These three simple yoga pain relief poses are great for beginners and experienced yoga students alike.
If you decide to try yoga at a local studio make sure to tell them about your specific pain condition and ask which classes and instructors would be right for you. You can also practice yoga at home: All you need is a yoga mat, a couple of blankets, a peaceful spot, and a few minutes. Start with 20 minutes a few times a week and build up from there as you feel ready. Try each pose at the specified time of day, or whenever you need a break.
MORNING: SUN BREATHS
Stand in Mountain Pose (fee hip-width apart, spine long, shoulders back and down, and arms hanging by your sides). On an inhalation, raise your arms slowly above your head, following your arms with your gaze, then lower the arms and eyes at the same peace on the exhalation. Repeat for a few rounds, up to five minutes.
NOON: BELLY BREATHS
Lying on your back (a rolled blanket under your knees takes strain off the low back), lay your hands on your belly and begin to notice the air moving into and out of your nostrils and where you feel the breath in your body. Then start to lengthen the breath, taking a long, slow inhalation and letting the air fill to the bottom of the lungs. Exhale slowly, feeling the belly deflate as you do. After a few rounds, try to extend the exhalation. Repeat up to five minutes.
NIGHT: LEGS UP THE WALL
This pose is perfect for quieting the mind and body if you’re experiencing pain or getting ready to sleep. Place the short end of your mat against a wall and two folded blankets on the mat next to the wall. Sit to the side of the blankets with your right side facing the wall. On an inhalation, swing your legs up the wall, allowing your bottom to press lightly against the wall. Rest your lower back and bottom on the blankets and your shoulders and head on the floor, creating a gentle back bend. Place your hands on your belly and close your eyes and relax here for five to 15 minutes.
Written by: Kelle Welsh, Managing Editor of Yoga Journal magazine
Originally published by: Pain Solutions Magazine, Fall 2009
Photo Credit: Agatama, courtesy of Stock Free Images