Thursday, 28 May 2015

Yoga to help relieve pain: Chair yoga 2- Release tension, release pain

Yoga to help relieve pain: Chair yoga 2- Release tension, release pain
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Yogis often talk about the mind/body connection. This means for instance that if you are holding onto tension in your muscles, you will feel anxious or stressed in your mind which causes your body to release stress hormones.  In my introduction to the series on pain, I talked about how stress is one of the factors that can open the 'gate' to feeling pain more intensely. We can however turn this around using yoga as a tool to release tension in your body. If we can release tension in your body in this way, we can release anxiety/stress and close the 'gate'.

We start the video by practicing some 'tense and release' where we work through our bodies tensing the muscles then letting them release completely.  

Breathing techniques provide a 'bridge' between mind and body.  In the video we practice Durga, 3 part breath. This technique encourages slow, deep breathing which draws more oxygen into your body and calms your mind. You may have noticed that when you get stressed, you breathe shallow and quick but by consciously breathing slower and deeper, you can let go of stress.  This can become a viscous circle.  We get stressed creating tension in our necks and shoulders.  This can cause restriction in our chests as our shoulders are drawn forward, impeding breathing which can cause more stress.  In the video we practice some neck releases and shoulder stretches to help break this cycle.

Hamstrings, psoas and pirifirmis muscles can all become tense due to the lives we lead and in the video we do poses that will help stretch and release these.

We end the video with a meditation in which we visualise the breath in each part of the body, encircling any tension, discomfort or pain and carrying it away.

Link for 'Yoga to help relieve pain: Chair yoga 1- Power sequence to fight pain'

Janet x

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