The experience of pain is universal and for some it can be extremely debilitating. Chronic pain can interfere with your daily activities and impact the quality of your life. While painkillers can provide temporary relief, they do have various side effects and can also be addictive. An effective pain-relieving therapy which includes doing various gentle physical movements and postures, breathing techniques as well as relaxation meditation is the traditional branch of Hatha yoga.
When practised gently, Hatha yoga is accessible to most people whether old or young and can even be done while sitting in a chair. Regardless of your age, fitness level, or physical ability as long as you have the desire to improve your situation, Hatha yoga can be beneficial. And if you are unable to move into a posture then you imagine doing it. The mind is a powerful tool in health recovery and you utilise its capacity when practising Hatha yoga.
Physical and mental benefits of Hatha yoga
The practice of Hatha yoga focuses on physical asana postures and pranayama breathing techniques. These practices can assist you in increasing your flexibility, strength, and balance, while also calming the mind and reducing the impact of stress on your nervous and digestive systems. The combination of physical and mental benefits makes Hatha yoga an ideal choice for pain relief therapy.Hatha yoga can also assist in reducing psychological stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety can cause muscle tension that lead to physical pain and discomfort. Hatha yoga’s focus on breathing and developing the capacity to be present and aware of yourself helps in calming the nervous system, reducing stress and tension throughout the mind and body.When you practise Hatha yoga regularly it becomes the foundation to support the other therapies that you may be doing either with another practitioner or the healing modalities offered here at Mukti Freedom Yoga.
How Hatha yoga assists with pain relief
One of the primary benefits of practising gentle Hatha yoga is its ability to reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a natural response to injury or infection, and when it becomes chronic, it can cause ongoing pain and other health related complications. Scientific research has shown Hatha yoga may decrease levels of inflammatory markers in the body, reduce pain and improve overall health. As Hatha yoga improves your circulation, more oxygen and nutrients are delivered to your body’s tissues, which in turn can help reduce pain and promote healing. Various Hatha yoga postures involve stretching in all directions helping you to release tension in the muscles and improve your range of motion, thus making movement easier and less painful.
Studies have shown that Hatha yoga is effective in treating a variety of pain conditions, including chronic low back pain, neck pain, and osteoarthritis. In one study, participants with chronic low back pain who practised Hatha yoga for six months reported significant reductions in pain and disability compared to those who did not practice yoga.
Another study found that patients with osteoarthritis who practiced Hatha yoga for eight weeks experienced significant improvements in pain, physical function, and quality of life compared to those who did not practice yoga.
Practising Hatha yoga safely with a qualified instructor
While Hatha yoga can be an effective form of pain relief therapy, it’s important to practise with caution, especially if you have a pre-existing condition or injury. Therefore, it is essential to learn from a qualified instructor such as Swami Mukti who can assist you in practising the specific Hatha yoga techniques you are needing and ensure that you’re practising safely.
In conclusion, when taught gently, Hatha yoga can be an effective form of pain relief therapy that may improve your physical functionality, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. If you want to be proactive in your health and you’re looking for a non-invasive way to manage chronic pain, consider having a private session with Swami Mukti. Your session can be recorded to make daily ‘snacking on Hatha yoga’ easy. You may even like to join a general Hatha yoga class at Mukti Freedom Yoga either in person or by Zoom. When you practise regularly you may find physical and/or emotional pain levels decrease, and your overall quality of life is thereby improving.