I found this simple but effective method for using your breath to ease both chronic and acute pain. Just 4 things to remember. Our habitual way of dealing with pain may be to tense up even further, or to absolutely ignore the sensations. Our brain and our body are really intelligent and give us all kinds of signals so that we protect ourselves from the things that cause pain. We may also hold our breath as a way to protect ourself and even be rigid in our thoughts. Case in point, touching a hot stove, seconds later, a sensation of pain in that area, hours later a blister may appear – all signals that touching a hot stove is not recommended and next time, you are around one, avoid touching it. So intelligent eh!
Read on about this method of breathing for pain, stress release, and relaxing. https://www.yogauonline.com/yoga-for-pain-relief/chronic-pain-4-steps-breathing-discomfort?inf_contact_key=0c8f02298a4c5c63960d89ead52b06026b88afa97204a68f9954e9d124ceda3b
Belly Down with Hip Opener
Props: 2 blankets, neck roll or small pillow for head
Benefits: gently opens hips, lengthens leg muscles and tops of the feet, soothing for the belly, shoulder opener, grounding, lessens anxiety
Stack one or two blankets to the side folded in half. As you release to the floor, lengthen the body and then bend the leg at 90 degree angles to lay on the blankets to the side. Arms can come to goddess position, head turned to the side or stack hands as a pillow. For those with tight shoulders, extend arms by the sides of the body. When you need to turn the head, do so with a soft inhalation.
Legs up the Wall
Props: 1-2 blankets, strap, eye pillow, blanket for warmth, neck roll, maybe a bolster (see photo)
Benefits: increases circulation and helps venous and lymphatic flow from the lower body; relieves swelling and fatigue in the legs; helps relieve muscular skeletal stress in pelvis; quiets the mind and can help promote ease in meditation and sleep.
Begin with using a double-folded blanket to be placed right above sacrum (see photo), setting it approx. distance 6-8″ from wall (adjust in pose). Sit down on the blanket with one hip pressed right up against the wall. As you lower down, swing your legs up the wall. Once in the pose, you can adjust distance to wall, angle of legs to all, blanket and placement of legs all for comfort. Hips and tailbone will be in space between wall and blanket. Arms rest by your side, palms face up or variation with Goddess arms (photo above).
Variations: To ground legs, blanket or sandbag to hang from soles of the feet. Strap can be placed around calves, so you lose the feeling of holding up legs. Tight hamstrings or really uncomfortable with legs directly up the wall? Try a bolster angled into the wall to rest legs on, add blankets for more support or move hips further from wall. Another variation is Legs up on a Chair or on a bolster with blankets on top to bring knees into a 90 degree angle
Nesting – Side Lying Pose
blankets, bolster, block
Benefits; Nurturing, sense of security, well-supported pose to regulate the nervous system, good for when you are feeling anxious, keeps body in alignment, supportive for the spine, hips, shoulders, head. Allows for optimal healing and sleeping position. nurturing, sense of security, optimal for sleeping
Create a big enough folded blanket to place between the knees to align the legs in Tadasana. Or rest your bent leg on a bolster. Add a folded blanket to rest your top arm on. Recline on a side that is comfortable, resting your head on a blanket. A neck roll can go under the ankles for support. Bolster can rest along spine for further support and grounding. Finally, cover yourself with a blanket from head to toes. Sink down with each long exhalation. Mantra to accompany pose “I am safe, I am supported”.
*Version from Class this week: Placed bolster on an incline on top of block, 1-2 blankets folded go between the bent legs. Come to your side and slide the bottom arm under the bolster, rest heavily the top arm on the bolster. Adjust head so that the neck is long as well as the rest of the spine.