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Yoga for Tight Backs
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5 yoga poses for tight backs

Do you feel tightness in your lower back and sides? Has this increased as you spend more time inside over various lockdowns and more time on Zoom than in a classroom or office?

As a kindergarten and yoga teacher, I spend a surprising amount of time sitting down. I spend HUGE amounts of time each week at my desk, creating resources, staring down spreadsheets of data depicting progress of every student, and of course creating blog, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook posts and videos every week. My back is getting tight.

This doesn’t even include the time that I spend watching TV (mostly Taskmaster) or online courses OR the many other activities that involve sitting down, like riding my motorbike for 2+ hours every day. Even when I teach children, I am sitting down! The point is, since starting this job, I have noticed a huge difference in the tightness of my lower back and sides and I need to move more to prevent this from turning into a problem.

So, here are my Top 5 Poses to Stretch and Strengthen Tight Backs AND I’ve put it into a great, short flow for you to complete in under ten minutes – twice in under twenty! This is the perfect lunchtime yoga flow. Just complete the form below to access the video or click here.



Release back and shoulder tension in Rag Doll

Start from standing, feet hip-width apart, at the top of your mat. Reach your arms up and fold forwards, hinging from your hips, bending into your knees and allowing yourself to relax. Take hold of your elbows and gently rock from side to side, allowing tension in the shoulders and back to release. Gently shake your head ‘no’ and nod your head ‘yes’. Interlace your fingers behind your head, lift half way and bounce down, repeat for a count of 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1, gently bouncing and releasing tension across the whole back and shoulders.

Rag doll
Yoga for tights backs: rag doll


Stretch and strengthen tight backs in Down Dog


Plant your hands and step back to downwards facing dog. Hands shoulder-width apart and feet hip-width apart, straight arms and hands pushing your mat away from you.

Down dog
Yoga for tights backs: Down dog

Come to the balls of your feet, bend your knees until your stomach touches your thighs, then start to straighten the legs and try to keep the back where it is. It doesn’t matter if the legs are full straight or not. Repeat three times.

Click here for more down dog instructions!

Practice this flow with me! Complete the form below to access the video.



Stretch the sides and strengthen the lower back in Triangle pose


Lift your right leg up and step it between your hands, either using your core to hug it into your chest and stepping it between your hands or with the help of your hand, lift it forwards. Spin the left heel 90 degrees so the toes point to the long side of the mat and your hips are open to the long side of the mat too. Right toes point to the top of the mat.

Triangle pose
Yoga for tights backs: Triangle pose

Straight legs, engage the kneecaps and upper left hip, reach as far as you can forwards then bring that right hand down to your shin, ankle or even the big toe if you are very flexible. I want very little weight to be going down into that hand, I want my core and side trunk to be holding me up.

Reach your left hand up to the sky, one straight line from finger tips to finger tips. Pull the belly in towards the spine. Hold for as many breaths as you like then with an inhale, come up to the centre, switch the feet and come down on the left side.

After some breaths on the left side, soften into the left knee and windmill the hands down to the mat and step back to downward facing dog.

Practice this flow with me! Complete the form below to access the video.



Stretch the spine, sides and hamstrings in Janu Sirsasana


Drop your knees down to table top pose then cross your ankles and sit back on your mat, opening your legs forwards and feeling your sitting bones grounding down.

Janu Sirsasana
Yoga for tights backs: Janu Sirsasana

Extend the left leg and bend the right, right foot to the inner left thigh. If there is a gap here between your mat and your knee, bring a yoga block, a book, a bolster or pillow or WHATEVER to give yourself some support. Then, reach your arms up over your head on an inhale, extending through the spine and fold forwards from your hips, keeping the spine straight all the way to the neck.


You don’t have to touch your tummy to your legs! It’s OK to stop and be super far away from this point! Hold a belt around the balls of your feet if you want something to hold on to and gaze at your big toes. Inhale to lengthen the spine. Exhale to go deeper. It might not be noticeable to the eye, in the mirror or on the camera, but try to feel it. Stay for some breaths then come out the way you came in and switch the legs. Right extends and left bends.

Practice this flow with me! Complete the form below to access the video.



Release tension in tight back, chest and shoulders in Active Child’s pose


Hands reach in front and shift your weight forwards back into table top pose. Big toes to touch, send your sitting bones back to your heels and reach your arms forwards. Keep the elbows and wrists lifted by spider-webbing your fingers and lifting the arms as you creep forwards. Inhale to look forwards and exhale to walk your hands to the right. Keep lifted in the arms and grounded in the sitting bones. Take a round of breath or two here. Inhale again to the centre and exhale to the left. Take the same amount of time.

Active Child's Pose
Yoga for tights backs: Active Child’s pose

Come back to the centre again and repeat the sequence by making your way through table top back up to standing in rag doll, stepping the left foot forwards this time when you transition from down dog to triangle pose. After finishing the sequence, take rest in Savasana or passive (restful) Child’s Pose.

I hope that these 5 yoga poses to stretch and strengthen tight backs are suitable for you and your practice, and that this flow is one you can incorporate into your daily life for a healthier back and body. Let me know how you get on in the comments or on Facebook or Instagram, you can even contact me through the website too.


Have an amazing day!


Lolli xxx

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