Back pain is very serious, regardless if it is centrally located in the lower region or in the upper area.

If you are particularly feeling it in your upper back, you are in luck. There are several yoga poses that can help relieve it.

Be smart about pack pain

Be aware that these are not miracle cures or quick fixes. They should be used as part of a holistic treatment protocol that might also include your doctor’s intervention. Just be smart about it.

Now that we understand each other, let’s get down on the mat and practice. Ohm…

Cat Pose

This easy, subtle pose gives your back some love while also including your shoulders.

Start out in an all-fours position with your hands directly under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Take a big inhale, then exhale as you round your back and look down toward the floor.

You should have a nice even curve through your spine at this point. Hold for four or five long breaths and release.

For a dynamic stretch, alternate back and forth between a cat and cow pose.

To do the combo, assume the starting position on all fours. Take a big inhale as you arch your back and look up toward the sky. Exhale and round your back to get into cat pose. Continue to alternate back and forth with each breath.

Downward Facing Dog

I try to include downward-facing dogs into my daily routine. Not only do they give your upper back a good stretch but they also target your hamstrings and calves.

Assume a plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders and feet about hip-width apart. Raise your hips up in the air as you push your weight back on your heels.

Ideally you are able to get your feet flat on the floor. Lower your head between your arms and hold. Your body should form about a 90-degree angle.

Revolved Triangle

The revolved triangle pose stretches your back, inner thighs and ribcage.

Stand with your feet about 3 to 4 feet apart with your right foot turned 90 degrees out to the side and your left foot turned in just slightly. Move your arms out at your sides and twist toward your right.

Keep your legs straight and bend at the hips as you reach your left hand down toward your right foot.

If you have the flexibility, place your palm flat on the floor on the inside of your foot. Extend your right arm straight in the air. Hold for a few breaths and switch sides.


A lot of people struggle with the locust pose because they have tight backs. If you make it a daily practice to include these in your regimen you will be surprised at how easy they become.

Lie flat on your stomach on the floor with your arms by your sides and palms up. Move your legs together and raise them slightly off the ground as you arch your back and lift your chest and arms. Arch your back as much as you can and hold.

If you have the flexibility, interlace your fingers behind your back and lift your arms up even higher.

yoga poses for upper back pain_2Child’s Pose

By far this is one of the most relaxing poses in creation. And as an added bonus, it does a great job of stretching your upper back.

Start out in an all-fours position with the tops of your feet flat on the floor. Sit back on your heels as you stretch your arms out as far as possible. Lower your forehead down to the floor and actively walk your fingers forward until you feel a good stretch in your upper back. Hold for four or five breaths.

Wrapping it up…

Unlike heavy weight training, yoga can be done every day because it is more restorative. Keep this important fact in mind. In order to get the best results, make sure to do your poses daily and feel free to perform them two or three times.

If you should find yourself struggling or in need of more advice, feel free to give me a shout.


Connect with Expert Kevin Rail

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