How to Use Yoga Poses to Strengthen Back and Posture

Yoga has been practiced for centuries to tune both body and mind. But did you know that yoga can be used for pain relief?

Read on to learn all about yoga poses to strengthen back muscles and alleviate upper, lower and middle back pain. 

Yoga for Pain Relief

Yoga can help reduce the symptoms of arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine, low back pain, and many other types of chronic pain conditions.

Keep in mind that yoga is great to ease symptoms and prevent pain. But, you should always try to find the root cause of the problem. Learn about chiropractic care and how it can help. 

If your pain is more of a general achiness, tightness or discomfort, it’s worth trying some yoga stretches. Here are the best ones you can practice. 

Yoga for Middle Back Pain

Middle back pain can result from poor posture, weak core strength and sitting for long periods of time.

Luckily, there are several yoga poses that can help. 

Thread the Needle

This pose stretches your thighs, lower back, hips and spine. 

Lay on the floor with your feel flat on the ground, hip-distance apart. Place your right ankle on the left thigh. Reach your right arm in between your legs and the other arm on the outside of your left thigh.

Interlace your fingers either on your shin or behind your knee. Make sure to keep your back and shoulders relaxed. Breath deeply.

Change sides after 1-3 minutes and repeat. 


Cobra is a great way to strengthen the muscles along the spine and prevent mid-back pain. 

Lie face down with your hands under your shoulders and your legs long. 

Inhale and roll both shoulders up and back and lift your chest off the ground. Ensure that your upper back is doing the work here.

Imagine that you are trying to bring your elbows closer to your feet. Breathe here for up to 10 breaths then lower down.


Cat/Cow pose is the perfect pose for any kind of backache and tension in the back.

Start on all fours with your shoulders over your wrists and hips over knees. On your inhale, round your spine and drop your head toward your mat.

As you inhale, lift your head, chest, and tailbone toward the sky. Arch your back in. 

Repeat with your inhales and exhales for up to three minutes. 



Yoga Poses for Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain can be excruciating. Get some relief with these yoga poses for lower back pain.

Child’s Pose

The beauty of child’s pose is that it takes all the pressure off your lower back. You will instantly feel a lovely stretch as your spine decompresses.

Start by kneeling on a yoga mat, knees hip-width apart.

As you exhale, lay your torso down on your thighs, arms straight out in front of you.

Work to make your spine long as you stretch your arms forward and your tailbone back. Hold this pose as long as you like. Feel free to do it multiple times a day for instant pain relief. 

Downward Facing Dog 

Another popular yoga pose to ease back pain is down dog. A lot of times, lower back pain is due to tightness in our legs. This pose stretches out your calves, hamstrings and lengthens your spine all in one.

If your legs are very tight, go ahead and keep a slight bend in your knees.

Start in a child’s pose. Then sit up onto your knees and press your hands to fully extend them. As you do, lift your tailbone up and back.

Spread your fingers out wide and try to lower your heels closer to the floor.

Let your head rest between your arms with equal weight on your hands and feet. Hold for at least five breaths and work up to three minutes. 

Standing Forward Bend

Here is another pose that stretches the backs of the legs and the spine at the same time.

Start in a standing position, feet hip-width apart, legs straight. Then, tuck your chin in, relax your shoulders and fall forward so that your head moves closer to your feet. 

Make sure the bend comes from the hips, not your back. 

Focus on creating a long spine. Keep a bend in your knees if your legs are very tight. Breathe deeply and hold this pose for 1-3 minutes.

Yoga Poses for Upper Back Pain

Many of the yoga poses we’ve already discussed can also be a remedy for upper back pain. They also are great yoga poses to strengthen back muscles. But here are a few dedicated poses for you to try.

Upward Facing Dog

Start by lying face-down on your mat. Bring your arms under your shoulders and press up into the ground to straighten. Engage your legs and lift your thighs off the mat so that only the tops of your feet are on the mat.

Look up and open your chest. Draw your shoulder blades toward each other and down. Make sure your shoulders are down, away from your ears.

Breathe and hold for up to three minutes. 

Sphinx Pose

Lie on your belly as you reach your toes back toward the other side of the room. try to lengthen your tailbone towards your heels to protect your lower back.

Engage your legs. Then, set your forearms on the floor under your shoulders. Inhale and lift your upper torso and head into a mild backbend.


See a step-by-step instruction for sphinx pose here.  

Yoga Poses to Strengthen Back

One of the best things about yoga is that it combines strength and stretch in one movement.

Many times, it is not only back strength but also spinal flexibility that people lack. A recent study showed that spinal flexibility improved with yoga use.

Final Word

Thanks for reading! We hope these yoga poses to strengthen back and alleviate pain have been useful to you.

Come back again soon for more great content to help you live healthier.