15 Beginner-Friendly Yoga Poses to Relieve Back Pain

Around 80% of people will experience some sort of back pain at some point in their lives, with low back pain being the number one cause of disability worldwide.

The alarming numbers show that it is important to take care of your back. Yoga is an effective tool for preventing back pain.

One study published on NCBI concludes the efficacy of yoga for relieving back pain.

Overall, yoga seems to be just as helpful as other non-drug treatments for reducing functional disability from back pain. Additionally, it appears to be more effective than either usual care or no care when it comes to reducing pain severity.

In this post we asked certified yoga instructor Ellie for beginner-friendly yoga poses to relieve back tension and pain, and to strengthen back muscles. Do these poses often, at work or at home.

If you have back problems, consult your doctor to see if it is safe for you to do yoga or any other physical activity.


1. Cobra Pose

The benefits of Cobra Pose are that it strengthens the back and spine, which improves posture. It also relieves tension in the neck and back, and tones the abdominal muscles. Additionally, it stretches and lengthens the front and back torso.

To do this:

Start by standing on a mat with your feet slightly apart and your hands on your hips. Take a deep breath in, lifting your breastbone as you do. Then, fold forward, arching your back. Let your fingertips fall to the floor. Place your hands on your shins and lift halfway up. Exhale and release as you stand upright.

2. Upward Facing Dog 

This pose is beneficial as it strengthens the back and helps to align the spine. This is important as an misaligned spine can lead to stress in other parts of the body, which can then have a knock-on effect.

To do this:

Start by lying face-down on the floor with your legs spread a few inches apart. Next, straighten your arms and lift your torso and legs a few inches off the floor.

Then, press your palms down onto the floor, dropping your shoulders and lifting your chest forward. After that, lift your thighs and legs off the floor. Finally, hold for up to 3 breaths before bending your knees and slowly lowering your torso and forehead to the mat.

3. Downward Facing Dog

This pose can help you to relax and feel rejuvenated. It can also help relieve back pain and sciatica. This pose can also help improve your strength and work out any imbalances in your body.

To do this:

Get on all fours. Place your hands in alignment under your wrists and your knees under your hips. Press into your hands, tuck your toes under, and lift up your knees. Bring your sitting bones up toward the ceiling.

Keep a slight bend in your knees and lengthen your spine and tailbone. Keep your heels slightly off the ground. Press firmly into your hands.

Distribute your weight evenly between both sides of your body, paying attention to the position of your hips and shoulders. Keep your head in line with your upper arms or with your chin tucked in slightly. Hold this pose for up to 1 minute.

4. Child’s Pose 

The benefits of this yoga pose include reducing stress and fatigue, as well as stretching the muscles in the back and torso. Additionally, this pose can help to relieve neck and back pain.

To do this:

To do Child’s Pose pose, start by getting on all fours. Spread your knees apart, but keep your big toes touching. Then, rest your butt on your heels. Sit up straight, and then bow forward, placing your torso between your thighs. Let your forehead touch the floor and hold for at least a minute.

5. Low Plank 

The following exercise benefits your core muscles, lower back, and posture.

To do this:

Lie face down on the floor with your elbows underneath your shoulders. Clasp your hands together in front of your face. Rise up on your toes so that only your forearms and toes are touching the floor.

Your body should be a few inches off the floor. Draw your navel toward your spine and tighten your buttocks. Hold this position for at least 10 seconds and then lower yourself to the floor.

6. Cow Pose 

The following are benefits of the Cow Face Pose: improved blood circulation, stronger back, and improved body balance. This pose is beneficial for those with acute back pain because it increases blood flow and brings healing nutrients to the spine.

To do this:

Get down on your hands and knees. Put your wrists below your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Keep your head in a neutral position and look at the floor.

Let your stomach sink to the floor, then lift your head and look straight ahead or slightly upward. Go back to the neutral all-fours position.

7. Supine Twist 

The following is about the benefits of the twist pose. This pose stretches the back muscles and realigns the spine. If you battle with back pain, this pose is worth considering as it will stretch all the muscles running along the spine. For people who sit at a desk all day, this twist pose is a must.

To do this:

Lie on your back with your palms facing down. Bring your arms out to the sides in a “T” position. Bend your left knee and place your left foot on your right knee.

Drop your left knee over to the right side of your body, twisting your spine and lower back. Keep your shoulders flat to the floor. Hold for 6 to 10 breaths. Repeat on the other side.

8. Bridge Pose 

This exercise strengthens the spine and improves posture, which eases pain and protects the health and flexibility of the spine. It also soothes the sciatic nerves for people with sciatica.

To do this:

Position yourself on the mat by lying on your back with your arms on the sides of your thighs. Next, bend both knees and place your feet flat on the floor with them hip-width apart.

Press your feet into the floor and lift your chest, back, and hips off the floor. Hold this pose for 30 seconds. Finally, bring your back down to the floor and rest.

9. Seated Forward Fold 

An hamstring stretch that is good for lengthening your back and provides relief to the lower back.

To do this:

Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Breathe in as you reach straight up, lengthening your spine. Exhale as you reach to grab your big toes, feeling a gentle stretch in your hamstrings. Breathe fully as you lengthen your spine. Hold for 30 seconds.

10. Low Cobra Pose 

The benefits of this exercise are that it decreases the stiffness of the lower back, increases flexibility, tones the buttocks, and strengthens the spine.

To do this:

Lie face-down on the floor with your legs a few inches apart. Place your hands under your shoulders with your fingers pointing toward the top of the mat. Press down through the tops of your feet to lift your head and chest gently off the floor.

Draw your shoulders back and away from your ears. Straighten your arms, lift your chest off the floor, and press the tops of your thighs down into the floor.

11. Two-Knee Spinal Twist

The benefits of this pose are that it helps mobility and movement in the spine and back. It also stretches your spine, back, and shoulders. This pose can help relieve pain and stiffness in your back and hips.

To do this:

Lie on your back with your knees drawn into your chest and your arms extended to the side. Slowly lower your legs to the left side while keeping your knees as close together as possible. You may place a pillow under both knees or in between your knees.

You can use your left hand to gently press down on your knees. Keep your neck straight, or turn it to either side. Focus on breathing deeply in this position. Hold this pose for at least 30 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.

12. Half Lord of the Fishes

The benefits of this pose are that it energizes your spine, stretches your hips and shoulders, and can help alleviate fatigue and stimulate your internal organs.

To do this:

From a seated position, draw your right foot in close to your body. Bring your left foot to the outside of your leg. Lengthen your spine as you twist your body to the left. Take your left hand to the floor behind you for support.

Move your right upper arm to the outside of your left thigh, or wrap your elbow around your left knee. Try to keep your hips square to deepen the twist in your spine. Turn your gaze to look over either shoulder. Hold this pose for up to 1 minute. Repeat on the other side.

13. Locust Pose

This backbend may help relieve lower back pain and fatigue and strengthen the back torso, arms, and legs.

To do this:

Lie on your stomach with your arms next to your torso and your palms facing up. Touch your big toes together and turn out your heels to the side. Place your forehead lightly on the floor. Slowly lift your head, chest, and arms partway, halfway, or all the way up.

You may bring your hands together and interlace your fingers behind your back. To deepen the pose, lift your legs. Look straight ahead or slightly upward as you lengthen the back of your neck. Remain in this pose for up to 1 minute. Rest before repeating the pose.

14. Sphinx Pose

This stretch helps strengthen your spine and buttocks while also stretching your chest, shoulders, and abdomen. Additionally, it may help relieve stress.

To do this:

Lie on your stomach with your legs extended behind you. Engage the muscles of your lower back, buttocks, and thighs. Bring your elbows under your shoulders with your forearms on the floor and your palms facing down.

Slowly lift up your upper torso and head. Gently lift and engage your lower abdominals to support your back. Ensure that you’re lifting up through your spine and out through the crown of your head, instead of collapsing into your lower back.

Keep your gaze straight ahead as you fully relax in this pose, while at the same time remaining active and engaged. Stay in this pose for up to 5 minutes.

15. Extended Triangle

Although this classic standing posture may be beneficial in alleviating backache, sciatica, and neck pain, it also stretches your spine, hips, and groin while strengthening your shoulders, chest, and legs. Additionally, this posture may also help relieve stress and anxiety.

To do this:

From standing, walk your feet about 4 feet apart. Turn your right toes to face forward, and your left toes out at an angle. Lift your arms parallel to the floor with your palms facing down.

Tilt forward and hinge at your right hip to come forward with your arm and torso. Bring your hand to your leg, a yoga block, or onto the floor. Extend your left arm up toward the ceiling.

Look up, forward, or down. Hold this pose for up to 1 minute. Repeat on the opposite side.

Does Yoga Really Help with Backpain?

One small study looked at whether yoga or physical therapy might help with chronic back pain. The people in the study all had chronic back pain. After one year, both groups had less pain and could do more activities. Also, after three months, both groups were less likely to need pain medicine.

Yoga Against Backpain / Canva
Yoga Against Backpain

A research from 2017 has found that people who practice yoga can expect to see small to moderate decreases in pain intensity, as well as a slight increase in short- and long-term function.

Further research is needed to confirm and expand upon these findings.


Before you start doing yoga to treat your back pain, you should speak to your doctor about it first. They can help you figure out if there are any risks involved for you personally and help you keep track of your progress.

You only need 10 minutes a day to start practicing yoga at home. You can find guidance for your practice through books, articles, and online classes. After you learn the basics, you’ll be able to create your own yoga sessions.

If you learn better by doing things yourself, you might want to take classes at a studio. Be sure to find classes and teachers who can give you the individual attention you need.

15 Yoga Poses Against Backpain / Canva
15 Yoga Poses Against Backpain