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Help Ease Back Pain With a 10-Minute Yoga Sequence

05/03/2015 10:37 pm ET | Updated May 03, 2016

man demonstrating half knees-to-chest pose

Half Knees-to-Chest Pose


Ardha Apanasana

5 rounds, 2 breaths each, 1 minute total

Lie on your back. On an exhalation, draw your right knee toward your chest and hold your right shin with both hands. In this and the following 4 poses, do not press your lower back to the floor; instead, maintain a natural lumbar curve. Slowly inhale to release the right leg back to the floor, then exhale to draw in the left knee; inhale to release. Repeat, alternating right and left, 4 more times.

man demonstrating reclining hand-to-big-toe pose

Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose A


Supta Padangusthasana A

5 breaths, 30 seconds, each side

Slide a hand under your lower back to make sure there is a gentle curve. Place a strap around the arch of your right foot. Exhale to straighten your right leg, stacking your ankle over your hip, or bringing your leg up as high as possible and slackening the strap as needed to feel a gentle hamstring stretch. Press through both heels, flexing your feet. Exhale to release and switch sides.

man demonstrating hand-to-big-toe pose

Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose B


Supta Padangusthasana B

5 breaths, 30 seconds, each side

Return to your right side and take both strap ends in your right hand, extending your left arm along the floor. Exhale to lower your right leg to the right. Try to keep your left hip on the floor and your left kneecap pointing up. You should feel a stretch in your inner right thigh, but no lower-back strain. Inhale to lift your right leg back up; exhale to release it to the floor. Switch sides.

Have a few more minutes? Complete the full 10-minute sequence to ease back pain.

About Our Pro


Teacher Andrea Ferretti is a 200-hour trained vinyasa teacher, and as the former executive editor of Yoga Journal she has had the good fortune of working with and studying from many of the best teachers in contemporary yoga. Model Matt Kapinus has been teaching asana for eight years in Boulder, Colorado. You can find his vinyasa classes at almost all Colorado Yoga Pod locations: yogapodcommunity.com.