Your lower back is part of your core. And since most movements originate in your core, a healthy back is essential. Yoga helps relieve and prevent back discomfort, strengthens the muscles across your lower back to give your core support and stretches your back to improve flexibility. (See Reference 3) Seek the guidance of your physician before you begin a yoga program, especially if you have any lower back disorders.
Seated yoga poses are comfortable and allow you to focus on your lower back. Easy pose strengthens your back and helps center your breathing for your yoga practice. Other seated poses typically involve spinal rotations. Perform Half Lord of the Fishes, Seated Spinal Twist or Sage's Pose to loosen your lower back. (See Reference 2)
Standing yoga postures, supported mainly by your legs, are more challenging than seated poses. Mountain pose is a posture-improving pose that places your lower back in a healthy position. Spend a few minutes in mountain pose to center your breathing and focus your mind. Strengthen your lower back with poses such as Warrior II, Tree and Triangle. Stretch your lower back with Big Toe and Half Forward Bend. (See Reference 2)
Once your body is warm, practice kneeling yoga poses to improve your lower back. Begin on your hands and knees for stretching with Cat/Cow, Garland, Extended Puppy and Child's Pose. Strengthen your lower back with Upward Facing Dog, Bird-Dog and Cobra. (See References 1 and 2) Child's Pose is a nice position to stretch your lower back at the end of your yoga practice, or any time you want to reduce back discomfort.
Lying yoga poses at the end of your practice help reduce stress, stretch your lower back and improve your flexibility. The face-down position of Locust Pose strengthens your lower back and provides relief when you release the posture. The face-up positions of Bridge, Spinal Twist and Knees to the Chest provide flexibility and reduce lower back tension. (See References 1 and 2)
A mother of two and passionate fitness presenter, Lisa M. Wolfe had her first fitness article published in 2001. She is the author of six fitness books and holds an Associate of Arts in exercise science from Oakland Community College. When not writing, Wolfe is hula-hooping, kayaking, walking or cycling.