Living with chronic pain is a major obstacle to happiness! In my work as a yoga coach in professional sports, it’s a priority to help athletes get out of and stay out of pain—not only for physical performance but also for a positive mental state on and off the field. Athlete or not, chronic pain negatively impacts the quality of our lives.
Although most people are aware of yoga’s stress-relieving capabilities, fewer know about it’s role in pain relief. Increasingly, research is supporting yoga as an effective pain-relieving practice. Various studies have shown that yoga and yoga-based mindfulness meditation can benefit those suffering from chronic conditions like fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, headaches, back pain and more. What’s more, yoga is not only effective in decreasing pain but also preventing it! A 2016 JAMA report showed that the proactive use of exercise, like yoga, provides a greater reduction of back-pain reoccurrence over commonly prescribed passive methods, such as belts, orthotics and rest.
You can try the poses depicted in the infographic individually or in a sequence—just remember to check with your doctor first!
Dana Santas CSCS, E-RYT, mind-body coach in professional sports and the exclusive yoga expert for CNN Health, is on a mission to help people breathe, move and feel better in their bodies and happier and healthier in their lives. Nicknamed the “Mobility Maker,” she serves as the yoga mobility coach for the Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies, Tampa Bay Rays, Atlanta Braves and Tampa Bay Lightning, and dozens of athletes in the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB & PGA. You can find her on MobilityMaker.com, facebook.com/DanaSantas, Twitter & Instagram (@MobilityMaker), and YouTube at www.youtube.com/DanaSantas.