19 Jun How do we use yoga to help with pain?
The University of Lille, France, offers the only University Diploma in Yogic Education in the world. Rachael completed her studies in 2011 and this model for integrative, self-directed health care now allows us to help those experiencing persistent pain to uncover wellness in all areas of their life.
Wellness is more than the absence of physical discomfort
Many of us know yoga as a physical practice that relaxes body and mind. Yogic education (rather than simply “doing” yoga) helps us to develop a reflective approach to our practice and learn about all aspects of our being, including the physical, social, emotional and psychological.
Pain is such a complex and individual experience, which makes yogic education the ideal framework. The practitioner can work with all of the factors that influence the client’s experience of pain, such as personal history, environment and beliefs. When we honour all the parts of the person approaching us for care, we are able to achieve so much more.
Pain often leads us to disconnect from our body, to avoid uncomfortable sensations and complex emotions. This is protective in the short term, but it also means we miss the opportunity to learn different ways of moving and thinking.
In Yoga for Pain participants learn to be mindful of all aspects to themselves, rather than simply trying to fix physical discomfort. Mastery enables them to keep themselves progressing at just the right pace.
Most people say that they find that their relationship with the pain changes with the practice. They find ‘space’ around the pain and become aware that the sensation of pain is different to the experience of suffering. They also discover better ways to move, think about their body and make better choices for their life direction.
There is only so far a health practitioner can take you – the rest is up to you
Even the best health care team cannot make you to do your exercises, eat well or take time out to relax. They also won’t be able to tell you what you need to flourish. A yogic education cultivates self-efficacy in approaching our own health care.
In Yoga for Pain we help people learn to move their bodies and be with themselves in gentle nurturing. This provides the foundations for continuously learning through their body.
Marie-Andrée Baillon, who created the yogic education framework, says “the result of Yogic Education in whichever context it is applied, is a deeper understanding of the Self, and a gentle but permanent evolution of ourselves and our place in the world.
Yoga for Pain welcomes the whole person
Yoga for Pain helps those sufferers with persistent pain to soothe the nervous system, participate in comfortable movement, and find confidence in themselves. Each person uncovers a gentler relationship with their body, and learns to participate in the aspects of life that bring them the most joy.