Yoga For Back Pain

Learn yoga for back pain in this three-part course. Improve the overall health of your spine with this comprehensive Iyengar Yoga resource. You will be guided through three complementary yoga sequences for back pain. Each sequence demonstrates unique ways in which you can use Iyengar Yoga to improve spinal balance, mobility and strength.

Who is this course for?

  • Individuals with back pain
  • Those with asymmetries of the spine, such as scoliosis
  • Anyone wanting to improve spinal mobility and strength

Please seek permission from your doctor prior to commencing this course.

How will this course help me?

This course will guide you step-by-step through three unique Iyengar yoga sequences for relieving back pain. You will cover a range of poses and variations that will equip you with a method for fostering balance, mobility and strength in your spine.

  • Learn how to take pressure off your back by improving hip mobility and hamstring flexibility
  • Be guided in safely modifying poses that can be difficult to attempt if you have lower back problems
  • Develop a range of therapeutic poses that can be used to help relieve lower back aches and pains

With regular practice, you will start to feel some relief from back aches and pains. As your spine gains mobility and strength, your posture will improve. You will start to notice greater capacity in other yoga poses.

What do I get from this course?

  • A comprehensive and structured approach to using Iyengar yoga to assist with the relief of back pain
  • Essential foundations and key principles clearly communicated to help you go further on your yoga journey
  • Step by step tracking of your progression through the course
  • Email reminders to help keep you motivated and on track
  • Email support from your teacher

The learning from this course can be supplemented by two related Yoga Selection blog articles. Each article takes you through a back pain sequence and has accompanying images and instructions.


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Course Progress

Iyengar Yoga For Lower Back Pain - Weekly Intermediate Class 49

Focus: There are numerous ways in which Iyengar Yoga can help to reduce lower back pain. Although there are many causes for lower back pain, it is very common for people to arrive at yoga classes with this pain originating at least in part from tight hamstrings.

Stiffness in the group of 3 muscles at the back of your thighs known collectively as the hamstrings can restrict the movement of your pelvis in relation to the movement of your legs. As a result of this restriction, undue strain can be placed upon your lumbar spine. A practical example of this is when you sit on the floor and straighten your legs to the front (dandasana). In this position tight hamstrings can tend to pull the back of the pelvis downwards thus reducing the curvature of the lumbar spine. This can then put the spine in a more vulnerable position as you attempt to sit upright. You simultaneously feel the tension of the spine being pulled downwards and lifted upwards at the same time.

Knowing that the spine can benefit from improved hamstring mobility can create a dilemma for many people. Positions that allow the hamstrings to stretch will often simultaneously challenge the lower back, potentially aggravating existing discomfort. With this in mind the following sequence looks to present a number of poses that can help you to safely improve the flexibility of your hamstrings in positions where your spine is comfortably supported. Poses that help to release tension from the lower back, and poses that help to improve the range of movement in the lower back are also included.

Key Poses: Utthita hasta padangusthasana I & II, chair twists, chair malasana, supta padangusthasana

Equipment: Mat, chair, 2 blankets, 2 blocks, belt

Level: Intermediate

Duration: 50 min

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Yoga Poses For Scoliosis - Weekly Advanced Class 55

Focus: This weeks class focusses on standing and seated poses that simultaneously lengthen and turn your spine. Although helpful for a broad range of body-types, the class may be especially beneficial for anyone with a mild scoliosis. In most of the poses in the class you are gripping the frame of a chair with your hands. This increases your ability to adjust the position of your spine and ribcage. Emphasis is placed throughout the class on promoting a straight back, whilst minimising any sideways curvature of the spine.

The sequence begins with some shoulder opening poses that bring awareness to the alignment of your torso. It then proceeds towards standing and seated forward bends and twists. The class finishes with a supported version of savasana that helps to bring openness and symmetry to your chest.

Key Poses: trikonasana, parsvottanasana, parivrtta trikonasana, paschimottanasana

Equipment: Mat, chair, 3 blankets, 2 blocks, belt

Level: Advanced

Duration: 45 min

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Yoga Poses To Relieve Lower Back Pain - Weekly Advanced Class 82

Focus: This class is based around poses that help to relieve lower back pain. It is the third in our series of classes that help to promote a healthy spine. The class begins with some poses that help to remove muscular tension from the lower back. From there standing poses are practiced with your feet in a diagonal stance. This encourages the sacrum to move in, and the spine to lengthen away from the pelvis. Chair twists help to improve your spinal rotation. Several variations of the supta padangusthasana reclining leg stretches are then included. The class ends with some gentle poses using the support of two chairs that will be ideal for combatting inflammation in the lower back. Savasana is practiced in a prone position. Blankets are positioned in this pose to help release and relax the muscles associated with the lumbar spine. 

Key Poses: Diagonal standing poses,chair twists, supta padangusthasana, pavana mukthasana

Equipment: Mat, 2 chairs, 2 bolsters, 3 blankets, 2 blocks, belt

Level: Advanced

Duration: 50 min

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  1. Jade V

    Hallo Rod, 🥰

    Helaas 1,5 weken geleden door mijn rug gegaan.
    Heb deze lessen gedaan en het is wat beter maar nog niet zoals het moet zijn.
    Het trekt naar mijn onder boven been en er zit iets knel in mijn lage onder rug.
    Heb jij een les of nog wat lessen die jij mij kan aan bevelen om dat gebied losser te maken ?

    Warme gemeende liefdevolle groet van mij (Jade) uit Holland 🙏🌿🌺🌿🙏

  2. Stacy S

    3 months post hysterectomy. This is helping me find ease without having to plan my own sequences🙏🏻
    I am a teacher and teacher trainer/ owner of a yoga studio in Canada.
    In gratitude🙏🏻

  3. Raju S

    Hi, I am new to Yoga. Primary reason for joining yoga selection is to get help for getting rid of lower back pain I have which was diagnosed as in L5 S1 disk area. I guess I am on right course however first course is intermediate. Do I have to take any beginner course before starting with this intermediate course?

  4. Sue H

    As one who lives with osteo arthritis and scoliosis I found these classes to be very helpful and will be returning to them on a regular basis Many thanks Rod 🙏

    • Rod

      Glad to hear you have found them helpful Sue. It’s very rewarding making the classes knowing they are beneficial in that way. 🙏

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