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Yoga by the Pool


By Kathryn Olson, RYT

So many people seek out yoga for pain management. They've heard that yoga can help manage pain but in some cases they discover that yoga can actually wean them off medications and almost eliminate their pain. There's science and anatomy to explain why yoga can cure pain.

Practicing yoga triggers the exact opposite changes in he brain structure than pain does. Chronic pain is linked to depression, anxiety and impaired cognitive function. This is why people often say they feel a sense of euphoria after practicing yoga, because it has the opposite effect.

Migraines and Insomnia Getting on your mat when you're suffering from a headache can help relieve some of the symptoms. By adding more circulation to your head and taking deep breaths, you're likely to see improvements in both of these conditions.

Fibromyalgia Although it's hard for people suffering from fibromyalgia to get moving, movement is key to healing this condition. Many yoga classes offer gentle movement that slowly increases as the class progresses. The ability to calm the mind and reduce stress may also serve to reduce the main trigger of fibromyalgia attacks, as well as slowly loosen cramped and knotted muscles.

Many yoga postures have comprehensive benefits and help manage all different kinds of pain.

Let's break down a common posture; the plow. Plow is where you lay on your back and kick your feet up over your head so that the back of the toes are pressing into the floor. It feels good as it strengthens and loosens tightness in the back, shoulders and neck. Relaxing in the pose promotes a feeling of calmness and coming out of it often feels refreshing and invigorating.

Because your chin is pressing into your chest, it can stimulate the thyroid gland. This can help regulate the thyroid gland, metabolism and strengthen the immune system. Plow helps diabetics by compressingthe digestive system causing the release of secretions from the pancreas, and regulating hormones. Plow loosens the muscles that connect underneath the shoulders all the way up to the skull. This relieves chronic shoulder and neck pain, headaches and insomnia.

No one should have to concede to life with chronic pain. However, yoga is not a quick fix. You may feel results after only one class, but you must take note of what is contributing to this progress, which postures you notice seem to help relieve the pain and then incorporate these movements into a daily practice.

Whether you practice at home with a YouTube video or go to a studio, your instructor will tell you new information that will help you understand how and why yoga is curing your pain. You'll hear remarkable stories in class and from people you encounter in conversation who credit yoga for curing all of their woes.

Yoga is a gift to self and only you can get up and go, tune in and let go. Let go of the pain.

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Kathryn Payne Olson

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