9 Best Yoga for Spinal Stenosis[An Expert’s guide]


Are you suffering from this intolerable pain that is created with spinal stenosis? If yes, then you are on the right page. Today we are going to give some tips about yoga for spinal stenosis and symptoms, causes, and other helpful items for spinal stenosis.

Most of you know, how yoga is helpful to make our life stable. There are numerous examples that they have got small or big health benefits from Yoga. Yoga lovers’ crowd is increasing day by day and that is simply understandable because it gives us relief from body ache, it helps us to get rid of normal to severe diseases.

How Yoga is Helpful for Spinal Stenosis Patients?

You will be surprised after knowing the good results of Yoga in spinal stenosis problem. But there are strict instructions for those who are suffering from spinal stenosis, they should not perform the yoga poses as usual like a normal person. They need to perform each and every pose very carefully because any mistake can increase their pain in the body.

Cautionary instruction for Spinal Stenosis Victims

One more appeal for those who are starting yoga poses for spinal stenosis, Yoga brings the results slowly. Do not expect results overnight or the next day. But your belief in yoga can bring double results to get you well soon. You need to focus on each and every yoga pose like you are getting the best treatment for your body and nothing beyond that.

This is for those who are not suffering from spinal stenosis and want to learn yoga from start to a deep level then read our post “yoga moves for beginners” and enjoy your yoga poses.

Here is a post “5 Best Yoga Mats 2020: Unbiased Review Guide” that will help you to purchase a Yoga mat according to your needs.

Joining any yoga center or start yoga at home, it’s your choice, but these 5 spinal stenosis yoga, will definitely help you to get relief from this severe problem.

Yoga Poses for Spinal Stenosis

Here is a few simple yoga poses for Lumbar Spinal stenosis, but before starting these exercises, please consult with your Dr. if you are suffering from a severe spinal stenosis problem.

My instructions are clear for spinal stenosis patients, do not start yoga poses in hurry. First of all, read properly for each and every pose then start performing it in slow motion. Your body may not give a response by the first day but slow and steady wins the race.

Mountain Pose or Tadasana

Tadasana is usually the starting point for a kind of standing pose. But it’s useful to practice Tadasana as a pose in itself. Stay in the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, breathing easily. Try stretching slowly if you are suffering from spinal stenosis.

Tadasana is basically a standing Yoga and lumbar exercise. It is beneficial in spinal stenosis while doing it as a pose.


You need to stand by touching your big toes; then need to lightly apart your heels to make your second toes parallel. Lift your balls of feet by spreading and lifting your toes and then lay them slowly down on the floor.

Tree Pose or Vrikshasana

Tree pose or Vrikshasana is beneficial in both spinal stenosis Lumbar spinal stenosis and Cervical stenosis at the initial level. it helps to make the body posture a little bit straight and support nerve systems. Start slowly this pose and try to make body balance but if not be able to make body balance in starting, don’t be frustrated, try small steps on a daily basis. This will help to empower both legs and both arms.

Stand straight, Put your weight across your both feet, bend your left leg from the knee and catch the left ankle with both hands, and put it on the right thigh. Slowly and gradually try to put entire body weight at one leg, free both hands from the left ankle, and spread parallel to both shoulders

The second step -:Take your hands straight over the top of the head, join both palms together and straighten both hands. Try to make your body balance on one leg and concentrate on your breath. Repeat the same process with another leg.

Bound Angle  or Baddhakonasana

This pose is a part of sitting Yoga poses and found beneficial in spinal canal stenosis. This Yoga pose may help to reduce low back pain.

Bound Angle or Baddhakonasana
Bound Angle or Baddhakonasana

Sit on the Yoga mat, bend your both legs from the knee, catch both ankles with both hands and bring them together with joining from bottoms, and interlace the fingers. Catch both feet with both hands and push inside.

Slowly and gradually start twisting both ankles up and down, Inhale while pressing both knees towards the floor and exhale while lifting both knees towards the ceiling. Do this exercise 15 to 20 times.

Downward dog or Adho Mukha Svasana

Before starting this yoga pose, we recommend taking advice from your Dr. if you are suffering from a severe Spinal stenosis problem. This pose is something hard to perform, try only if your problem is at the initial level. This can help to reduce pack pain and if anyone performs it on regular basis can get relief from low back problems forever.

Adho Mukha Svanasana (The Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Adho Mukha Svanasana (The Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Stand at the floor taking the support of your hands and knees, your knees should be set under your hips and hands should be set forward your shoulders. Lift your tail toward the sky, your legs and hands will go straighten slowly and your body will make a shape of an inverted V character.

Inhale while stretching the legs, hold for a few seconds and exhale while bending knees again and returning to the previous position. Again repeat the same process for 3 to 4 times. Perform this pose in slow in starting.

Half Spinal Twist or Ardha Matsyendrasana

Half spinal twist is one more advance poses for spine problems. Again advised, not to perform without Dr. consultation in severe problems. This pose can help to make spaces between the spinal canal and may be helpful for nerves that are pinched due to spinal stenosis.

Half Spinal Twist or Ardha Matsyendrasana
Half Spinal Twist or Ardha Matsyendrasana

Sit erect with stretching your legs in front of you, make sure that your spine is erect and your feet are absolutely placed together. Catch your left foot with both hands and bend your left leg from the knee and place the left foot beside your right hip.

Put your left-hand palm on the ground, place your right elbow on your left knee, and hand on the thigh. Push the left knee inside towards your chest and fold the right leg as well.

Twist the neck and shoulders on the opposite side with inhaling, hold it for few seconds and then leave the knee to loosen and exhale. Repeat the same with the right leg. This repetition should continue 4 to 5 times.

Yoga for Lumbar Stenosis

Pawanmukti Asan

If you feel pain underneath your knee, pawanmukti asana is a way to make
your knee comfortable, it is a spinal stenosis yoga. If you feel pain in the groin area, don’t push your leg inside hard, do it as comfortable as you can.


While pushing leg inside, a gentle stretch you will feel in your spine. Hold this pose at least 30 seconds and repeat it of both sides

Figure For Stretch

People who are suffering from lumbar stenoses mostly have tight glutes and tight glutes put a lot of pressure on the spine.
Figure four stretching helps to open nerves with a little pressure. Figure four stretch is a glute stretch


People who feel pain while performing figure four stretch, can do ti seated on a chair.

Dog Pose

Just fold your both knees at 90 Degree and place your both hands on the floor, just maintain
like a cat and cow pose.


But don’t give any movement to your back like cat and cow pose. Just make the spine straight and keep this position for a few seconds. You will feel small stretches into your spine.

Bird -Dog Pose

Lifting leg and opposite arm. You should keep your body while doing this pose. Lift your arm and try to make it straight, at the same time try to kick your opposite leg outside.

bird dog pose
bird dog pose

Do this pose very slowly, your back should not feel any big movement while doing this pose.
Don’t move your back up and down while doing this pose. Just imagine that a cup of tea is placed
at your back and you have to maintain that cup in the same position if you move fast your back then that cup of tea can fell down. This is a simple way to perform this pose slowly. Repeat this pose for both sides with both arms and legs.

Most of you are doodling about spinal stenosis, what is spinal stenosis, or symptoms of spinal stenosis but you need to know deeply about it.

What is spinal Stenosis?

Stenosis is a term that originates from the Greek language meaning a choking or constriction of space.  When lumbar stenosis occurs the spinal nerves roots in the lower back become compressed triggering signals of pain.

Along with pain, symptoms of weakness, numbness as well as tingling sensations may be felt radiating from the lower back, into the buttocks, and down the legs.  Physical activity tends to trigger these symptoms with more severity.


Normal lumber spinal is more than 150 mm but due to spinal stenosis and degeneration of the spinal canal, it becomes less than 100 mm. This narrowing down space creates trouble in the spinal cord. Spinal stenosis exercises and yoga helps to open this space for blood circulation. Here is a table to ease your reading……

What Part spinal stenosis affects most?

Although spinal stenosis can affect any section of the back, seventy-five percent of the time it will occur in the lumbar spine.  Spinal stenosis of the lower back is termed as lumbar stenosis but may also be termed sciatica if it affects the sciatic nerve. 

Spinal stenosis is commonly the outcome of degenerative joint disease, that can have a pinching of the spinal cord or nerve roots. Over the age of 50, it is risky for anyone.

spinal stenosis
spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis becomes increasingly dangerous if it develops in your neck or the cervical section of your spine.  If the stenosis is present in the cervical spinal canal it may compress the spinal cord itself, increasing the risks of developing major body weakness or in some extreme scenarios, paralysis. 

Because your spinal cord is not present in the lumber section of your spinal canal, paralysis caused by lumbar spinal stenosis is virtually impossible. But don’t afraid, here we will recommend exercises for cervical spinal stenosis as well as a pinched nerve.

Spinal Stenosis Symptoms:

It’s difficult to attain an accurate diagnosis because spinal stenosis shares many common symptoms linked to other conditions.  The most common symptom of lumbar spinal stenosis is leg pain and is often referred to as sciatic pain. 

Along with leg pain, there will often be a presence of lower back pain, numbness or tingling sensations in the leg, and limitations in walking abilities

Leg pain from walking is one of the more common symptoms of spinal stenosis, but may also indication an arterial circulatory insufficiency. 

Taking rest will help to ease leg pain from either condition but a tell-tale sign of spinal stenosis is that the patient will usually have to sit down for a few minutes to feel relief from the pain. 

In patients affected by vascular claudication, the act of simply stopping walking will provide relief from the pain. Spinal stenosis Yoga poses helps to provide relief in leg pain.

How to Identify Spinal Stenosis Symptoms?

Generally speaking, symptoms of spinal stenosis develop over the course of several years, occasionally becoming acute.  In most people suffering from spinal stenosis, their leg pain will worsen the longer they stand or walk. 

The most common way to relieve leg pain and other spinal stenosis symptoms is flexing forward or sitting.  Pain from spinal stenosis will often recur when you resume an upright posture.  Numbness and tingling sensations often accompany spinal stenosis pain and may be accompanied by muscular weakness in some cases. 

If you have seen someone leaning over the handle of their shopping cart while making short stumbling steps, it is a sign that a person most likely suffers from spinal stenosis.

Spinal stenosis symptoms list

  • Spinal stenosis develops slowly over time.
  • Most often the pain comes and goes and is not acute.
  • Walking and standing upright often triggers spinal stenosis symptoms.
  • Painful symptoms can be relieved by rest, either sitting or lying down.  Flexing yourself forward also helps to provide relief.

Either a MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) or a CT (Computed tomography) scan with myelogram (injected x-ray dye in the spinal fluid sack) imaging is used to diagnose spinal stenosis. 

When diagnosing spinal stenosis, a CT scan will usually only provide useful information if it is performed using very fine segmental scan slices.

Spinal Stenosis Impact on Nerve Compression.

Spinal stenosis has a dynamic effect on nerve compression.  This in short means that when bearing weight on the affected area there will be symptoms, but there will be no symptoms when the pressure is relieved. 

Because of this changing compression, physical examinations will generally not show any problems or motor weakness.  There are some recent scanning methods that allow for studying the effects of spinal loading on the upright body position.

When Starts Degeneration of Spine

Degeneration in the spine will often occur during the fifth decade of life for most people. Because there is such a strong link between degeneration in the spine and spinal stenosis, stenosis will also occur most frequently during this time period. 

Many people will not show symptoms of spinal stenosis until they reach the age of sixty, although in some rare cases traumatic injury to the spine may be the cause of early development. After the age of 50, spinal stenosis exercises and small yoga poses are more effective rather than any other treatments.

We will share these simple Yoga poses with you but before let us understand little more about stenosis because what pose we required most will depend on the type of stenosis.

The Types of Spinal Stenosis

Stenosis are two types- Lumber spinal stenosis and cervical spinal stenosis.

Lumber Stenosis

When a person is suffering with lumbar stenosis, the spinal canal becomes narrow and this is mostly due to aging as well as degeneration in the spine. 

The discs located between the vertebrae may become dehydrated, thus resulting in loss of density and no longer acting as a cushion between the bones. 

In lumbar stenosis, the spinal nerve roots in the lower back become compressed and this can make symptoms of sciatica—tingling, herniated disc, weakness or numbness that radiates from the low back and into the tail and legs—particularly with activity

I think the topic is in the right direction and you will be enjoying this topic. Yes I know, you may be waiting about the Yoga poses for this problem, but perfect Yoga pose for the targeted problem will help more. Let me discuss something more about stenosis.

Major Types of Lumbar Stenosis

Lumbar Spinal stenosis can affect you in any of the major segments of the spine and is often termed with the segment affected. Here are different types of Lumbar Stenosis.

1 Foraminal stenosis

Nerve roots leave through a hole in the side of the spinal canal called the lateral foramen.  If a bone spur has developed in this area it can put pressure on the nerve root exiting the lateral foramen. 

This is termed lateral spinal stenosis and is the most common form of spinal stenosis.  Of known cases, seventy-two percent of foraminal stenosis occurs at the lowest lumbar level.  The emerging nerve root is trapped, compromising a major part of the sciatic nerve.

The most common way to pinpointed foraminal stenosis is with a CT or MRI scan, but for patients who don’t have access to these devices, selective nerve blocking may also be performed to determine the location of stenosis. 

This is done by injecting the suspected nerve with a small amount of local anesthetic and if successful, there will be a remission of the spinal stenosis symptoms. 

However there are many ways to approach the treatment of spinal stenosis but Yoga is natural treatment for spinal stenosis.

2 Central stenosis

When the central canal is being choked or compressed it is referred to as central spinal stenosis.  The cauda equine (note the reference as it resembles a horse’s tail) is a loose bundle of nerve filaments that can become compressed with central spinal stenosis. 

Being more common at the second from the lowest lumbar spinal level, central spinal stenosis is most often caused by a bulging disc plus a large overgrowth or redundancy or ligament.  The ligament is there to help protect the dura.  A degenerating disc between adjacent vertebrae will cause this overgrowth of ligament.

3 Far lateral stenosis

With lateral stenosis the nerve is affected as it is leaving the spinal canal through the lateral foramen.  With far lateral stenosis the nerve is affected after it has left the spinal canal through the lateral foramen usually by a bone spur or bulging or herniated disc. 

Who is Affected by Lumbar Stenosis?

If you are reading this post from start to end then you might have good idea, that who are more affected by spinal stenosis, if you have starting the post from middle then let me explain that the most often, patients affected by lumbar stenosis are usually in the age 50 plus category. 

As noted above, lumbar spinal stenosis is mainly due to aging, therefore those under 50 years of age, typically will not have had degeneration in the spine and chances are less below 50 years. 

But if the problem is genetic and a child is born with a more narrow spinal canal, increasing the likelihood of developing this condition and the problem may occur at any age. 

Now that the role of the spine and in particular, the lumbar spine, has been identified,

Lumber Stenosis

When lumbar stenosis occurs, the nerves become pinched. Symptoms of a pinched nerve may be inflammation of the nerve resulting in pain in the legs and/or buttock area. 

Patients diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis usually are able to describe to their doctor that the history of pain has affected their back, legs and/or their buttock area. 

This pain becomes worse over the years and prolonged periods of standing or longer walks typically result in weakness, heavy or tired legs as well as a tight and aching or throbbing pain. 

When the patient is in a sitting position or leaning forward rather than upright, the pain is often relieved.  Patients suffering from lumbar stenosis are advised to start lumbar spinal stenosis exercises.

Cervical Spinal Stenosis

As we have read different types of stenosis here is one more type of stenosis and that is Cervical spinal Stenosis. If stenosis occurs in the cervical spinal canal, it narrows and compresses the nerves exiting through the foramen, sometimes even irritating the spinal cord itself, is known cervical stenosis.

There are seven vertebrae in the spine that are located between the head and chest that make up the cervical spine (C1-C7).  When nerves and occasionally the spinal cord are compressed, function in this area can be changed and cause pain and stiffness accompanied by tingling and numbness sensations in the neck, arms and legs. 

Very rarely loss of bowel and bladder control may occur.  If you experience this, it is highly recommended that you seek immediate medical attention or start exercises for cervical stenosis.  If cervical stenosis damages the spinal cord there is a small possibility it could lead to paralysis.

Cervical Spinal Stenosis Shape Change

The open area in the bones that makes up the spinal column is the spinal canal.  The narrowing of this spinal canal in the cervical section of the spine is termed as cervical spinal stenosis.  Being most common in patients over fifty years of age, this is often caused by a person’s age-related changes in the shape of the spinal canal.

Our spinal cord is made up of a collection of nerves that run through the spinal canal.  These nerves begin at the base of our brain and run through to our lower back. 

Our ability to feel, to move, to control our bowel and bladder along with several other body functions are controlled by these nerves. There may be symptoms of:

A small prickling in foot, hand and arm

Weakness any of these, leg, foot or hand

Neck or shoulder pain

Common Causes of Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis often occurs as a result of natural spinal degeneration incurred with our natural aging process. Although spinal degeneration is the leading cause, spinal stenosis may also be caused by a herniated disc, osteoporosis or a tumor. 

If the spinal canal is not affected by spinal stenosis, there is adequate room for the spinal cord and the cauda equina. 

In some people, there is a curvature of the spine present, known as scoliosis, which applies pressure on nerves and soft tissue, as well as compressing or stretching the ligaments.

We have already taken a quick look at some of the causes of spinal stenosis, here is a more detailed list of each cause.

The leading cause for spinal stenosis is arthritis, a condition caused by the breakdown of cartilage — the cushioning material between your bones and the development of bone tissue.

List of Common Causes of Spinal Stenosis

  • Aging – as the body ages, its ligaments begin to thicken. The chemical compound of spinal discs may begin to change, starting the process of disc degeneration.  The facets joints which allow for nerves to exit may begin to break down as well.  The above list all equates to the same problem; a restriction of space or narrowing of the spinal canal.
  • Spondylolisthesis – This condition occurs when one of the vertebrae moves forward onto another, narrowing the amount of space in the spinal canal.
  • Spinal tumor – an abnormal growth that causes inflammation or protrudes directly into the spinal canal which is generally comprised of soft tissue.
  • Arthritis – Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid are the two main forms of arthritis that can affect the spine assisting in the development of spinal stenosis.
  • Heredity – A small spinal canal can be passed on by the parents allowing for spinal stenosis to be present in a younger person.  Narrowing of the spinal canal may also be caused by the deformation of the vertebral structure.

Traumatic spinal injury

  • In some accidents or injuries affecting the spine, including dislocation or fractures, fragments may become present in the spinal canal causing a reduction of space assisting in the development of spinal stenosis.
  • It may be due to infection
  • Trauma
  • A herniated disc is found the most common reasons.
  • Growth of bone spurs
  • One more reason can be the thickening of ligaments

Herniated Disc

If the cushions are cracked, the material can seep away and push along your spinal cord or nerves

Is Yoga Good For Spinal Stenosis?

Few yoga poses can help to get relief from the back pain. The person who is suffering from spinal stenosis should not perform all yoga poses. He or She should perform yoga poses only in the observation of yoga trainer.

Yoga helps for blood circulation in the body, even in to those areas where blood supply is impacted due to any kind of diseases. The patients of spinal stenosis also get relief in pain after doing few specific yoga poses.

Definitely yoga helps in all kinds of disease in the body but you should consult with your physician before starting any kind of exercise or yoga to cure spinal stenosis.

By doing yoga exercises you can improve your body balance, ability to walk, and somehow you can get relief in pain. Yoga exercises are significant to preserve muscle strength and stability when walking.

How Yoga and Pranayama is Helpful?

Pranayama and Yoga can help to correct body posture, improve vertebral alignment, and increase range of gestures makes it an excellent therapy to thin out the symptoms of spinal stenosis and curb its further movement.

Pranayama and Yoga for spinal stenosis hold the potential to improve vertebral alignment, improve chances of posture and movement, all of which have the potential to slow down the increase of spinal stenosis.

Inversions can help to bring down the symptoms for both types of spinal stenosis, lumbar spinal stenosis, and cervical spinal stenosis. Yoga is one of the best supporting function which can help to reduce all kind of abnormalities and lower back pain. Pranayama (Kapalbhati is primary Pranayama) is a way that can help to strengthen our body muscles and bones. This can improve any kind of severe condition of spinal stenosis and bring it down and the person can feel relief from any kind of pain in the body.

Choose a Comfortable Mat

Choose a comfortable and non-sleepy yoga mat to start these exercises. Because a person is suffering from this problem, he/she needs to more careful while performing any exercise. A yoga mat can be one reason that can imbalance you. So Manduka Pro Yoga mat is a non-sleepy and comfortable mat for this exercise.

These are simple yoga for spinal stenosis, Start these poses in slowly and comfortable without throwing any stress on your body.

Wrapping Up

Apart from these 5 Yoga exercises, There are 5 to 6 pranayamas which can help to cure spinal problems. Swami Ramdev has experimented for these Yoga poses and Asanas on thousands people who were suffering from spinal problems and found Good results.

Pranayama is nothing else, just breathing exercises which can helps to re generate the body cells and helps to cure from hundreds diseases.

Helpful Pranayamas

Here are five Pranayama which can help to rectify the spinal diseases, but pranayama should be perform slowly in case of spinal stenosis problems.

Bhastrika Pranayam  —perform in slow speed

Kapalbhati Pranayam   —-perform in slow speed

Vaayu Bandh Pranayam   –perform in slow motion

Anulom Vilom Pranayam –perform in slow motion

Bharamri Pranayama — perform in slow motion

Breath exercises always helps to improve these kinds of abnormalities.