Back pain is unfortunately a common occurrence amongst adults, with most people suffering from irritated discs, acute spasms, tension, stiffness and soreness.

Thankfully, there are a number of daily exercises you can perform to help reduce the pain (thank you to the work of BKS Iyengar for this sequence).

An Exercise Regime

When starting out, go gently to get used to the movements and work out how far you can go into each position without feeling pain.

Aim to do this routine at least once a day if the pain allows. You can complement this routine with walking, cycling and water-based activities.

We advise you seek medical advice before starting these back pain exercises, and stop immediately if you feel any pain.

Equipment: chair, bolster, blanket.
Set up: Lie on your back with your calfs on a chair and bolster on the belly. The pose can be held for 5-10 mins.
Effects: Passively broadens and releases spasm and tightness in the lower back.
Equipment: 3 blankets, bolster.

Set up: Lay two blankets neatly one on top of the other, sized as they come off the shelf. Place a three-fold blanket underneath the forehead. Lie on your belly with the front thigh crease touching the end of the blankets. Feet as wide as the mat and inner back thighs roll towards outer back thighs. The pose can be held for 5 minutes.
Effect: Passively releases psoas and provides relief from spasm from disc irritation.


Equipment: 1 bolster and 2 blankets.
Set up: Place a three-fold blanket between the heels and buttocks. Place a bolster length-ways between the knees. Place a three-fold blanket on top of the bolster for the head. Lay the front body out along the bolster, fully resting the abdomen. The pose can be held for 5 minutes.
Effects: Passively releases and broadens back muscles.


Equipment: 2 chairs, a bolster, 2 blankets.
Setup: Place a three-fold blanket on the first chair and sit on it. Place a three-fold blanket on the bolster to rest the head and lay the torso out along the bolster, which rests on the 2 chair seats. Ensure that the entire front torso is supported. The pose can be held for 5 minutes.
Effects: Releases tightness in hips and back muscles.


Second Aid – More active poses

Equipment: Chair and mat.
Setup: Perform a supported downward dog. The pose can be held for 2 minutes and repeated.
Effects: Actively creates space between vertebra and stretches the spinal muscles.


Equipment: Kitchen bench or similar to rest the foot on.
Setup: Stand on the left leg and raise the right leg out to the side to rest on a support. Lengthen the hip down away from the side waist. Hold for 1 minute and repeat to the left side.
Effects: Actively lengthens the back muscles on the raised leg side.