Poses by Benefit

Yoga for Back Health: How to Protect Your Spine While Picking Up (& Putting Down) Props

For exclusive access to all our stories, including sequences, teacher tips, video classes, and more, join Outside+ today.

Got back pain? Want to find relief, begin healing, and enjoy your yoga practice again? Join Alison West, PhD, C-IYAT, E-RYT, for her new online course, Yoga for Back Health: A 6-Week Clinic for Mobility, Strength, & Pain Relief. This workshop dives into anatomy and asana practices to help you better understand: the structure of the spine; how to evaluate your posture and identify movement patterns; the impact of injuries and conditions; and how to work with those issues through safe yoga sequences, poses, and breathwork. Sign up today!

A therapeutic practice can do wonders for your body—but failing to exercise caution as you lay down (or scoop up) your mat, blocks, or blankets can have the exact opposite effect. Here, yoga therapist Alison West, founder of the Yoga Union Backcare and Scoliosis Center in New York City, demonstrates how to handle your props so that you avoid tweaking the spine, spraining a muscle, or aggravating an existing injury.  

See also Got Computer Neck? 3 Poses for Pain Relief