10 Ways to Reduce Fibromyalgia Pain with Yoga
Exercise can be a bit of a catch-22 for anyone with fibromyalgia. On the one hand we’re told that regular exercise may help improve our symptoms – but on the other hand we’re in so much pain that the mere thought of “working out” makes us shudder. Of course, it is true that staying active on a regular basis can ultimately help provide some level of relief from fibromyalgia pain and improve other symptoms of well. The key is to understand our limitations and not overdo it.
One of the best forms of exercise for anyone struggling with widespread, chronic pain is yoga. Make no mistake, yoga can be strenuous – but it can also be a softer, gentler form of exercise for people in pain. It can help in a variety of ways – such as by improving circulation, stretching and relaxing stiff or tender muscles, improving flexibility, reducing stress and more.
Here are 10 simple yoga poses that are softer on the body and can help provide relief from fibromyalgia pain:
#1 – Relaxation Breath
One of the most important aspects of yoga is breathing. Focusing on breath can be beneficial both in and out of the gym. For most of us, our breathing is shallow and rapid – leaving us deprived of oxygen that could otherwise help improve various functions within the body. Proper breathing can help improve mental clarity, promote relaxation, relieve stress and boost our overall sense of well-being.
For this exercise, lay down flat on your back. As you inhale, imagine your belly inflating with air. Exhale for one to two counts longer than the inhale. So, if you inhaled to the count of four, exhale to the count of six. The longer exhalation relaxes the body and mind.
Benefits: Promotes relaxation, relieves stress, improves mental clarity
#2 – Calming Sequence
This calming yoga sequence combines a number of yoga poses designed to help us “chill out” and unwind after a long day. Since stress and anxiety can trigger a flare-up of fibromyalgia pain, sequences like this once are a great way to help relax the body and mind to avoid more unwanted pain.
Source: Yoga by Candace
Benefits: Helps the relax body and mind
#3 – Standing Mudra Pose
The standing mudra pose will help stretch the waist and spine, improving flexibility and relieving stiffness. It is good for relieving shoulder or back pain, as well as for exercising the lungs and improving breathing.
Benefits: Helps ease shoulder or back pain, exercises the lungs
#4 – Butterfly Pose
If you suffer from stiff or tender joints in the hips, the butterfly pose may be the answer to your pain. This pose helps stretch the areas around the groin and hips, improving flexibility and easing pain or soreness. It can also promote healthier bowel and intestinal functions – as well as provide relief from menstrual pain or discomfort.
Benefits: Relieves hip pain, improves flexibility of hip and groin, improves bowel and intestinal movement, relieves menstrual pain or discomfort
#5 – Child’s Pose
This is a perfect pose for winding down after a long day. For one, the pose is designed to improve your breathing – helping to relieve stress and calm both your body and mind. Additionally, it helps relieve tension in the shoulders, chest and back – helping to relieve neck and lower back pain.
Benefits: Releases tension in shoulders, back and chest; relieves pain in the neck and lower back, eases stress and anxiety, helps to calm the body and mind, improves circulation
#6 – Legs up the wall
This simple pose can help calm the nervous system and reduce stress and anxiety – common triggers for pain. As you sit with your legs on the wall, gravity will help pull stagnant fluids out of your legs and regulate blood pressure. This inverted pose can also help relieve menstrual cramps, reduce swollen ankles or varicose veins, alleviate back pain and relieve migraines or headaches.
Source: DO YOU YOGA
Benefits: Calms nervous system & reduces stress, relieves swollen ankles, relieves menstrual cramps, improves digestion, provides relief from migraines or headaches, relieves fatigued leg muscles
#7 – Cat Cow Pose
It may have a funny name – but the cat cow pose can do wonders! It can help stretch your spine, massage internal organs, stretch the belly, build muscle mass and reduce stress. The pose can also help improve posture, improve coordination and restore emotional balance.
Benefits: Reduces stress, improves posture, restore emotional balance
#8 – Cobra Pose
The cobra pose can be a bit strenuous – but doing it at your own pace will allow the back and abdomen muscles to become more flexible over time. One of the biggest benefits of the cobra pose for fibromyalgia sufferers is that increases both the strength and flexibility of the back and spine – helping to relieve pain and stiffness in the neck and back. On top of that – it massages the internal organs and opens up the chest, lungs and shoulders.
Source: Sexy Yoga School
Benefits: Stretches back and spine to relieve pain and stiffness, massages internal organs, opens up the chest, lungs and shoulders
#9 – Corpse Pose (Savasana)
The corpse pose is perfect for cooling down after your yoga routine or unwinding after a long day. The pose helps the body and mind reconnect, improves breath and promotes a sense of calm or stillness in both the body and mind. For those with back pain, check out the special variations of the pose for pain sufferers at the 5:30 mark in the video.
Benefits: Calms the body and mind, helps body and mind reconnect, improves breathing
#10 – Yoga for Back Pain
This last one isn’t a single pose, but rather a compilation of yoga basics for anyone suffering from back pain. Yoga instructor Adriene walks you through an entire sequence designed to help you use your breath more effectively, calm the body and relieve back pain.
What alternative exercises have you tried in your journey to improve your health and more effectively manage the symptoms of your fibromyalgia? Share your experiences (good or bad) on our Facebook Page!