Can Yoga and Mindfulness Help Manage Chronic Pain?

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." -- Buddha
When you’re living with chronic pain, sometime’s it’s difficult to focus on the present moment. In fact, you might want to escape the present moment so you can forget about the pain pulsing through your body. Yet, ignoring the pain or wishing the pain would go away, does not actually reduce pain (unfortunately). Sometimes, staying invested in the present moment, even if that means experiencing pain, can help reduce chronic pain in the future. I'll explain why in this article.  
Yoga can work as a wonderful tool to help you accept each moment as it is. When we experience pain and accept its presence we transform a moment that could be suffering into a moment that is one of experience and endurance.

On mindfulness:

The Buddha outlines 4 foundations of mindfulness:
1. Mindfulness of the body.
2. Mindfulness of feelings.
3. Mindfulness of the mind and;
4. Mindfulness of the dharma (truth).
When we take up yoga for chronic pain management, keeping the practice mindful by recognising how connected our minds and bodies are helps us to understand small actions we can take to reduce secondary suffering.
As we take each pose on the mat in yoga practice, it can be a transformative experience.

What the studies show on yoga for chronic pain management:

yoga for chronic pain management
Mindfulness is more than just being present in the moment. It’s about an acceptance of one’s feelings even when they’re negative -- even when things are hurting. It’s this key that often opens the door to healing and higher pain tolerances when it comes to yoga and chronic pain management. It’s been shown in past studies to reduce the duration of pain and to create higher thresholds for pain.

Transformations with yoga for chronic pain:

In the moments where the hurting is at its worst, deep breaths and focus can help you reduce suffering.
Discover how tapping into your inner sense of flow can help you leverage the power of yoga for chronic pain management by checking out one of my free yoga videos. Be sure to focus on your breath and the truth of every moment as you practice.
Pain is temporary. Suffering is optional if you stretch and grow into it and are willing to be mindful of the truth.
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2 Responses

  1. Hi Kayla! I loved your course. I've been walking this path for forty years and have used and gained all the tools and beliefs that you talk about. Your thoughts all resonate with me and I have changed how I think and feel about my chronic pain. Accepting where you are that allows you to move forward. Although I have and continue to do all what I can i am still in chronic pain , I am so tired. I encourage you in your path as you are helping so many. Thankyou for what you are doing. Teri
    • Hi Teri! So sorry I didn't see your comment earlier! I'm so delighted to feel you've changed how you think and feel about your chronic pain. Sending you lots of love and virtual hugs for your pain and fatigue. xx
  2. […] However, like other chronic illness sufferers, many have found significant relief through yoga. […]

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