The beautiful practice of yoga is a mind-body experience that improves both mental and physical health. Studies have shown that yoga can help people with chronic pain conditions like arthritis, back pain, migraines, fibromyalgia and much more, while also improving mood and mental well-being. Yoga may even increase mobility and relieve pain at a comparable or higher level than other standard medical treatments.
Why can yoga be beneficial for pain relief?
Relaxation. It helps the body relax with breathing exercises and helps free the mind of distractions and worries. The asanas (postures) held in yoga practice allow a deep stretch in the body and it’s always encouraged to go as far as the individual feels able – never forcing pain or going beyond one’s capabilities. Relaxation turns off stress responses in the body and directs energy rather to growth, repair, immune system function, digestion and other nurturing processes. Consistently practicing relaxation helps teach the mind and body to rest in safety rather than let stress and worries take over.
Yoga postures can be modified to your capabilities. The postures can be modified to accommodate an individual’s strength and experience along with any health conditions. It’s important to let your instructor know about any health conditions you have that may affect your yoga practice so they can help you grow while doing appropriate modifications and avoiding aggravation of pain.
Yoga can help transform pain into healing. Turning your pain and stress into a healing response in your body can dramatically reduce your experiences of chronic pain. The mind and body are powerful, so combining that strength with meditation and gratitude, relaxation poses or breathing and strengthening exercises will help bring you back to your natural sense of well-being. Yoga can help you restore trust in your body and you’ll learn how to listen to your body and it’s needs.
Why is yoga beneficial for chronic pain?
Chronic pain usually involves influence from your thoughts, stress and emotions, so changing how you experience pain and strengthening your relaxation and mental health can be very beneficial in pain relief. Chronic pain usually requires a more gradual process to healing and should be holistically approached with yoga being a very beneficial part of the process to mental and physical wholeness. You should be looking to not just fix some part of your body, but rather taking all the tools available to you in yoga – breath, meditation, movement, stretching, self-reflection etc – and allow that healing power to change the way you feel, think, move and relate to yourself and to pain.
Which yoga class should I take to help with pain relief?
Joy & Vitality Centre offers a specific Yoga For Pain Relief class. This class is a healing modality combining yoga, massage therapy and physiotherapy to work deep into your body, enabling you to relieve stress, tension, and pain, leaving you feeling lighter and freer in your own body. This class can help with migraine healing, nerve support, fibromyalgia, circulation, sciatica, leg & hip pain, back & neck release, TMJ release, teeth grinding & jaw stiffness, muscle soreness and function, toxin release, increased relaxation, and improved postural alignment. Our Yoga For Pain Relief class is a practice of self-healing using therapy balls to target self-massage trigger points and is led by a myofascial release certified Yoga Instructor.