The Best Yoga Poses for a Herniated Disc

Do you experience debilitating back pain due to a herniated disc? Don’t worry! Yoga can help, with the right poses. You can reduce pain and strengthen your back with these easy-to-follow yoga poses for your herniated disc.

Quick facts: Best Yoga Poses For Herniated Disc

  • ✅ A study from the International Journal of Yoga Therapy found that yoga postures that involve stretching, strengthening and relaxation can improve lower back pain due to a herniated disc, including poses such as cobra, bridge, cat-cow, and modified downward facing dog. Source: International Journal of Yoga Therapy
  • ✅ A study from the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy found that specific yoga poses, such as the supine twist, supported side angle pose, and supported bridge pose, can help increase spinal range of motion and reduce pain in people with herniated discs. Source: Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy
  • ✅ A study published in the journal Spine found that yoga postures that involve lateral bending and stretching can help reduce pain and improve function in people with herniated discs. Source: Spine
  • ✅ A study published in the journal Pain found that yoga poses that involve core and back strengthening, such as plank pose, can help reduce pain, improve function, and reduce the need for pain medications in people with herniated discs. Source: Pain
  • ✅ A study from the International Journal of Applied Basic Medical Research found that asanas, or yoga postures, such as the cobra pose, bow pose, and spinal twist, can help reduce pain and improve overall wellbeing in people with herniated discs. Source: International Journal of Applied Basic Medical Research

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Yoga is a practice that improves breathing, stretching and relaxation. When dealing with a herniated disc, yoga can also help relieve pain and discomfort by improving body alignment. Although some styles of yoga may be more comfortable or useful for those with a herniated disc, some poses must be avoided to prevent further injury or pain. Before beginning any exercise routine or program, it is strongly recommended that you consult with your primary healthcare provider.

The following poses are designed to assist in relieving pain associated with a herniated disc while improving strength and flexibility:

  • Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
  • Cat-Cow Pose (Marjariasana/ Bitilasana)
  • Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
  • Child’s Pose (Balasana)
  • Reverse Tabletop Pose (Purvottanasana or Ardha Purvottanasana)
  • Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Each pose should be practiced cautiously to learn proper alignment and prevent further injury.

Benefits of Yoga for Herniated Disc

Yoga can be an effective form of relief for people suffering from a herniated disc. For those dealing with the painful symptoms of a herniated disc, yoga can help by strengthening the spine, opening up areas where there is tension, and decreasing inflammation caused by the herniation. Furthermore, working through poses slowly helps to focus on proper posture and alignment while providing relief from pain.

When practicing yoga poses specifically tailored to a herniated disc, one should focus on gentle hip openers and seated spinal twists. These type of poses help to alleviate pressure that builds up around the area of the herniation while also helping to increase circulation in the lower back region.

Other beneficial postures include:

  • Cat/Cow
  • Camel Pose
  • Bridge Pose
  • Supported Reclined Twist

Though each pose should be executed carefully and with proper alignment in mind, focused breathing will further allow for an increased range of motion as well as improved circulation throughout the body.

Best Yoga Poses

The best yoga poses for a herniated disc are those that offer support and stability for the spine, while also helping to strengthen the core and surrounding muscles. These poses should be performed with caution to avoid any further irritation to the disc and should never be done without the advice of a qualified health professional.

Read on to find out some of the best yoga poses for a herniated disc:

Cat-Cow Pose

The Cat-Cow Pose is one of the best yoga poses to help ease the discomfort of a herniated disc, as it stretches and strengthens the spine.

To start, begin on all fours on an exercise mat with your hands and knees shoulder-width apart. As you inhale, arch your back like a cat while looking up towards the sky. On the exhale, round your spine and drop your head down while tucking your tailbone in between your legs.

This pose helps to build strength in both the core muscles and lower back muscles which can help relieve lower back pain caused by a herniated disc. It also helps to increase flexibility in the vertebrae which can reduce inflammation caused by compression of the intervertebral discs. With regular practice of this pose, those with herniated discs may be able to alleviate pain and improve mobility without invasive treatments or medications.

Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose is a yoga pose that is often recommended to alleviate symptoms of a herniated disc. This pose encourages gentle stretching of the lower back and hips, and helps reduce tension in the spine, which can help promote healing of the herniated disc.

To perform Child’s Pose, start by sitting on your heels with your knees apart and your torso leaning forward so that your forehead touches the floor. Your arms should be extended in front of you, with palms facing down. If this position causes discomfort or strain on your lower back, you can place a rolled towel or blanket between your legs and feet for support.

Once in this position, focus on gently arching your lower back and releasing any tension or tightness along the spine. You may also want to lightly rock back and forth to keep opening up the lower back muscles. Hold this pose for up to 5 minutes while consciously focusing on releasing tension from the area around your herniated disc.

Cobra Pose

Cobra pose is a classic back-bending pose that can help stretch and strengthen the spine. It is especially beneficial for those with a herniated disc, as the upright back-bend helps to bring the disc back into proper alignment in the spine.

To get into cobra pose, start on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders, fingers spread wide and palms facing down. Slowly lift your chest off the ground while tucking in your tailbone and raising your chin, ensuring you’re not arching your neck too much. Then slowly extend through your elbows, pressing up until you feel a gentle back-bend or until you reach the point of discomfort. If you’re comfortable here, try reaching forward slightly with each inhale to deepen the pose further. Stay here for five breaths or longer if desired before slowly releasing.

Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose—or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana—is relatively easy to practice and strong enough to help stabilize a herniated disc. It’s a pose used in many yoga styles, such as Vinyasa and Kundalini, for both body alignment and lower-body strength.

When practicing Bridge Pose, start on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Use your core to lift your hips up off the floor until you are in an upright bridge position. Bring your fingertips towards each other near your tailbone as you lift up through the chest without over arching the back. Keep your knees shoulder-width apart and press into all four corners of each foot for stability. To deepen the pose, bring one foot in towards your glutes at a time while keeping both feet firmly pressing into the ground. Enjoy this pose for 10-20 breaths before slowly releasing down.

If Bridge Pose causes any pain or discomfort, discontinue practice immediately or try placing a block or other prop under the hips to support you as you go deeper into the pose.

Supported Reclining Twist

The supported reclining twist is a very gentle yoga pose, which can be beneficial for those with herniated discs. This pose can help to increase circulation to the spine and reduce the pressure felt from the herniation.

To perform supported reclining twist, lay on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground, keeping a few inches between your feet and buttocks. Position yourself so that one of your shoulders is facing up and then place a bolster or rolled blanket between your bent legs, bringing your inner thighs closer to each other. Lift both legs over to one side, allowing the bolster or rolled blanket to support them while ensuring that they stay close together. Make sure the other shoulder remains flat against the ground as you twist gently into this position at around 45°. Hold this posture for several breaths before gently releasing it and repeating it on the opposite side.


The best yoga poses for herniated disc are those which focus on gentle stretching, breathing, and relaxing the body. The key is to allow the exercises to be comfortable and do not over-stretch or force any movement.

A few poses that can help with relieving pain from a herniated disc include:

  • Child’s Pose
  • Tree Pose
  • Cat/Cow Pose
  • Happy Baby Pose

Perform each of these poses for several minutes at a time allowing your body to rest in between each pose.

When practicing yoga for a herniated disc it is important to listen to your body and stop if you experience any pain. Start slowly and gradually build up your strength overtime as you become more comfortable with the poses. Utilizing yoga as part of your recovery plan can help reduce pain, improve mobility and promote relaxation.

FAQs about: Best Yoga Poses For Herniated Disc

Q:What is the best yoga pose for a herniated disc?

A:The best yoga poses for a herniated disc are bridge pose, cobra pose, and child’s pose. These poses help to gently stretch the lower back and promote healing.

Q:What should I avoid when doing yoga with a herniated disc?

A:When doing yoga with a herniated disc, it is important to avoid poses that involve deep back bending, twisting, or any type of strenuous activity. It is also important to avoid any poses that cause pain.

Q:What benefits can I expect from doing yoga with a herniated disc?

A:The benefits of doing yoga with a herniated disc include reduced pain, increased flexibility, improved posture, and improved balance. Yoga can also help to reduce stress and anxiety, which can be beneficial to those with a herniated disc.

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