoulder height as you reach your right leg back behind you at hip level.

Visualize yourself balancing a glass of water between your shoulder blades and lower back as you return to all fours. Now switch your arms and legs.

Continue this switching 5 times on each side.

Yoga Exercises for Lower Back Pain #5: Legs Up the Wall Pose

yoga exercises for lower back pain

Lie on the floor with both legs extended up a wall. Stay in the Legs Up the Wall Pose for 5–20 minutes. To come out of the pose, gently press the bottoms of your feet into the wall and roll to one side, making sure you support your legs until they reach the ground. Stay on the floor for a few seconds until sitting, to avoid lightheadedness.

Final Thoughts

Practicing these 5 restorative yoga exercises for lower back pain at least 3-4 times per week can help lengthen your spine, stretch and strengthen your muscles, and return your back to its proper alignment.

 

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