HEALTHY LIVING

9 Simple Yoga Poses To Help With Back Pain

06/19/2015 06:26 pm ET | Updated Jun 20, 2015

Aching back got you down? You're not alone. According to the American Chiropractic Association, half of Americans report back back pain symptoms each year. While there's a lot you can do in your daily life, from working to strengthen your core to avoiding sitting for too long, a daily dose of yoga poses certainly won't hurt.

Here are 9 poses to help with back pain that you can do anywhere.

1. Downward Facing Dog

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It's the most well-known yoga pose out there, and for good reason. Downward dog elongates the cervical spine and strengthens the core, hamstrings and lower back. Start on your hands and knees, tuck your toes, lift your hips and bring your heels toward the ground. Hold for five breaths.

2. Upward Facing Dog

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In addition to being a great chest opener, upward facing dog helps improve abdominal and back stretch. Starting from downward facing dog, shift forward to plank pose. Untuck your toes and look up, keeping your knees off the ground. Hold for three breaths.

3. Low Lunge With Backbend

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This one strengthens and stretches the entire back. Start in a low lunge position, then gently lower your back knee to the ground. Bring your arms up alongside your ears and lean back. To get a neck release in, try interlacing your hands behind your head. Hold for three breaths.

4. Seated Forward Fold

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Seated forward fold is an intense (and awesome) hamstring stretch, and it's also great for lengthening your back. Start in an upright seated position with your legs stretched out in front of you. Walk your hands down your legs until you hit your toes --- or not. You'll still get a great hamstring and back stretch with your palms resting on your shins, so if at any point this starts to feel like too much, back off and stay where it feels like just enough of a stretch. Hold for three breaths.

5. Seated Spinal Twist

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This one is great for improving posture and spine mobility. Starting in a seated position, bring your left foot outside your right knee. Extend your right arm up, hook your right elbow outside your left knee and look over your left shoulder. Hold for three breaths before repeating on the opposite side.

6. Standing Forward Fold With Clasped Hands

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To get a great back stretch, increase shoulder mobility and open up your chest, try this variation of standing forward fold. Start in an upright standing position, hinge your hips forward and bring your fingertips toward the ground. Clasp your hands behind you and bring your palms to together, even if that means bending your elbows -- it'll make for a better chest and shoulder opener. Hold for three breaths.

7. Lower Back Clasp

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This is a gentle backbend that stretches and strengthens the lower back. Start lying facedown on your stomach, clasp your hands behind you and lift your chest up off the ground. Again, this stretch is most effective when your palms are clasped together, so try bending your elbows if you can't get there. Hold for three breaths.

8. Sphinx Pose

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This stretch is more intense on the back, but it's great for lengthening the spine and opening up the chest. Start on all fours, then lower your stomach to the ground, bringing your forearms out in front of you and lifting your chest. Drag your body forward a bit to open up the back and chest even more and hold for three breaths.

9. Bow Pose

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It's an intense pose, but bow will help stretches and strengthens the upper back and shoulders to help improve posture and minimizing hunching. Starting facedown on your stomach, reach for your heels and lift them up -- your back will naturally come with you. Hold for three breaths.

Ready to say goodbye to back pain?

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