This is the new world – the world where many diseases have a cures and people are living longer lives. But does that mean a healthier quality of life?
The world is becoming increasingly fast paced and too many of us are smothered under layers of packed schedules. This is coupled with the fact that so much of what use to be open space is now so heavily constructed, getting back to nature isn’t as easy as it once was.
People living in the city pretty much depend on gyms in which to get their daily dose of exercise. Even living spaces are becoming smaller. Other choices such as too much processed food add to a lifestyle that may be defined as unhealthy chaos.
In this world where people spend most of their time in a rat race, working almost all through their waking hours, it is normal that fitness levels have gone down.
This unhealthy and vicious cycle has lead to a host of problems like chronic stress, depression, weight gain, and sometimes, for many of us, chronic pain. We talked about all these conditions in other series.
Many people are turning towards yoga as a possible solution for dealing with pain. It’s widely reported and accepted that yoga practice, combining meditation and exercise, has been found to have a deep and long lasting effect on the mind and body.
As far as pain management goes, it can relieve that too familiar pain that culminates in the back and shoulders due to long hours of sitting and incorrect posture.
It soothes legs and foot pain experienced due to incorrect footwear, strenuous exercise, or long hours of being on your feet.
Older people can fall prey to pain due to aging joints. Yoga can definitely improve mobility.
Yoga has been found to improve the quality of life for those suffering from the debilitation of arthritis, fibromyalgia and more.
There are various ways to get started with yoga, including classes at a yoga studio or using a home workout DVD. I’ll discuss yoga practice, at home, in a future post.
I’ve mentioned before how important it is for beginners to get proper guidance. As much as yoga could be the remedy for managing your pain, if you don’t know what you’re doing and why, you may very well add more fuel to your pain fire.
Each pose or asana, as they are called, targets a specific part of the body. The stretching poses are intended to warm up your body
Remember to regulate your breathing and transition to each pose using proper yoga breathing technique.
There are some poses, that if nothing else, most of us are familiar with the name: mountain pose, forward bend pose, downward facing dog, warrior pose, etc.
These improve your balance and work your core muscles which can help relieve pain at a deep level in addition to stretching your body to improve suppleness.
The staff pose, head to knee pose, seated forward bend, cobbler’s pose, seated wide legged straddle are poses performed while seated. They target your lower back, hips and thighs.
When your body is completely warmed up, the cobra pose, when performed correctly, is great for relieving back pain. Transitioning into the cat and cow stretches, many people report feeling a reduction in pain in their body immediately.
Another great pose for back pain in the bridge pose.
There are wonderful relaxation poses like legs up the wall pose, happy baby pose, corpse pose, child’s pose, etc.
As your pain subsides you will end up feeling younger and rejuvenated with more energy and wondering, frankly, what took you so long.
So what are you waiting for? Get a mat and get started.
The tips in the sample video below serve as a reminder of how important form is in your practice.
Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured. ~B.K.S. Iyengar