Yoga For Chronic Pain Relief

Pat demonstrates how she uses yoga to relieve her chronic pain

— -- Hi. My name is Pat, and I suffer from daily chronic pain, which is a result of a nerve being pinched in my spinal column.

I've tried a number of both traditional approaches to help my pain, as well as alternative approaches and then finally yoga which is something that I could really do myself rather than rely on someone else to do for me.

I start by centering, which basically means that I bring myself to stillness, I focus on my breath and try to block out my mind's many, many thoughts.

As I move through the postures I coordinate my breath with the movement of my body.

During a series of spinal stretch poses, starting on all fours, on your knees and on your hands, as you inhale you draw your belly to the floor and your head up. And then as you exhale you arch your back as a cat, pushing out the breath and then stretching out the spine.

For me the personal benefit is that, in that my body feeling flexible, it allows me to relax better; it allows me to be more positive. Because physically, when my body is limber it removes the constriction and the tension, so that my body is much more relaxed. I sleep better and my pain level decreases substantially.