Back yoga: The best tips for yoga against back pain

Back yoga: The best tips for yoga against back pain

Hardly any other complaint is as common among adults as back pain. Almost everyone struggles with this at some point in their life, and it often leads to temporary incapacity to work.

But we don't have to wait until we get that far - yoga offers us a comprehensive tool with which we can prevent and reduce back pain.

What is meant by back yoga?

In principle, the same postures are practiced in back yoga as in other styles of yoga. The focus is particularly on mobilizing the spine through rotations, forward and backward bends as well as balanced strengthening of the abdominal and back muscles. This regular practice can greatly alleviate most back problems.

Is yoga generally good for the back?

Yes, because in almost every yoga class the back is stretched and stretched in all possible directions. In addition, the many different muscles on the back of the body and their counterparts on the front are strengthened. Deep breathing alone can relieve many symptoms.

In contrast to other sports, the deep muscles are also addressed, which are particularly important for an upright and pain-free posture.

However, if you have an acute back injury (e.g. a herniated disc), not all yoga exercises can be performed without restrictions. In this case, of course, the doctor's recommendations should be followed.

Can yoga exercises help against back pain?

The most important thing for a healthy and pain-free body and back is regular and varied exercise. When doing yoga, we practice a variety of different postures ( asanas ) and move our spine in three dimensions. This puts the back in many positions that we don't normally take in everyday life, which is particularly good for activating neglected muscles and relieving tension. Yoga has a gentle yet deep effect and is therefore an ideal balance for the one-sided stress of everyday life.

Training with yoga: Strengthen your back in a targeted manner

One of the most common causes of back pain is weak muscles or one-sided strain. With yoga you can specifically strengthen your back and correct imbalances.

Benefits of yoga for the back: What are the benefits of back yoga?

Back yoga gets muscles, fascia, ligaments and joints in motion that are neglected due to sitting a lot in everyday life and are therefore weak or tense. Both the large and superficial muscles as well as small, deep muscle layers are activated, strengthened and stretched during yoga. The body becomes more supple and the spine has more freedom of movement. The more flexible the spine is and the more its range of motion is used daily, the more the risk of back pain decreases.

Back pain from sitting a lot

What are the benefits of regular exercise at home?

Regular exercise is the best way to keep your back healthy and pain-free in the long term. Yoga has the advantage that we don't need a lot of space or equipment. So you can easily practice at home several times a week. The better you keep your back moving, the faster you will feel the positive results and free yourself from your pain.

The best yoga exercises: train your back with suitable asanas

If you have already had an injury to your back or intervertebral discs, you should definitely talk to a doctor or physiotherapist first about which exercises you can do now and which ones you still need to be careful with.

If you are healthy or just suffer from tension, you are welcome to do the following exercises on your own.

Which yoga exercises are suitable for training the back?

To build back strength, do light backbends in a prone position like this

  • Cobra, cobra

  • the grasshopper and variants of it are particularly suitable.


  • All positions where you keep your upper body horizontal using your core strength also strengthen your back muscles. This includes all push-up variations

  • pushups

  • the cat with its arm and leg raised diagonally as well

  • the triangle. Girl in a jacket

What are the best exercises for your back?

  • The crocodile: lying rotation to mobilize the spine
  • The Grasshopper: Strengthening the back muscles while lying on your stomach
  • The side support: strengthening the shoulder and torso as well as the deep muscles
  • The cat: strengthening and mobilizing the back
  • Downward Facing Dog: Stretches the spine, strengthens the upper back and stretches the back of the body

    Side support

Yoga for the lower back

Lower back pain is particularly common in people who spend many hours of the day sitting. In a passive, curved sitting position, the muscles in the back are constantly pulled, while the abdominal muscles remain unstressed and become weak. This imbalance then manifests itself in back pain. Instead of taking it easy and moving even less, a mix of strengthening and stretching is the best remedy here.

Which exercises help with acute or chronic lower back pain?

To relieve back pain, you should always start with gentle mobilizing exercises. These can be slight rotations of the upper body while sitting or lying down. Circular movements of the legs and pelvis while lying on your back and standing on all fours also prepare the body well for more intensive exercises.

If that works for you, you can then do strengthening exercises for your back muscles (see above). Finally, be sure to give the stressed muscles and fascia the opportunity to let go and relax, for example in the child's position or in the supine position with your legs up, while your knees sink towards each other in the middle.

How often and for how long do you need to do these exercises for your lower back pain?

The more regularly you practice, the faster you will feel a positive effect. Of course, you shouldn't overdo it, but ideally you should practice strengthening exercises for your back every two days and focus on gentle mobilization, stretching and relaxation on the other days. Much more important than the what is that you move at all - and in as varied a way as possible.

Which yoga for back pain?

Unfortunately there is no general answer here. The best thing to do is to take your medical findings or your symptoms to a trained yoga teacher and then have them recommend specific exercises. Here are a few general tips:

  • If you sit a lot and are therefore tense, practice styles such as Vinyasa Flow, Fascia Yoga and Yin Yoga. The movement will release tension and you will feel more liberated.
  • If you are prone to poor posture and muscular imbalances (e.g. due to scoliosis or one-sided activities), try Hatha, Iyengar and Anusara yoga. There you will train your body awareness and learn to align your body precisely.
  • If you have or have had an injury, such as a herniated disc, be particularly careful when doing intensive forward and backward bends and avoid exercises that put a lot of pressure on the spine, such as headstand and shoulder stand.

Can yoga relieve back pain?

If you do the exercises regularly, consciously and mindfully and listen carefully to your body, you will most likely feel relief from your pain very quickly.

Does yoga help with chronic back pain?

Again, it depends on the cause and it may take longer before you notice an improvement in your symptoms. Nevertheless, yoga is also effective for chronic back pain and can help you regain more freedom of movement and pain in the long term.

Which exercises help with pain?

Be gentle with yourself and practice a mix of mobilizing, strengthening and stretching poses. Only go as far as is good for you. The pain should definitely not get worse as a result of the exercises, on the contrary.

The following exercises can be helpful for tension in the upper back:

  • deep three-dimensional breathing (chest, sides of body, back)
  • Eagle arms

    Eagle arms

  • Neck stretch
  • Shoulder circles
  • grasshopper
  • Lateral stretch while sitting/standing

    Side plank variation

The following exercises can be helpful for tension in the lower back:

  • Sufi circles

    Sufi circles

  • Swivel seat

    Swivel seat

  • Cat-cow


  • Child pose

    Child pose

  • Deep lunge with side stretch
  • Core exercises

Yoga specifically helps against back pain and not just on a physical level. Back pain often has to do with tense muscles due to one-sided strain or stress in everyday life. Yoga exercises help to relieve pain through balancing movement, deep breathing and mental relaxation.