Today I'm excited to bring you a guest post from freelance writer
Jaime A. Heidel on the benefits of yoga in helping with chronic pain.
How Yoga Helps Treat Chronic Pain
The deep breathing and gentle stretching of yoga helps increase your blood circulation, improve your mood, boost your immune system, and increase your flexibility. Certain poses deepen feelings of relaxation and well-being while others treat specific types of chronic pain. The practice of yoga gives you time to slow down, relax, and reconnect, which helps you better manage chronic pain.
Top 10 Yoga Poses for Chronic Pain
Yoga is a great natural way to manage chronic pain without prescription drugs. These yoga poses for pain help you better reconnect with your body while helping it heal gently from the inside out.
Top 10 Yoga Poses for Chronic Pain
Cobra Pose is a good yoga pose for any type of back pain ranging from mild to severe. To do this pose, lay flat on your stomach on a yoga mat, placing your hands palms down on either side of your ribs.
Take a deep breath and tighten your abdominal muscles while pushing the top half of your body upward with your arms. Look up to the ceiling and hold this pose for a count of three breaths, then release, slowly lowering yourself back down. Repeat as needed.
The Butterfly or Bound Angle pose is a good yoga pose for chronic hip pain. To do this pose, sit on a yoga mat and draw your knees upward and then out, allowing the bottoms of your feet to touch. Inhaling deeply, bend slowly from the waist, guiding your movement with your hands down your leg. Go forward as far as is comfortable and hold the position for three breaths. Repeat as needed.
The wall plank is a good yoga posture for chronic elbow and shoulder pain as it strengthens the muscles in that area. To do this pose, stand arm-distant from the wall. Reach from your shoulders and plant your palms against the wall. Keep your fingers spread, with your middle finger pointed toward the ceiling. Once you’re firmly positioned, begin walking your feet slowly backward away from the wall until you’re bent forward at a right angle. Only go as far as you can. Hold for three deep breaths. Repeat this pose as needed.
Downward Dog is a yoga exercise that helps alleviate both chronic back and neck pain. To do this pose from a kneeling position, get down on all fours on a yoga mat, feet and hands hip-distance apart. Curl your toes under and, taking a deep breath, pull your chest toward your knees and your bottom to the ceiling. Hold this pose for three breaths and repeat the posture as needed.
Legs hurt? Then you’re looking for the Triangle Pose, the perfect yoga exercise for stretching the legs and improving blood circulation. To do this pose, step with your feet wide apart on a non-slip yoga mat. Turn your left leg slightly outward, with your toes pointing away from you. Turn your right leg outward by 90 degrees, bending your knee and pointing your right toes away from you.
Next, raise both your arms to shoulder level and inhale deeply. Twist your spine to the right so your torso is directly above your knee. Place your right hand on your shin or wherever on your legs you can reach. Lengthen your ribs and lift upward from the edge of your left hip. Raise your left hand toward the ceiling, with your palm facing forward.
Open your chest as far as is comfortable and, breathing naturally, point your left hand toward the sky, gazing at it while you hold the position for three breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Digestion issues plague many chronic pain sufferers. Diarrhea, constipation, gas, and bloated belly are all
. You can regulate your digestive system with the Thunderbolt Pose. To do this pose, kneel on a yoga mat with your hands resting on your thighs and your butt resting on your heels.
If this is uncomfortable for you, place a pillow between your seat and legs for more support. Hold this pose for a few moments while breathing deeply. Release and repeat as needed.
Another good yoga pose for digestive issues is the Seated Twist. To start this pose, sit on a yoga mat with your legs together and extended before you. Bend your right knee and place it as close to your bottom as you can.
Then bend your left knee crossing your left foot over your right knee, firmly planted on the floor. Reach behind you with your left arm and touch the floor, gently twisting your spine while taking a deep breath in. Gaze behind you over your left shoulder and hold the pose for three deep breaths. Release the pose and repeat on the other side when comfortable.
Low energy is a direct result of living with chronic pain. After all, your body is continually fighting free radicals, pain, and inflammation. To improve your energy and overall well-being, try Camel Pose. You’ll start by kneeling on your mat and placing your hands on your hips. Arch your back slightly, pulling your stomach forward. When you’re ready, reach behind you and grab your heels, deepening the arch and breathing smoothly. Come back to center and repeat when needed.
Seated Neck Release
Millions of people suffer from chronic headaches due to back and neck tension. To combat this pain, try the Seated Neck Release. Sit on your mat with your legs crossed and place your left arm downward and out touching the floor at your side. With your right hand, reach upward and gently grab the top left side of your head. Taking a deep breath, slowly pull your head toward your right shoulder. Hold for a period of three breaths. Repeat on the other side and as often as necessary.
Child’s Pose is an excellent yoga pose for relaxation and lower back pain. For this pose, you’ll kneel on your mat, sitting on your heels with your knees hip-width apart. Taking a deep breath, sit up tall, imagining a string is pulling you slowly upward. Let your shoulders and chin stay relaxed as you bend forward placing your hands on the mat and sliding downward until your tummy is touching your knees.
Stretch your neck and arms as far as you can comfortably do so. Circle your arms around so that they touch your side, palms facing upward. Breathe deeply and hold the pose for as long as you’d like up to a couple of minutes.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Yoga Practice
To get the most out of your yoga practice, be sure your environment is safe. Obtain a slip-free mat designed for yoga and practice barefoot so your feet stick to the mat as intended. Be sure you have plenty of room to stretch and move without knocking or bumping into anything. Use relaxation CDs, candles, or incense to further your feelings of relaxation and connectedness. Also, never do a pose that worsens your pain. Go slowly at your own pace and modify any pose you need for safety and comfort.
Chronic pain can be so debilitating to live with and the narcotics and steroids used to relieve it can cause troubling side effects when used long term. Yoga poses for chronic pain is a way to relieve this discomfort without causing more harm to your body.
Give them a try. You’ll be amazed at how much healthier you feel!
Guest post by:
Jaime A. Heidel. Jaime is a professional freelance writer with a passion for natural health. Her work has been seen on dozens of natural health websites, including,
PS For more on practicing with pain, read
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