No pain, no gain they say. But have you ever wondered what is there to gain from chronic pain? Nothing! Only misery. And, yoga can solve the suffering of chronic pain in a structured manner.
Yes, feeling occasional pain is natural but chronic pain is hell. If you are fed up of trying to overcome it from time to time, then you have come to the right place. Yoga is your one-stop solution to chronic pain.
Stop wondering how yoga can help with chronic pain and instead quickly scroll down to find out. Go on.
What Is Chronic Pain?
Pain occurs when your body is signaling that something is wrong with it. When you fix the problem, the pain should go away. But in the case of chronic pain, the pain lasts longer. If the pain lasts for 3 to 6 months, then it can be termed as chronic.
Usually, when a body recovers from injury, the nerves send messages to the brain cells signaling repair which is when the pain subsides. Whereas in the case of chronic pain, either due to some problem with the nerves or because of the improper working of the brain cells, the message is not received and the pain continues.
There are also high chances of chronic pain occurring for unknown reasons. When you suffer from chronic pain, you notice that the pain doesn’t go away as expected and turns out to be a burning and aching sensation in the body.
Chronic pain makes you sore, stiff and tight. It is a complex phenomenon that doctors and researchers are trying to figure out. It is deeply rooted in trauma felt during injury or illness and its effect on the mind-body relationship.
Chronic pain is a mentally, emotionally and physically challenging problem and yoga is a perfect solution for it as it can provide a holistic treatment to provide relief from chronic pain.
Let’s understand how yoga is an ideal way to deal with chronic pain.
Yoga For Chronic Pain
Yoga is a healing practice which has a range of restorative poses and breathing exercises that help deal with a complex problem like chronic pain.
As a result of chronic pain, your brain structure changes to a depressive, anxiety-ridden and impaired state of being. Whereas, practicing yoga has the opposite effect on the brain. So, it works perfectly to solve the chronic pain.
The insula gray matter in the brain has enough pain tolerance. Yoga practice increases the insula gray matter in the brain helping you to modulate pain better.
Chronic pain makes you hopeless and frustrated. You wonder how pain in a particular part of your body can crumble your being. You feel dejected and weak. In such a situation, yoga’s gentle and restorative moves provide you solace and help you deal with the problem better.
Let’s begin with the following yoga poses to open up your body and train your being to fight with chronic pain in a more engaging and abiding manner.
Yoga Poses To Help Cure Chronic Pain
- Supta Matsyendrasana
- Supta Padangustasana
- Upavistha Konasana
- Sethu Bandhasana
1. Supta Matsyendrasana (Supine Twist Pose)
About The Pose- Supta Matsyendrasana or the Supine Twist Pose is an asana that is named after a yogi called Matsyendra. It is a restorative yoga pose. The pose is a beginner level Hatha yoga asana. Practice it in the morning on an empty stomach. Hold the pose for 30 to 60 seconds.
Benefits- Supta Matsyendrasana massages your back and hips. It relaxes your spine and massages your abdominal muscles. The pose removes toxins from your body and encourages a fresh flow of blood.
To know more about the pose and its procedure, click here- Supta Matsyendrasana.
2. Supta Padangusthasana (Reclined Hand To Toe Pose)
About The Pose- Supta Padangusthasana or the Reclined Hand To Toe Pose is an incredible stretch practiced by many without realizing that it is a yoga asana. The pose is a beginner level Iyengar yoga asana. Practice it in the morning on an empty stomach. Hold the pose for 30 seconds.
Benefits- Supta Padangusthasana reduces stiffness in the lower back. It relieves arthritis pain in the hips and knees. The pose is therapeutic for high blood pressure and provides relief from menstrual discomfort.
To know more about the pose and its procedure, click here- Supta Padangustasana.
3. Upavistha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose)
About The Pose- Upavistha Konasana or the Seated Angle Pose is a perfect asana to prepare for other bends and twists. It is an intermediate level Hatha yoga asana. Practice it in the morning on an empty stomach and clean bowels. Hold the pose for 30 to 60 seconds.
Benefits- Upavistha Konasana stretches your legs and calms your brain. It opens up your hips and stretches the buttocks. The pose reduces stiffness in the joints and de-stresses you.
To know more about the pose and its procedure, click here- Upavistha Konasana.
4. Navasana (Boat Pose)
About The Pose- Navasana or the Boat Pose looks like a boat sailing in a river. It also looks like a ‘V’ shape. The pose is an intermediate level Ashtanga yoga asana. Practice it in the morning or evening on an empty stomach and clean bowels. Hold the pose for 10 to 60 seconds.
Benefits- Navasana improves digestion and stimulates the thyroid gland. It strengthens your abdominal muscles and strengthens your hamstrings. The pose improves balance and relieves stress.
To know more about the pose and its procedure, click here- Navasana.
[ Read: 5 Yoga Workouts For Better Digestion ]
5. Sethu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)
About The Pose- Sethu Bandhasana or the Bridge Pose is an asana that resembles the structure of a bridge. The pose is a beginner level Vinyasa yoga asana. Practice it in the morning on an empty stomach and clean bowels. Hold the pose for 30 to 60 seconds.
Benefits- Sethu Bandhasana stretches your neck and chest. It strengthens your buttocks and improves blood circulation in the body. The pose calms the central nervous system and reduces depression.
To know more about the pose and its procedure, click here- Sethu Bandhasana.
6. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
About The Pose- Trikonasana or the Triangle Pose is an asana that looks like the shape of a triangle. You need to keep your eyes open in Trikonasana. The pose is a beginner level Vinyasa yoga asana. Practice it in the morning on an empty stomach. Hold the pose for 30 seconds.
Benefits- Trikonasana stretches your arms and thighs. It even stretches your shoulders and relieves anxiety. It increases the mental and physical equilibrium. The pose increases your stamina and energy.
To know more about the pose and its procedure, click here- Trikonasana.
7. Garudasana (Eagle Pose)
About The Pose- Garudasana or the Eagle Pose is an asana that is named after a bird in Indian mythology called Garuda. The pose is a beginner level Vinyasa yoga asana. Practice it in the morning or evening on an empty stomach. Hold the pose for 15 to 30 seconds.
Benefits- Garudasana reduces sciatica and rheumatism. It stretches your upper back and strengthens your calves and also removes cramps in the calf muscles. The pose betters the neuro-muscular coordination.
To know more about the pose and its procedure, click here- Garudasana.
Now, let’s answer some common queries on yoga for chronic pain.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
How often do I practice yoga to treat chronic pain?
You need to consult your doctor and yoga instructor to figure out how much of yoga you need to do for beneficial results.
Does chronic pain occur in all ages?
Chronic pain is common in elderly. It also occurs in those who do an intense physical activity or play sports.
Pain for a while is okay. It builds your ability to fight back and become stronger. But consistent pain makes you weak. It takes away your courage and spirit, and you need to find a solution to it before it completely takes over and destroys you. Yoga is a perfect escape plan. Try it.
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