Yogic relaxation for back pain

By Atul Vyas

It is still not clear why certain people are prone to back pain, while others with similar physiques and living in the same circumstances are not. It is partly because of emotional or psychological factors. These play just as big a part in back pain as clearly diagnosed physical disorders.

Medical science has found a strong connection between physical and emotional stress and chronic back pain, continuous physical and emotional stress can cause various changes in one’s body and one’s bodily movements that influence the way one uses one’s muscles and spine. Tightness or tension in one’s muscles is a common result of stress, which can lead to neck and back pain as well as headaches.

The constant discomfort of chronic back pain can lead to depression, hopelessness, and despair.

Though this vicious circle is hard to break there are yogic ways of dealing with stress-related pain which subsides with time if yogic ways are followed.

Yoga is considered mind-body therapy. One of the techniques prescribed in Yoga is progressive muscle relaxation. It is used for pain management treatment. This technique works through the deliberate tensing and relaxing of different muscle groups focusing on one at a time to increase one’s awareness of what tension and relaxation feel like.

This way anyone can identify and counteract signs of muscular tensions at an early stage. It starts with your feet and works its way up your body.


  • Lie down in Shavasana, resting arms by your side with palms facing up
  • Breathe in deeply and tense the muscles in your left foot as hard as you can
  • Keep the muscles in your foot tense for about 5 seconds, and then breathe out, releasing the tension and feeling the flow out of your body as you exhale
  • Repeat the process with the right foot, and then with your calves, thighs, buttocks, stomach, chest, back, arms, neck, shoulders, and finally face


  • Helps to release muscular tension and tightness
  • Helps one to relax
  • Allows one’s body to unwind and ease physical, mental, and emotional stress
  • Relaxation can ease muscular tensions in the neck and back
  • Helps in the improved breathing
  • Calming effect on the entire body
  • Very useful in pain management

The author likes to be called a “Yoga Scientist”. He is a celebrity yoga trainer and has trained several top Hollywood and Bollywood stars. He has trained for years under many eminent yoga gurus including his illustrious mother Daya Vyas, the first lady yoga guru of India.

Images courtesy of (Image: Conquer PCOS) and Provided

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