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Practice These Yoga Poses to Relieve Common Ailments

Michelle Stanger
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If you are suffering from an ailment, know that you can turn to your yoga practice for relief. Having a consistent yoga practice can help you find relief from a wide range of issues. Many of the yoga poses we practice target specific areas of the body, which means that certain postures can have a direct and positive impact on our ailments.
Yoga doesn’t focus on one part of the body, but the whole: yoga heals our energy, organs and systems, and of course our minds. Our yoga practice is more than just asana – we discover meditation and pranayama as well. Meditation alone has numerous proven benefits, and you can reference those benefits here.

Here is a list of common ailments and conditions, along with the yoga poses you can practice to help you find relief:


Yoga Poses to Relieve Inflammation

When most of us think of inflammation, we may think of some swelling that will heal itself without any further problems. Unfortunately it is not that simple. Chronic inflammation can cause permanent damage to the body if left untreated.
When infection occurs, our immune system will send white blood cells to fight off the infection. But when the body detects inflammation as infection, those white blood cells can actually damage healthy organs instead. One of the main causes of inflammation is the many toxins we ingest daily. Look for yoga poses to help detox the body, aid in digestion and relieve stress.
Try these yoga poses to relieve inflammation:

  • Child’s Pose (supported or unsupported)
  • Supine Twist (any variation)
  • Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
  • Triangle Pose
  • Bridge Pose


Yoga Poses to Relieve Allergies and Sinus Pain

It has happened to most of us . . . the itchy eyes, painful sinus pressure and runny nose. You really want to practice yoga, but fear it will only make the allergies and sinus pain worse (or you will need tissues the entire class). Luckily our yoga practice can help alleviate allergy and sinus symptoms.
Allergies and sinus pain are also caused by inflammation, and added stress makes the symptoms worse. Attending yoga class regularly will help keep you stress-free and combat those allergies symptoms. Look for poses that increase lung capacity, give you a gentle inversion, and regulate the lymphatic system.
Try these yoga poses to relieve allergies and sinus pain:

  • Downward Facing Dog
  • Bridge Pose
  • Fish Pose
  • Child’s Pose (supported or unsupported)
  • Nadi Shodhana (alternative nostril breathing)


Yoga Poses to Relieve Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

The cramps, bloating, mood swings and cravings . . . typically not our favorite time of the month, but we don’t need to suffer either. Our periods are actually a reflection of the amazing creation that is the woman’s body. But if we are so miserable from PMS, it is very difficult to rejoice in our womanhood.
We do not have to stay away from the yoga mat during our cycle – we just need to alter it. Treat your body with more patience, love and kindness in the form of a Restorative Yoga practice. Choose poses that allow you to relax, take the pressure off your abdomen, and aid your body in having a healthy period.
Try these yoga poses to relieve PMS:

  • Reclined Bound Angle Pose
  • Legs Up the Wall Pose
  • Downward Facing Dog
  • Apanasana, or Wind Removing Pose

Hey Goddesses! For more information about your yoga practice and how it can help you have a healthier period, read Yoga Poses for a Healthier, Happier Period.

Yoga Poses to Relieve Back Pain

Back pain is a common ailment caused by many factors, such as sitting for most of the day, weak or tight muscles, stored emotions, how you sleep, and more. I have had many students feel instant relief in their low back after just one yoga class.
Our yoga practice invites us to stretch and lengthen muscles, move the body, relieve stress and give the mind an overall sense of calmness. This could be exactly what the body needs to relieve your back pain. If your back is still in pain after class, look for more postures that strengthen your core and back muscles.
Try these yoga poses to relieve back pain:

  • Bridge Pose
  • Rabbit Pose
  • Supine Spinal Twist
  • Cat Pose and Cow Pose
  • Locust Pose

Hey yogis! If you would like more information to heal your back pain, check out this article on Six Restorative Yoga Poses to Help Heal Back Pain.

Yoga Poses to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

Although stress and anxiety are not the same, the body responds to both very similarly. When an event, memory or challenge arises and causes stress or anxiety, the body will respond to the “threat” with a fight or flight response. When the body is in a constant state of stress or anxiousness, these neurological responses will also be constant and can lead to illness.
Every aspect of yoga will help you reduce your stress and find relief from your anxiety. Breathwork and meditation can be powerful tools to aid the nervous system in sending signals to the brain that it’s time to relax. For your asana practice, look for poses that allow you to easily stay focused on your breath.
Try these yoga poses to relieve stress and anxiety:

Feeling stressed? Check out this 10 minute yoga sequence to help you feel stress-free.

Yoga Poses to Relieve Sciatica

Sciatica is often described as a “shooting pain” on the side of the leg, hip or back. The pain is caused from a pinched nerve that can occur quickly or over time and symptoms can be very intense, including pain and numbness. Sciatica is often caused by spinal discs or muscles putting pressure on the sciatic nerve and it requires medical attention to diagnose.
When treating sciatica, the focus is often on increasing mobility to aid in the healing process. Luckily, there are many yoga poses that help lengthen the hamstrings and open the hips.
Try these yoga poses to relieve sciatica:

  • Half Lord of the Fishes
  • Half Pigeon
  • Reclined Hand to Big Toe Pose
  • Standing Forward Bend

Refer to this informative article for more in-depth guidance on how to ease your sciatica pain.

Yoga Poses to Relieve Headaches

Often when we get a headache, we experience a tension headache which can become quite painful. Our tension headaches are caused by stress or tightness as we cut off circulation and blood flow throughout the body.
If you would like to find relief without the use of pain medication, it is important to begin relieving pressure as soon as you feel the headache begin to form. Yoga is a great practice to invite more oxygen to the brain to help release the tension. Try poses that increase circulation and release tension in the muscles.
Try these yoga poses to relieve headaches:

  • Fish Pose
  • Seated Forward Bend
  • Half Tortoise Pose
  • Cat Pose
  • Legs Up the Wall or Headstand

If you would like more information on relieving headaches naturally with yoga, this article will help.

Yoga Poses to Relieve Insomnia

You had a long day and you’re exhausted. You climb into bed ready to rest, but find yourself tossing and turning instead. Insomnia keeps many adults awake at night, and there are many causes including changes in your schedule, unhealthy habits, medications and illnesses.
Those who suffer from insomnia experience fatigue, mood swings, decrease in work or school performance and decreased quality of life. Your body needs rest and if it is constantly denied its time to restore, more illnesses can occur. Your yoga practice offers poses that promote a quiet mind and relaxed body.
Try these yoga poses to relieve insomnia:

  • Reclined Bound Angle Pose
  • Seated Wide Angle Pose
  • Supine Spinal Twist
  • Supported Corpse Pose

Psst! The next time you’re having trouble falling asleep, try this Restorative Bedtime Yoga Sequence!!
It is important to incorporate breathwork and meditation with your asana practice or even on their own. Sitting in meditation for two minutes to focus on your breath and allow your body to relax will help your body heal. If you are unable to get a full yoga practice or workout scheduled into your day, try these poses to help you find relief from what you are suffering from.
This article and all included information is not intended as medical advice and does not treat or diagnose. Please consult your doctor for any health-related questions or concerns.

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Michelle Stanger

Michelle is living the yoga mom life and loving every second. She believes all beings deserve joy, peace and love and aims to be an example. Forever grateful for her yoga practice, she is honored to be able to share as a yoga teacher and Editor here at YogiApproved.com.

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