4 Core Strengthening Yoga Poses to Relieve Low Back Pain

Core Strengthening Yoga Poses to Relieve Low Back Pain

Back pain can be caused by many issues, including bad posture, straining a muscle when bending and lifting, or a soft tissue injury. A natural deterioration of the spine and muscles from aging or weak core and back muscles could also be to blame.

The back and core muscles support the torso and the spine. The torso is the very center of our bodies (along with the hips) while the spine is the supporting frame for the back. Throughout these areas, connecting the front body to the back body is an intricate system of muscles and ligaments.

When these muscles aren’t strengthened or cared for, strength and stability are lost in the torso and spine. This lack of stability puts increased stress on the muscles of the spine that hold the body upright and that are used for movement. With lack of stability comes lack of balance and back injury and back pain become more likely.

Strengthening the core means strengthening the spine and improving posture and structure. A strong core assists the spine and can relieve discomfort and pain in the back.

Practicing these 4 core strengthening yoga poses will take the pressure off the spine and have your back stronger in no time. A strong core means a more balanced body.

Bent Leg Abs with Block
  • Lie flat on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the earth
  • Place a yoga block (the middle thickness) between the thighs
  • Interlace hands behind the head, drawing the elbows in close together
  • Inhale with the head and shoulders on the earth
  • Hold the breath after the inhale, squeeze block, curl tailbone
  • Exhale, lift head and shoulders off the earth, pull navel down to the spine
  • Inhale, head and shoulders down
  • Hold breath, squeeze block, curl tailbone
  • Exhale head and shoulders up, pull navel down
  • Repeat for 10 rounds
  • Pause after the 10th round, remove the block and rest the hands on the belly
  • Take 4-5 long breaths while resting the knees together
  • Practice 2 more rounds, pausing again for belly breaths
bent leg abs with block - 1
bent leg abs with block - 2
Bent Leg Twisting Abs
  • Lie flat on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the earth
  • Interlace hands behind the head, drawing the elbows in close together
  • Inhale, lift head and shoulders
  • Exhale, twist, pointing the elbows to the right knee
  • Lift the left shoulder blade off the earth as you pull the navel down to the spine
  • Inhale, back to center, keeping head and shoulders up
  • Exhale, twist to the left knee
  • Inhale center and continue
  • Repeat again for 10 rounds (twisting toward both sides is considered a round)
  • Again pause after the 10th round with the head and shoulders resting down and the hands on the belly, breathing deeply
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Bicycle Abs
  • Lie flat on your back and hug the right knee into the chest. Interlace hands over or under the knee and soften shoulders
  • Inhale, lengthen left leg toward sky, reaching out through the toes
  • On exhale, slowly lower the left leg down to the earth so it hovers about an inch
  • Use your next inhale to bend the knee, hugging it back into the chest and up toward sky
  • Exhale, slowly lower the leg down
  • Practice 10-20 rounds on each side
  • After the rounds are complete, hug knees into the chest, lengthening the tailbone for 5-10 deep breaths
  • Release knees so feet rest flat on the earth
  • Walk feet out wide and let the knees rest together
  • Hands on belly for deep and calm belly breaths. Breathing into the abs
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bicycle abs - 2
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Table Extensions
  • Come onto hands and knees, stacking knees under hips and wrists under shoulders
  • Keeping a neutral spine, inhale, extend right leg back, reaching through the toes keeping the hip level
  • Exhale, draw navel to spine
  • Inhale, lengthen left arm out, thumb toward ceiling
  • As you breathe, reach out through the fingers and toes and continue to draw the navel to the spine. Be sure to not sink into the low back.
  • Lift up from the shoulders and keep hips level
  • Hold for 10-20 breaths (build up to more breaths as you practice)
  • Inhale to bring hand and knee back down, coming back into table
  • Pause here and take 2 rounds of cat and cow tilts
  • Inhale back to a neutral spine
  • Exhale and sink back into a child’s pose (knees close together to stretch low back, knees wide to stretch into the hips)
  • Inhale back to table and switch sides
  • Once again, pause for 2 rounds of cat cow
  • Inhale, neutral spine
  • Exhale into child’s pose and hold. Breathe into the low back. (You may even choose to end with a supported child’s pose.)
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You can find more instruction like this in my book, “Yoga For Low Back and Hip Health”. In it, you’ll find easy gentle and restorative yoga instruction that anyone can do. You’ll be feeling better in no time, without drugs or surgery. No experience needed: it’s perfect for beginners and advanced yogis alike.

What’s in the book?
  • Over 200 pages of in-depth and appropriate instruction
  • 43 restorative and gentle yoga poses
  • 15 practical and unique yoga sequences. Practice at your convenience—no pressure to get to a packed studio class at an inconvenient time!
  • Includes over 300 high-resolution images to help you along
Buy online    Learn more about this book    Read reviews