Yoga is based on rhythm and breathing rather than core strength, so it’s useful for relaxation and stress. There are lots of different types of Yoga available today but some good ones for pain are Bikram Yoga, Yin, Iyengar Yoga and Glow Yoga.
Bikram Yoga is a unique series of 26 Hatha Yoga postures and 2 breathing exercises, performed in a heated room to enhance your stretching. It covers a series of postures which have been scientifically designed to work every part of the body in the correct order. The heat facilitates stretching, prevents injury and promotes sweating, which aids detoxification.
Yin Yoga is a yoga for the joints that stretches the connective tissue. It is a very distinctive style of Chinese yoga, which some believe is the oldest form of Hatha yoga. Yang exercises work your heart and muscles and the exercises are floor-based. Lying down can immediately relax your body and unlike other Yogas, you hold your posture for up to ten minutes. It has been said to feel like ‘peeling off layers of tension’.
Iyengar Yoga is perfect for people who feel ‘stiff’. It’s the safest and most effective way to stretch your whole body and improve your flexibility. It’s characterised by great attention to detail and precise focus on body alignment with the use of ‘props’, such as cushions, benches, blocks and even sand bags.
There are more than 200 deep poses, which you work towards holding for up to two minutes, which make it great for lengthening your muscles. They say it is a perfect type of yoga, if you’ve got a muscular or joint injury. With so many different types of Yoga available, it gets a bit confusing as to which one to choose, but it’s really a case of try one, then try another.
Healthline have an article with the ten best yoga poses for back pain, but please don’t try these if you have never done yoga before, check with your GP then try a class with a fully qualified instructor.
Another company Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs has a video you can watch on specific yoga moves for lower back pain. On the NHS website they also have an article on how ‘yoga may improve back pain’.
The British Wheel of Yoga website has lots of information about Yoga and the 30th OM Yoga Show which takes place 18th/19th & 20th October.
My book of choice would be ‘Yoga Therapy: A Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Yoga and Ayurveda For Health and Fitness’, by A G Mohan.
Although I’ve never personally tried yoga I do envy devotees of the exercise. I think it’s something I really should at least try as I keep reading the many health benefits to Yoga.
They say that an hour on the mat may lead to a better night’s sleep, which we could all do with. It doesn’t just tone your body it cares for our bodies as well as our emotional well-being.
Studies show yoga can also help to lower blood pressure, ease migraines and back pain and even reduce some of the symptoms of the menopause.
Yoga will improve your flexibility and balance and with a number of poses focusing on breathing it will also help to lower your stress levels.
There are a number of different styles of yoga, Hatha can be gentle or dynamic but because of its slower pace, it’s the first choice for new starters of yoga.
Others include Vinyasa flow, which is great for anyone who loves to dance. It’s a flowing yoga which is suitable to all levels even if you have not done yoga before.
Lyengar yoga is a slow paced style of yoga with some tricky poses but age and flexibility are not an issue.
The other well known Bikram yoga is suitable for the physically fit with a demanding 26 pose sequence which takes place in a very hot room.
Ash tanga is a series of short-held poses and breathing techniques that will need a good level of fitness.
Kundalini, they say is for the soul-seeker as it features chanting, breathing, and rapid movements.
Finally, Restorative yoga is for anyone who is stressed out as this type of yoga is all about relaxation and rejuvenation. Most of the poses involve lying down and staying still for a while so it won’t take long before you feel completely relaxed and stressed out.
This great graphic which I found on Pinterest from My Southern Health shows how we can easily try some Yoga positions for chronic pain. Psychology Today write that chronic pain triggers changes in brain structure that are linked to depression, anxiety, and impaired cognitive function. New research shows that practising Yoga has the opposite effect on the brain and can relieve chronic pain.
Harvard Health points out that Yoga can help people with arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine, low back pain, and many other types of chronic pain conditions. A study published in Annals of Internal Medicine found that among 313 people with chronic low back pain, a weekly yoga class increased mobility more than standard medical care for the condition. Another study published at nearly the same time found that Yoga was comparable to standard exercise therapy in relieving chronic low back pain.
A meta-analysis of 17 studies that included more than 1,600 participants concluded that yoga can improve daily function among people with fibromyalgia osteoporosis-related curvature of the spine. Practising Yoga also improved mood and psychosocial well-being.
The OM Yoga Show is taking place this year on the 19-21st October at Alexander Palace, London.
Take the opportunity to take part in free open classes, taught by leading teachers from around the world. Wherever you are on your #yoga journey, there’s a class or workshop to suit you.
Away from the mat, 200 exhibitors will be on hand providing the best #yoga and complementary therapies, along with a fantastic range of #yoga accessories, clothing, jewellery, superfoods and retreats, and so much more.
All visitors to the OM Yoga Show are able to visit the Mind Body Soul Experience, taking place in a neighbouring hall, for free. Discover the best in natural health and spiritual guidance!
Prepare for Autumn at the OM Yoga Show. Autumn is the perfect season to practice letting go; much as the leaves begin to drop off from the trees, we can use nature to help us focus on letting go of things that are holding us back, allowing us to move forward in life.
At the OM Yoga Show, Daizan Skinner will lead a Zen Yoga for the autumn season. Zen Yoga draws on the Buddha teaching of mindfulness of the body, and through simple movements can teach you to feel the energy flowing in your system.
Awake people are like water, where ordinary people are like ice. Zen Yoga is the practice of melting the stuck places in our body-mind, so we can fully let go into the autumn season.