Yoga is an ancient mind-body practice that combines postures, breathing, and meditation. Research suggests that by practicing certain poses, you can relieve chronic pain. Most pain has its roots in a physical injury or illness but is sustained by how the initial trauma changes the mind-body relationship. Whether you practice alone or join a class, here are some poses that can help.
- Cobra — This pose can help you relieve back pain. Lie with your face down and your forehead resting on the floor. Draw your elbows to your ribcage and your hands out in front of you, as you lengthen your legs and press the tops of your feet to the floor. With the strength of your back, lift your head and chest, sliding your shoulder blades back. Take a few breaths before gently releasing to the floor.
- Seated forward fold — In lieu of popping a few pills for a headache, try this yoga position to find relief. Whether it's a migraine or a tension headache, seated forward fold will help soothe your head so you can carry on with your day. Begin in a seated position with your legs outstretched in front of you. Root your hips to the floor and lift up your chest. Reach forward to grab the outer edges of your feet and breathe. Rest your head on a yoga block for added support.
- Butterfly — If your sciatica or hip pain is acting up, try butterfly pose to stretch your hips. Begin by sitting on the floor and put the soles of your feet together. Allow your knees to lower toward the floor as you breathe in and out. Keep your back straight and your shoulders relaxed. Use a block under your knee for a more gentle stretch.
- Standing forward fold with crossed legs — Relieve the hard-working muscles in your legs with this position. Cross your right ankle over your left until your baby toes touch. Keep your left leg straight and bend your right knee. Fold until your fingertips touch the floor and hold in a folded position for a few breaths. Keep your neck relaxed and gaze toward the ground. If you can't reach the floor, use blocks to bring the floor closer to you.
Spend a little time each day in a restorative pose. Gradually increase your practice as your body allows. By using yoga's healing practices and Milkweed Balm, you can manage your pain and begin to reclaim your life.