31 May Yoga for Pain: Chelsea’s story
After an experience of cancer, Chelsea’s pain was worsening, and she felt stressed. She thought yoga could help her manage her pain better but general classes were too much.
Chelsea says that Yoga for Pain helped her realise that pain management doesn’t have to be hard work. Instead, she was able to relax, to slow down and even create energy by reconnecting with the positive feelings yoga had once given her.
“It was amazing to not only love yoga again but to reduce pain.”
Make it easy to slow down by being in a class that focuses on relaxation
In Part 1 of the 12-week Yoga for Pain program, participants learn to move more effortlessly and avoid pain flares. Chelsea says the mindful movement helped reduce her stress and pain, but that she also found it challenging to slow down as much as she felt she needed to.
Yoga for Pain is intentionally slow and gentle until it becomes a habit. It’s much easier to be pain-free in a relaxed body.
Talk to yourself as you would talk to others
The next stage is for participants to pay attention to their thoughts. They notice beliefs leading to behaviours that increase pain, and learn to replace them with more supportive ones.
Chelsea’s gave herself this piece of advice:
“Be honest about whether it feels right and doesn’t hurt.”
Gently challenge yourself so you move forward, safely
Once participants can move well and be kind to themselves, they are invited to challenge themselves physically and mentally in more advanced yoga postures. The trick is to retain gentleness even as the challenge grows.
Chelsea began Yoga for Pain fearful of kneeling. By persisting with practice, Chelsea was surprised to discover she was able to comfortably kneel if she was on a soft surface. This opened up a lot more options for yoga postures.
Chelsea is proud to say:
“I’ve been doing a practice at home that includes salute to the sun, warrior and trikonasana. I’m looking forward to continuing yoga because it makes me feel great, calmer and stronger.
As a result of Yoga for Pain Chelsea reports her anxiety has significantly reduced. She feels more positive about her body, has less pain and is hopeful her pain will reduce even further.