Beginner-Level Yoga Poses for Your Lower Back in Los Angeles, CA

Lower back pain is a common complaint, and it can put a serious cramp in your daily routine if it’s fairly consistent. One of the most effective ways to ease this type of discomfort is with exercise that’s not excessively strenuous. Yoga provides a great way to ease lower back pain by targeting your spine-supporting muscles in a way that’s sufficient but not overly stressful. If you’re new to yoga, here are three beginner poses to get you started.

1. Sphinx Pose

This is a relaxed type of pose that can be helpful if you have lower back pain related to sciatica or a lumber (lower back) herniated disc. Even after having surgical procedures such as lumbar foraminotomy, Los Angeles residents can gain a wealth of benefits from this pose as well as the breathing techniques involved in yoga. Start by lying on a yoga mat or towel. You’ll then:

  • Rest on your stomach with your legs straight back
  • Place your forearms on the floor beside your body, tucking them in close to your sides
  • Tighten your legs as you inhale and lift your chest from the floor, helping with your arms while leaving your palms and forearms touching the floor
  • Keep your feet, legs, and hips on the floor, aligning your elbows with your shoulders

Hold the pose for about 5 seconds or whatever’s comfortable for you. Finish up by lowering your torso back to the floor.

2. Cat/Cow Pose

The cat and cow poses are technically two different yoga movements. However, they’re often performed together, and they offer similar benefits for people with lower back pain. Both of these poses stretch spine-supporting muscles, but in opposite directions.

Start with the cat pose by getting on your hands and knees. Position your arms below your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Keep your head straight and aligned with your spine and torso. Move into the cat pose by rounding your back and arching your spine upward, with your eyes looking down toward your abdomen. Take a deep breath and move into the cow pose by:

  • Slowly lifting your chest and tailbone upward
  • Lowering your stomach downward
  • Keeping your eyes upward

Take another breath and ease back into the cat pose. Repeat this entire sequence a few more times or until you feel the stretch.

3. Downward-Facing Dog (Modified)

The traditional downward-facing dog pose can be a bit difficult to do if you have lower back pain or discomfort in your wrists or hands. Instead, go with a modified version of the classic yoga pose. This modified pose lengthens the lower back muscles enough to ease the tension that sometimes results in muscle tightness or painful spasms.

You’ll do the modified downward-facing dog pose by facing a wall and placing your hands on the wall at a height between your abdomen and waist. Next, take the following steps:

  • Place your feet hip-width apart
  • Slightly bend your knees and walk slowly away from the wall
  • Put your hands firmly against the wall as you also keep your hips above your feet
  • Stop when your arms and back are in a straight line
  • Keep your back as flat as you comfortably can until you feel the stretch through your lower back area

Hold the pose for about 30 seconds. Finish up by slowly moving forward to come out of the pose.

Before trying any of these beginner yoga poses, check with your doctor or a Los Angeles spine surgeon first, especially if you haven’t received an official diagnosis yet. This way, you won’t be unintentionally doing more harm than good. If you’re given the green light to do yoga on a regular basis, you may also enjoy added benefits associated with yoga, such as improved posture, that could further minimize your lower back pain.

With the wide variety of yoga poses and techniques to choose from, almost everyone can find a form of yoga that helps them relieve their lower back pain. If you’re experiencing sudden, severe, or long-lasting spinal pain, make sure to consult a specialist for accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment. The pioneering physicians at The Spine Institute have experience with every aspect of neck and back health, so give us a call today at 310-828-7757 to schedule a consultation.