6 Yoga Tips for Chronic Pain Relief
Stay safe during yoga and follow these simple tips for chronic pain relief…
Odds are that most of us will suffer from some type of chronic pain at some point in our lives. No matter how careful you are, accidents, overuse, and repetitive stress injuries can happen. When they do, it can sometimes feel difficult to want to resume exercise – especially if the exercise you were doing is what caused the injury in the first place. And yes, even yoga can cause injuries!
However, keeping mobile and using your body correctly can actually help to provide chronic pain relief. The key is to learn to listen to your body, so that when you are doing something that doesn’t feel right, you can correct or change your action before causing further damage.
Whether you’re doing yoga or another activity or form of exercise, there are a few pointers you will want to follow to avoid and relieve chronic pain. Here are a few yoga tips that can help you stay pain-free on your yoga mat – and in your everyday life:
- Distinguish the difference between discomfort and pain in your body. Discomfort is challenging, but pushing discomfort too far can lead to pain. If you feel you’re at the edge of discomfort, it’s probably a sign to ease up and back off. Discomfort should be focused in the belly of the muscle that is stretching or engaging. If pain or discomfort is in the joints, this is a major red flag to stop and back off.
- Vary the style of yoga you practice. If you start to develop chronic pain or suffer an injury, take a break from practicing in your usual way. Variation in asana brings physical benefits and can help heal injuries. A restorative or yin yoga practice can help show you the benefits of slowing down and deepening your physical awareness in the poses.
- Seek advice from professionals, but always trust your intuition. Consult an experienced yoga teacher, physical therapist, or doctor if you have pain in your body, but don’t let someone else’s advice replace your own. Remember that you are your own greatest teacher.
- Learn the foundations of alignment. It’s important for anyone hoping to avoid pain and injury in yoga to understand how to maintain structural integrity in the body, and how to support it rather than hurt it. Use yoga blocks and other props to support good alignment in your practice.
- Try some focused relaxation. Whether you try a relaxation pose such as Savasana or a focused relaxation technique such as a breath awareness and body scanning, focused relaxation can help ease chronic pain. Incorporate some Yoga Nidra into your focused relaxation practice.
- Calming Pranayama (yogic breathing exercises) can relax the nervous system and reduce stress and tension.
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