Many people experience lower back pain sometimes during their lives. This pain is usually caused by lifestyle habits, like sitting for long hours at a desk job, and/or then sitting with poor posture on the couch at home after. This many hours of sitting position causes the hamstring muscles to shorten, and cause strain on the lower back.

There are some of yoga poses that stretch out the lower back and target the hamstring and hip, which can relieve your back pain and heal your lower back. I find these 9 yoga poses below to be very effective for soothing my back pain. For each of this following pose, you can repeat for several times at your convenience.

Downward Facing Dogyoga-downward dog pose

This classic yoga pose is a great total body stretch that targets back ex-tensors, or the large muscles that help form your lower back, support your spine, and assist you stand and lift objects.

Try it: Start on your hands and knees, place your hands slightly in front of your shoulders. Pressing back, lift your knees away from the floor and raise your tailbone up toward the ceiling. You may gently push your heels toward the floor for an added hamstring stretch. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths.

Cat and CowYoga-cat cow pose

The cow and cat pose stretches loosen back muscle, and is perfect for an archy, sore back.

Try it: Starting in an all-fours position, then begin to move into cat pose by slowly lifting your spine up, arching your back. Stay for a few seconds and then move to cow by scooping your spine in, pressing your shoulder blades back and upraise your head. Moving back and forth from cat to cow is good to move your spine into a neutral position, which will relax the muscles. Repeat the sequence, from cat into cow, and back, as needed.

Child’s Pose

This pose is an active stretch that helps to stretch the back. It’s a great way to release the stress before bed after a long, exhausting day.

Try it: Begin with all fours with your arms stretched out straight in front of you, then move to sit back so your butt muscles come to rest just above (but not touching) your heels. Stay still at the position for 5 to 10 breaths, and you can repeat as many times as you need for a good, soothing stretch.

Seated Forward Fold

Yoga-seated forwardThis pose is an intense hamstring stretch, which is also great for lengthening your back.

Try it: Start in an upright seated position with your legs stretched out in front of you. Slowly you walk your hands down your legs until you touch your toes (if possible). If at any point this starts to feel like too much, you can back off  and let your palms to rest on your shins, just enough to get a great hamstring and back stretch. Hold for 5-10 breaths.

Upward Forward Bend

yoga-upward forward bentThe upward forward bend stretches the hamstrings and the back muscles whilst providing a release for tight, tense shoulders.

Try it: Stand straight, and your knees loose. When you exhale, turn at your waist and start bending forward, reaching toward the floor. If you can’t reach all the way to the floor, just stop wherever your hamstrings feel a comfortable stretch. Stay still at the position for 5-10 breaths. Repeat the pose five to seven times.

Bow Pose

Yoga-bow poseThis simple pose is catered to open the chest and throat, energize the body, aid digestion, as well as stretch and strengthen the upper back and shoulders to help enhance posture and minimize hunching.

Try it: Start facing down on your stomach, reaching out for your heels and lifting them up. Your back will naturally come with you. Hold and count for 5 breaths.

Seated Spinal Twist

Yoga-seatedtwistspineThis pose is awesome for improving posture and spine mobility.

Try it: Starting in a seated position, place your left foot outside your right knee. Extend your right arm up, tuck in your right elbow outside your left knee and gaze over your left shoulder. Hold for 5 breaths before repeating on the opposite side.

Low Lunge with Back Bend

Yoga-lowlungeThis position strengthens and stretches the entire back.

Try it: Start in a low lunge position, then slowly lower your back knee to the ground. Bring your arms up alongside your ears and lean backward. To get a neck release in, try intertwining your hands behind your head. Hold for 5 breaths.

Sphinx Pose

This stretch feels more intense on the back, but it’s great for extending the spine and opening up the chest.

Try it: Start on all fours, then slowly lower your stomach to the ground, whilst extending your forearms out in front of you and lifting your chest. Lean your body forward a bit to open up the back and chest even more and hold for three breaths.

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