Wednesday, February 27, 2013



Being in pain can make you want to curl up into an immobile ball, not get up and actually move. Moving around with yoga, however, can be just what you need to lessen the pain. Yoga works on several levels, and for several reasons, to soothe physical pain, Yoga Journal says.

Pain Types

Yoga lessens pain that stems from a number of different causes, according to Yoga Journal. One of the most common is back pain. Other painful conditions ameliorated by yoga include arthritis, the body-encompassing pain of fibromyalgia and aching knees and joints. Pain causes stress which, in turn, worsens the pain by reducing your pain tolerance.


Yoga works best to reduce pain when you pay attention to three different aspects of your practice, Yoga Journal notes. One aspect is asana, or the yoga poses. The second is a combination of meditation and pranayama, or breath control. The third is sound. Yoga also forces you to pay attention to, and improve, your posture, another remedy for pain.


Yoga poses, also called asanas, enhance agility and flexibility while they reduce the stress that often accompanies and worsens the pain. They can also unclamp muscle tightness commonly found in back pain, headaches or even carpal tunnel syndrome. Regular yoga practice can make you sleep better, which, in turn, reduces pain even further. Adequate sleep also helps conditions like chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.

Meditation and Pranayama

Add meditation and breath control, or pranayama, to your yoga practice and you're adding two more tools for pain relief, Yoga Journal says. In fact, the publication touts meditation as yoga's topmost tool for getting chronic pain under control. Those with busy minds and a tough time meditating can prepare by breathing through alternate nostrils, a technique known as Nadi Shodhana. Relax even further throughout your practice by slowing your breath, extending your inhalations and exhalations, and pausing briefly after exhaling.


Sound can enhance your yoga practice as it works to reduce physical pain, Yoga Journal says. Chanting can lead to deep healing, due to both its emotional, devotional nature and the physical benefits of the sound vibration. Incorporating sounds into your breathing can bring awareness to areas of your body that you are ignoring or avoiding because of the pain. Bringing awareness to these areas lets your breath, and life flow, enliven and help heal them.

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