8 Yoga Poses to Strengthen and Stretch Your Lower Back

Whether you are sitting at a desk all day, under some stress, or having to do some heavy lifting, chances are your lower back could use some extra soothing. Try out these yoga poses for your lower back to help strengthen and stretch those vital muscles.

Disclaimer: Always consult your healthcare provider before starting any new physical regiment and/or if you have any injuries or conditions.


Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Kneel down on the ground. Sit on your heels, with your big toes touching. Spread your knees hips width apart and bow forward sliding your hands forward until your forehead is resting on the ground or a prop. Your torso should be resting between your thighs. Close your eyes and rest, breathing deeply. 



Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

Stand up tall with your toes touching, and place your hands on your hips. Exhale and bend forward from the hip joints. Draw your torso towards the front of your legs. Your head facing the ground. You can keep your knees deeply bent, or began to straighten them. Reach your hands to touch the ground in front or to the side of your feet, wrap around your ankles, or cross your forearms and hold your elbows. Hold for one minute, breathing deeply.



Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Shvanasana)

Start on your hands and knees, with your knees directly below your hips and your hands slightly in front of your shoulders. Pressing down through your palms, with your toes tucked under, lengthen your tailbone, and engage your lower belly, drawing the navel back towards the spine. Keeping your knees bent, lift your knees off the ground and reach your tailbone high towards the sky. Continue to keep your knees bent at first (and stay that way if it feels good). Roll your upper arms away from you and spiral the forearms inward. Slide your shoulder blades back and down as if you are squeezing an orange between them. Slowly reach your heels towards the ground, release your neck and soften your gaze. Hold for 30-60 seconds, breathing easily.



Cow Pose (Bitilasana)

Start on your hands and knees on the ground. The tops of your feet are flat on the ground. Make sure your knees are directly below your hips, while your wrists, elbows and shoulders are aligned. Inhale and lift your sitting bones and chest toward the sky, letting your belly sink downwards. Look straight in front of you.



Half Lord of the Fishes (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

Sit on the ground with you legs stretching out in front of you. Lift your right leg and cross it over your left. Place the sole of your right foot on the ground, on the outside of your left knee. Straighten your back and cross your left arm over your right leg, with your elbow on the outside of the right knee. Bend your elbow and reach your fingers towards the sky. Place your right hand out to the right side on the ground, and look over your right shoulder. Repeat on the reverse side.



Reclined Pigeon Pose (Supta Kapotasana)

Lay all the way down on your back. Place the soles of your feet on the ground with your knees bent, hip-width apart. Lift your right leg, cross it over the left knee, keeping the knees bent. Your right ankle should be resting slightly above your left knee on the upper thigh. Lift your left leg and bring it towards your chest, grasping the back of the thigh (or the top of your shin) with your hands. Keep your head and lower back flat on the ground. If your head lifts when hugging the left leg in, prop yourself up with some pillows so that you don’t put stress on your neck. Repeat on the reverse side.



Supine Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)

Lay all the way down on your back. Place the soles of your feet on the ground with your knees bent and touching. Bring your arms out to the sides, with your palms facing upward, in a T shape. Lift your bottom and move it an inch to the left. Bring your knees into your chest, then lay them to your right, twisting the spine and lower back. Look past your left hand. Repeat on the reverse side.



Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana)

Lay all the way down on your back. Bend your knees into your chest. Reach your hands up to hold the inside or outside of your feet. If you are not able to reach your feet, you can hold onto your shins or ankles. Open your knees wider than your torso and pull them towards the ground near the armpits. Keep your back, and back of your head, flat on the ground. Look towards the sky or close your eyes.

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