Have you, or someone you know, ever had to live with chronic pain? If so, you know how physically, mentally and emotionally debilitating it can be. It can make you feel hopeless, frustrated and wondering “How can my body do this to me?”. My yoga studio in Ormond Beach is offering a 10 week “Yoga for Chronic Pain” workshop led by Teresa Harris to help those who suffer with chronic pain find a way to manage and alleviate pain through the practice of yoga.
Many of my friends and students who suffer with pain, either physically or mentally, constantly hear me say, “There’s a yoga pose for that!”. I truly believe Yoga can cure all! For chronic pain, it has been proven that Yoga includes several practices that can help those who suffer from many different types of ailments. The physical aspect of yoga helps to balance the body’s weaknesses, strengths, and imbalances. Rather than seeing the body as a number of different parts, with some that are comfortable and strong while others that are weak and painful, yoga considers the body to be an organic, connected entity whose parts are constantly in a moving relationship to each other. Yoga teaches awareness of proper body alignment and posture, which is an important aspect of a well-functioning body. At the same time, the mindfulness training of yoga provides tools for engaging with our pain in a way in which we can listen to it and understand it while the healing process takes place. Stress reduction is also a well-known benefit of yoga and can further facilitate the release of negative and damaging emotions to help you move towards healing.
Meditation, Pranayama (breathing practice), and the Asanas (poses of the physical practice) all help those who suffer with chronic pain. There are so many asanas that help alleviate pain, but the following are a few that are my “GO-TO” postures for all types of ailments. At Lotus Yoga and Fitness we practice these asanas in almost every class, but you might never have known what they specifically are most beneficial for. So here are a few of my favorites:
1) Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)- a back bend that stretches the muscles in the front of the torso, the arms, and the shoulders. It is an excellent pose for increasing the flexibility of the spine, as well as reducing back pain.
2) Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)- Strengthens and stretches the whole body.
3) Utthita Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)- Stretches the legs, opens the hips, and improves blood circulation.
4) Ardha Matsyendrasana (Seated twist)- improves and aids the digestive system, as well as increases flexibility in the shoulders, neck, hips, and spine.
5) Balasana (Child’s Pose)- excellent pose for relaxation, alleviating anxiety, and opens/stretches the lower back, ankles , hips, thighs, knees.
Remember that not all postures are accessible to everyone and should be done with the help of your teacher. At my yoga studio in Ormond Beach my teachers are trained to safely guide you through your practice, but it is up to you to be in tune with your body and know when to back out of a posture if it does not feel right. You will learn which poses make you feel better, and which ones do not. Let your body and your breath be your guide and join us at Lotus Yoga and Fitness to learn more about how you can manage pain, and feel better body, mind and spirit.