Spinal Stenosis and Yoga: Finding Relief Through Mindful Movement 

  Mar 18, 2024
Reviewed by Divine Yoga

The spinal cord is an extremely significant part of your body. However, there are still some conditions related to the spinal cord that can create hardships and ruin your physical well-being. 

One of them is, Spinal stenosis, a condition where the space inside the backbone becomes too narrow. It mainly affects the spinal cord and the nerves by putting pressure on it, and commonly occurs in the lower back and neck.

The symptoms of this condition include pain, numbness, and weakness in the back, legs, and arms. Some people don’t show these symptoms.

There are various ways to manage the symptoms and lead a quality-life. One of them is yoga. In this article post, we will explore this condition and the exercises to deal with it.

What is Yoga?

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Yoga and yoga therapy is an ancient mind and body practice that improves strength and flexibility. It combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation for overall health. 

It has been proved effective to control a variety of chronic health conditions such as musculoskeletal disorders and others. 

If you are also suffering from this condition, this exercise can be a helpful way to manage the symptoms and provide you with relief. Let’s learn more about the condition to know which exercise will suit your body better. .

Spinal Stenosis: Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis

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When the spinal canal becomes smaller, Spinal stenosis happens.

This condition can be caused by many factors, including age-related wear and tear of the spine, herniated discs, and bone spurs. 

The compression of nerves can lead to many symptoms such as pain, numbness, and weakness in the body which meddles in the daily activities of the patient. 

The symptoms can vary depending on the position and the severity of the issue.

In severe cases, surgery could become the last resort. You can opt for traditional surgeries or look for a spinal fusion alternative such as a spinal implant device. 

The Benefits of Yoga For Spinal Stenosis: How It Can Help Alleviate Pain and Improve Mobility

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Yoga is a beneficial exercise for those suffering from spinal stenosis. The gentle movements can help to improve the flexibility in the spine and the surrounding muscles, and help to reduce stiffness and improve mobility. 

It can also help in strengthening the spine-supporting muscles. Stronger muscles can alleviate the pressure on the nerves and decrease pain.

It also assists in better posture to prevent the further danger to the  spine.

It also includes exercises that manage stress and anxiety. Mental stress can worsen the symptoms, so learning these exercises can be beneficial. If you practice it regularly, you can see improvement in your body.

Gentle Yoga Poses for Spinal Stenosis: A Step-by-Step Guide to Safe and Effective Practice

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Remember to choose gentle poses that do not put much strain on the spine. Focus on slow and controlled movements that prioritize the proper posture. 

Here are a few gentle poses that you can try to manage the symptoms:

  1. Cat-Cow Pose: Start on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Inhale as you arch your back and lift your chest towards the ceiling (Cow Pose). Exhale as you round your back and tuck your chin towards your chest (Cat Pose).

    Repeat this movement for several breaths, focusing on the stretch in your spine.

  1. Child’s Pose: Start on your hands and knees, then sit back on your heels and lower your forehead to the mat. Extend your arms forward or rest them alongside your body. 

    Take slow, deep breaths and allow your spine to lengthen and relax in this gentle stretch.

  1. Standing Forward Bend: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and slowly fold forward from the hips, allowing your upper body to hang down towards the floor. Bend your knees as much as needed to keep a gentle stretch in your hamstrings and lower back. You can place your hands on blocks or a chair for support.

You can give these poses a try and besides these, also give a try to lower back machine exercises for good posture and preventing injuries. These are light exercises that will improve your body.

Did You Know?
Yoga is over 5000 years old.

Tips for Modifying Yoga Poses to Suit Your Needs: How to Adapt Your Practice to Your Body

You can also modify the poses according to your body requirements. Here, we provide you with some tips to modify the pose to manage the symptoms:

  1. Use props: You can use props to adapt to the poses.

    For example, if you have difficulty reaching the floor in a standing forward bend, place blocks under your hands to bring the floor closer to you.

  1. Focus on alignment: Proper alignment is very vital if you suffer from these symptoms. Pay heed to the instructions on posture by your teacher when you are making adjustments.
  1. Take breaks: If the pose causes you pain, you can take a break or modify the pose. Don’t push your body beyond the limits.

Finding the Right Yoga Class for Spinal Stenosis: How To Choose a Teacher and Style That Works for You

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If you are looking for a class, make sure to find a teacher that knows the conditions and their treatment poses. You can consult the teacher to modify the poses according to the body requirements. 

Gentle or restorative yoga classes will be a good choice for you to improve your ailment.

Remember to avoid classes that are fast-paced or include advanced poses that may put excessive strain on the spine.


If you are new to these exercises, consider starting with a beginner’s class or a class that is specifically designed for individuals with chronic pain or musculoskeletal conditions.

It ensures that you get the suitable guidance and support you require in the healing process.

Choosing yoga could be the best decision of your life as it assists you in the process of getting better. It will let you lead a happy and healthy life!