Modified Pregnancy Yoga Poses for Relieving Back Pain

Modified Pregnancy Yoga Poses for Relieving Back Pain

So you chose yoga to be your way to do some physical activities during your pregnancy? Excellent choice!

Several reasons will be elucidated in the following article as well as postures and exercises for relieving back pain during pregnancy period. In addition, if you are not pregnant but still have problems with spine you can use these asanas as well.


Pros and cons

There are many benefits for your health from practicing yoga:

    Pros and cons of doing yoga

  • physical exercise;
  • breathing techniques training;
  • meditation and relaxation knowledge.

You are going to learn how to control your body with its changing balance and new shape. You’ll get to know few breathing methods which can ease up your delivery later and generally help you during the labor. It might have a good influence on your stomach and intestines work and last but not least to your mood and mental state.

But there’s a chance that it’s not what you’re searching for. Yoga is widely promoted as a healing tool for many problems. And the one pain almost every woman has during pregnancy is a back or hip pain.

Warning! Don’t forget to talk to your doctor or midwife before enrolling in yoga class!

Pain relief and yoga

Statistics show that from 50 to 70 percent of women suffer from back pains during pregnancy. Many future mothers also have problems with the hips and legs. Yoga helps you to overcome all of this by:

    Happy pregnant woman

  • stretching;
  • strengthening;
  • postural alignment;
  • thoughtful breathing.

Stretching and strengthening is basically a whole point of yoga asana (postures). They help you to make your muscles more powerful and flexible so they will be better adjusting to the changes in your body during your pregnancy. Of course, as the belly grows throwing off your center of gravity, more and more pressure applied to your lower back and legs area.

Yoga for back pain in pregnancy period includes exercises, which are aimed to build up the muscles and to add the flexibility to the joints and ligaments for them to be ready to adapt to the weight and posture changes.

Yoga also lets you get more awareness of your body and develops better posture, which is also very important for pain relief. The thing is, with the stomach getting bigger, women are unconsciously modifying their posture. So in this case the deeper curve on lower back gets compensated by slumping the shoulders, extending the neck forwards and as a result compressed chest area and vertebra, all of which causes lumbar pain.

Yoga exercises for relieving back painWith the development of the pregnancy your lungs get less and less space inside the ribcage, which results in labored breath many women suffer from. Though this process is impossible to stop, the mindful yoga breathing techniques may help you to develop good breathing habits and teach you how to exhale and inhale for feeling complete relaxation, which has its influence on the pain relief as well.

Of course, all of this would be even more helpful if you got started with yoga even before pregnancy – than your body was prepared from the start, but that’s what good about this activity – it’s never too late!

Get started

First of all, you will need to enroll in a class of special prenatal yoga. Don’t be negligent and make your research, your teacher has to be experienced in working with women at your state, so don’t go to the closest fitness center.

Believe it or not, as mild as yoga might seem as an activity – it might make pretty bad things to your body if practiced without proper supervision. For this reason, I also do not encourage you to start with the home video guides or books if you’ve never done it before.

Consider also that there are some moments which can contraindicate you against yoga class. Some of them would be:

    Contradictions for asanas

  • vaginal bleeding;
  • premature dilation;
  • high blood pressure;
  • hear disease;
  • lung disease.

So check with your doctor if he would recommend it for you. And even after it you should be careful in the class.

Remember not to push your limits – it’s not a good time for that, you might get over exhausted easily, especially in third trimester. So stop your training if you feel any of these symptoms:

  • vaginal bleeding or any other liquid leak;
  • fainting or dizziness;
  • headache;
  • chest pain;
  • contractions;
  • decrease in fetal movement.

If you are healthy, your doctor confirms that you’re fit for yoga and you find your prenatal class, still keep in mind that you should avoid several kinds of asana. For example, lying on the back would be prohibited on later stages, because of the risk of compression of the big spinal veins and possibility of consciousness loss.

Lying on the belly is not the best idea also, which you might have guessed. You should keep away from any deep backbends or twists, in danger not to over-stretch your joint’s and ligaments which are a bit more flexible and vulnerable due to pregnancy-induced hormone relaxin.

Inversions would also be out of menu, or performed with great carefulness, just to be sure not to fall. And make sure you don’t participate in any hot yoga (bikram yoga).

Now, when you are aware of the risks, and warned against some poses, let’s talk about pregnancy yoga poses for back pain.


There are plenty of asana available for you and many of them can help you in some way to feel better in your body, but here is the shortlist of the all-time best asana for pain relief from experienced prenatal yoga gurus.

Trikonasana (Extended triangle pose)

This asana will not only help you with your back pain but also it will also relieve stiffness in the neck and shoulders and tone the pelvic floor. The additional benefit is the digestion improvement.

  1. Start in standing position (mountain pose), exhale and spread your legs around 1 meter from each other and stretch your arms sideways parallel to the floor with palms downwards.
  2. Turn your right foot outwards 90 degrees and you left one towards the right, align the heels.
  3. Bend slowly from your hip over you right leg and twist your body to the left.
  4. Your right hand you can keep on your shin or the floor and you left arm should be stretched up towards the ceiling.
  5. Hold the position from 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Trikonasana (Extended triangle pose)

Baddha Konasana (Cobbler’s pose)

This pose is a perfect hip-opener, it stretches the hips and the back, lengthening the spine.

  1. Sitting with your legs extended in front of you, slowly bend your knees outwards and move your heels toward your pelvis.
  2. Straighten your back and let the chest to open accommodating the breathing with the belly.
  3. Use your hands to open your legs wider, so you can stretch your inner thighs but be careful and do not force it till hurting point.
  4. Hold for 4-6 breaths.

Baddha Konasana (Cobbler’s pose)

It is one of the easiest posture from yoga exercises for back pain during pregnancy.

Cat/Cow pose sequence

It’s one of the best poses from yoga for lower back pain during pregnancy. Through it’s practicing on a daily basis you can relieve lower back pain and strengthen the spine.

  1. Strat standing on hands and knees with your hands straight under the shoulders and knees under hips.
  2. Inhale, slowly raise your head while looking upwards.
  3. Exhale and arch your back gently, bringing the chin to your chest.
  4. Push your spine further to the ceiling, making your back round.
  5. Hold for 4-6 breaths.

Cat/Cow pose sequence

Garbhasana (Child’s pose)

Known as the relaxations pose this asana is also perfect for the lumbar pains relief.

  1. Kneel with the distance between the knees a bit wider than your hips width.
  2. Sit on your heels and slowly lean forward while extending your arms on the floor in front of you.
  3. Make sure there’s enough place for your belly between the knees.
  4. Do no hold your breath, keep the proper sequence.
  5. You should feel absolutely no muscle work in this pose and a complete relaxation.
  6. Hold it for up to 5 minutes.

Garbhasana (Child’s pose)

Video lesson

If you already have some experience in practicing yoga we recommend you to watch this short video in order to know other useful postures:


This are only four poses to help you endure your pregnancy, but there are much more, just tell your teacher what pain or discomfort you feel and he/she will help you with the perfect pose for it.

Most of the poses, once you have learned the proper way of doing them, you can do on the daily basis, so they help you with back or hip pain or just keep it for 2-3 times a week in the class under the supervision.

And whatever you do, remember that pain will pass, and whatever discomfort you feel now there is a timer on it and it will finish gloriously.

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