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7 Easy Yin Yoga Poses For Back Pain Relief

Updated: May 31, 2023


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There is honestly no pain like back pain. When your back hurts, every step you take... every breath you take can send pain throughout the body. Not to mention the mental and emotional stress that accompanies pain. When your back hurts, it can make you feel like the world is against you! Pain makes us slow down, and put us in a negative state of mind. A 2008 study found the negative minds states led to higher pain sensitivity and lower pain tolerance.


Many times, structural problems aren’t even the cause of back pain. Actually, stress and immune problems are the most common causes. That is where Yin Yoga comes in! Yin yoga is a slow practice of holding poses while encouraging your muscles to release and relax. It’s also a meditation practice to ease anxiety and stress due to the pain.


It is possible to cure back pain with yoga. It does take consistent practice and a mix of practices that strengthen and practices that are aimed at relaxation, first you have to release the tension, then you can challenge and strengthen those muscles.



The Emotional Connection to Back Pain

Often, injury occurs due to unregulated emotions. We’re angry, sad, hurt, anxious, stressed. It affects our posture and how we move. And our body is out of alignment. We make more mistakes and don’t think clearly when we’re experiencing negative emotions.

The flip side of the coin is injuries and pain cause us to be more emotional.


Whichever the case, the result is the same. Muscles around the injury spasm and contract to protect the weakened area, which results in pain.

And the cycle of emotions from pain causes muscle tension which causes more pain. It’s a circle…

Good news though! There are plenty of yin yoga poses for back pain you can do to achieve relief.

With that being said, we invite you to try the yin yoga for back pain poses below as a part of a regular yin yoga practice, specifically for lower back pain. Or check out the Banish Back Pain Program

 


Yin Yoga Sequence for Back Pain


The yin yoga sequence for back pain is perfect for those looking for an extra bit of relaxation, healing, and relief for the low back, hips, groin, and shoulders. Perfect for anyone seeking to reduce pain and improve their range of motion, this gentle flow will leave you feeling refreshed and calm. Give it a try and see how much better you'll feel! With regular practice of this yin yoga sequence for back pain, you'll be able to fully reap the benefits of yoga and relaxation.




Butterfly Pose or Cobblers Pose

butterfly pose with yoga blocks to support the legs.

Butterfly pose, also known as a hip opener in yin yoga, is a great yoga pose for back pain relief. This yoga pose targets the hips, groin and inner thigh muscles, and folding forward stretches the neck muscles and the muscles that support the spine. Butterfly pose is one of the best yoga poses for back pain.


In a seated position, bring the bottoms of your feet together and let your knees fall open. Your heels should be a good distance from your body so that the opening between them is a diamond shape.

Slowly round your back and fold gently into the pose. Hold for 1-5 minutes.





Child's Pose

Childs pose is a great full body stretch.

Enjoy the deep relaxation and meditation of prayer pose. This yin yoga for back pain pose is adaptable for all levels of fitness and is an excellent stretch for lower back pain. Feel free to use a block, pillow or blanket under your forehead if you aren’t able to rest it comfortably on the floor.




Sphinx Pose

Sphinx pose. A great pose for releasing back pain

If you’re someone who sits a lot or has issues with the curvature of your lower spine, this pose is the one for you. Sphinx pose opens up your chest, lungs, and stretches your lower back. It is also a great pose to replace Cobra Pose if you have weak or sore wrists. Lay on your belly with legs straight out behind you, tops of feet stretching out against the floor. Rotate your thighs inwardly by rotating your outer thighs towards the floor. This will help broaden out your back and open the sacrum. Then, set your elbows on the floor underneath your shoulders, forearms out and parallel to each other. Palms flat on the floor. Draw your lower belly away from the floor slightly and gently. Hold pose for 1-3 minutes.



Sleeping Swan Pose

sleeping swan pose. a great hip opener that can release pressire from the low back as well.

Sleeping swan pose is known as pigeon pose in hatha and vinyasa classes. It's an intermediate-level yoga pose that stretches the glutes, hip flexors, and piriformis muscle. It is a deep hip opener that encourages the release of tight hip muscles and can help alleviate sciatica, low back pain, and even anxiety.


To practice sleeping swan, start in a tabletop position, bring your right knee forward, and curve your right shin underneath your torso, so that your right foot is resting near your left hip. Lower onto your forearms or grab opposite elbows and lower your forehead to the mat. You'll definitely feel relief from your lower back pain after completing both sides of this pose!


Hold for 2-4 minutes




Caterpillar Pose

caterpillar pose is a great way to release tight hamstrings

Caterpillar pose, otherwise known as seated forward bend, is an awesome way to stretch the tendons that line your spine, your hamstrings, and the rest of the backside of the body. As you fold forward the front of the body is compressed which encourages better digestion. Exciting! In a seated position, stretch your legs out straight in front of you, fold forward from your hips. Round your back slowly and drop your head. Allow your legs to relax and your feet to fall inward or outward. Hold for 3-5 minutes.



Reclined Twists

twisted roots yin yoga pose. yoga blocks are used to support the knees

Reclining twists are perfect for releasing tension in the lower back and stretching out the hip and gluteal muscles. Don’t underestimate this common pose used in many post exercise routines by people everywhere! Begin by lying flat on your back. Bring your knees to your chest and T your arms out to shoulder height, palms up. Inhale and release your knees over to one side as you exhale. Lengthen your spine down towards the ground. Press your shoulder blades down towards the floor. Hold this pose on each side for 1-3 minutes.


If this pose is too intense using both legs, try extending one leg out and down towards (or onto the floor). Or, if your bottom knee doesn’t reach the ground, try putting a block or blanket.



Savasana


As always you want to finish your practice with a short Savasana or meditation. Make your way onto your back, straighten your legs and let your feet fall away from one another. relax your arms by your sides with your palms up. Take a full breath in and sigh out through your mouth... feel your body settling in here. Bring your awareness to your breath. Think of each inhale flowing down to your tailbone and each exhale moving back out of the body.


Stay here for 5 minutes.



 

Back pain is a serious problem that affects millions of people every year, but it doesn't mean you have to spend your time suffering from it. Yin yoga is one of the best ways to help relieve back pain because you spend time in each pose relaxing, breathing, meditating. You become more aware of where you’re holding tension in your body and you’re better able to release it. The meditation aspect of Yin yoga can help release stress, anxiety, and depression. These disorders can actually increase our sensitivity to pain, so simple aches and pains can feel agonizing.

Do you want more back pain relief? We invite you to take part of our Banish Back Pain Program, a 4 week program designed to release tight muscles, and strengthen weak muscles that commonly cause back pain. Each week you will receive an email filled with helpful tips and practices aimed at relieving back pain and keeping it away.


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