2K Shares

Yoga for Fibromyalgia

yoga for fibromyalgia

Regular exercise is believed to help with fibromyalgia in the long run by reducing both the frequency and intensity of ‘flare-ups’.

To anyone who suffers from fibromyalgia, the thought of doing any form of regular physical exercise, especially on ‘flare-up’ days, can seem an impossible ask.

However, there have been several studies that show very promising signs that yoga may be the answer. The most encouraging was a research study of 53 female fibromyalgia sufferers published in the journal Pain. Participants reported significant improvements in measures of pain, fatigue, and mood associated with fibromyalgia.

What makes yoga ideal for those who suffer from fibromyalgia is the fact that it can be easily adapted to suit an individual’s particular need on any given day.

In addition to affecting you physically, fibromyalgia also takes a toll on you both mentally and emotionally too. The breathing and calming aspect of yoga can also help with this.

The only equipment that you will need in order to perform this yoga routine is a yoga mat, and maybe some yoga blocks and straps which can be extremely beneficial for Fibromyalgia sufferers as it will enable you to place less strain on the body in the early weeks of your routine.

Yoga for people with Fibromyalgia

Caution: Be sure to talk to your doctor before you start your yoga journey.

Introduction

Exercise is not that easy when you have fibromyalgia. Too much can cause flare-ups that range from mild to severe. Listen to your body throughout, and adjust what you do accordingly.

Be patient and take your time. Little and often is the key. It is better to try to do something every day, no matter how small, than to do a 20 minute workout and then miss several days because you have overdone things.

Yoga is best performed on an empty stomach, so wait at least 2 hours after eating. As with most forms of exercise, however mild, in order for it to become a habit, try to do the routine at the same time each day if possible.

Many people undertake yoga first thing in the morning. However, for fibromyalgia sufferers, this can be a bad time of day, as they often feel worse in the morning. So why not try to do the routine last thing before bed. This may help you sleep better, and reduce stress, due to the calming effects of yoga.

The following routine may help to reduce the frequency and intensity of fibromyalgia attacks.

How to perform the routine

The following 6 yoga poses should be done in sequence and the whole routine will take no more than 5 minutes. As mentioned above, 5 minutes every day is far better than 20 minutes twice a week, or one 60-minute workout each week.

Your progress may be slow, and you may initially miss days if you have a bad flare-up. Persevere though, and in time try to repeat the moves so you have done the whole routine twice. Take a few minutes break before you repeat the routine if required.

yoga for fibromyalgia1. Child’s Pose (Balasana)

How to perform the pose correctly:

  1. Begin on your hands and knees on your yoga mat.
  2. Spread your knees wide apart while keeping your big toes touching. Rest your buttocks on your heels.
  3. Sit up straight and lengthen your spine.
  4. Exhale whilst at the same time, leaning forward until your chest rests on the floor between your thighs. Allow your forehead to come to the floor.
  5. Keep your arms long and extended, palms facing down. Press back slightly with your hands to keep your buttocks in contact with your heels.
  6. Let your upper back broaden. Soften and relax your lower back. Allow all tension in your shoulders, arms, and neck to drain away.
  7. Concentrate on breathing deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth, filling your lower torso up with air at each breath.
  8. Hold this pose for 60 seconds.

Modifications:

Initially, we suggest that you perform a slightly modified version.

Firstly, perform this pose by keeping your knees and thighs together. In this way you can lean forward until your chest is resting on the top of your thighs. Secondly, do not extend your arms. Let them rest alongside your thighs with your palms facing up, and ensure you completely relax your elbows

standing forward bend 022. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

How to perform the pose correctly:

  1. Stand up straight on your yoga mat.
  2. Exhale and bend forward at the hips, reaching down towards your toes.
  3. It is very important that you keep your back flat throughout this entire pose. You may find it easier if you slightly exaggerate this by almost arching your back and ‘pushing’ your bottom towards the sky.
  4. Do not bend over any further once you start to lose the flat back.
  5. The aim of the pose is to bring your belly to rest against your thighs. It is not to touch your head on your knees, as this leads to rounding the back!
  6. Hold this pose for 30 seconds.standing forward bend 01

Modifications:

To start with, use a yoga block, or bend your knees, if you are unable to get your belly to touch your thighs. Always ensure you keep a flat back. If this is still too much of a challenge, start by bending down so that your torso is parallel to the floor. Place your hands on the back of a chair for support. Just ensure you keep a flat back throughout.

Benefits:

Lowering the head below your heart helps relieve stress, headaches, anxiety, fatigue, mild depression, and insomnia. It also creates a good stretch in your hamstrings and calves.

yoga for fibromyalgia 23. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

How to perform the pose correctly:

  1. Start by lying facedown on your yoga mat with your legs extended behind you, spread a few inches apart. The tops of your feet should rest on the mat. Do not tuck your toes underneath.
  2. Place your hands under your shoulders with your fingers pointing toward the top of the mat. Keep the elbows in, close to the sides of your body.
  3. Breathe in and use your core to lift your head and chest off the floor, whilst pushing your thighs into the mat. Do not push yourself up using your arms.
  4. Keep looking forward. Do not strain your neck by looking up if you are a beginner.
  5. Hold this pose for 30 seconds.

Modifications:

Initially you will find it easier to start by just placing your palms alongside your chest and breathing with your forehead still on the floor.

As you progress, if you find that this pose causes discomfort in the back or neck, it is likely that you are using your arms to push up too much. Your arms are just providing a light support, nothing more. As an alternative, you can do this pose by standing facing a wall. Just use the wall as if it were the floor.

This move will help open and stretch the chest, as well as strengthen and stretch the back. Both these areas can be highly sensitive areas for sufferers of fibromyalgia so take it very slowly and do not be in any rush to progress this move.

Warrior 14. Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)

How to perform the pose correctly:

  1. Stand upright on your yoga mat, with your arms at your sides. Your feet need to be about shoulder width apart.
  2. With your left foot, step to the left so that your feet are now about 4 feet apart.
  3. Twist your body to the right. At the same time turn your right foot 90 degrees so that it is now facing the same way you are.
  4. Twist the left foot about 45 degrees. Keep the heel on the floor and ideally your left heel should be in line with your right.
  5. Now exhale and bend at the right knee until your right thigh is parallel to the floor and at right angles to your lower leg.
  6. Raise your arms overhead keeping them shoulder width apart. Stretch upwards with your fingertips.
  7. Hold this pose for 30 seconds.
  8. Repeat on the opposite side and hold for 30 seconds.

Modifications:

Many beginners find it difficult to keep their balance. If this happens, rather than trying to keep your heels aligned, let them be shoulder width apart to create a more solid base to your stance.

Easy Pose5. Easy Pose (Sukhasana)

How to perform the pose correctly:

  1. Sit on your yoga mat. Extend your legs in front of you and sit up straight.
  2. Cross your legs and place your hands on your knees.
  3. Breathe in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds.
  5. Release and cross your legs the opposite way.
  6. Hold for a further 30 seconds.

Modifications:

As the name suggests, this is meant to be an Easy Pose. If your hips are especially tight, you may find it easier to prop yourself up by sitting on one or two folded blankets. This will greatly reduce the stress and discomfort in your hips, knees, and back. If you need more back support, sit with your back against a wall.

Benefits:

By regularly integrating the Easy Pose into your practice and into your daily life you will experience a feeling of calm that will help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, and is great for combating menopause symptoms too.

corpse pose 016. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

How to perform the pose correctly:

  1. Lay on your back on your yoga mat.
  2. Your feet should be roughly hip width apart, and your arms should be by your sides with your palms facing upwards.
  3. Starting at your feet, take a deep breath in and as you exhale try to image your feet becoming heavy as if they were sinking more into the mat.
  4. Continue this same breathing process for each area of the body that is in contact with the floor, until you reach your head.
  5. Stay in this pose for 60 seconds.
  6. Once you have completed this process, take a few more deep breaths before very slowly coming out of this final position.

Savasana can be done at any time in order to quiet the mind and relax the body. Regular practice will enable you to truly improve your ability to relax. Try this move when laying in bed as a way of helping you fall into a much deeper, and more restorative, sleep.

If you are looking for more beginner poses to transform your body with yoga, then look no further than our

Beginners Guide to Fat Loss Yoga

It has everything you need to get started, including comprehensive instructions on how to perform all the poses correctly, a six week workout schedule, diet advice, plus core strength, flexibility, balance and posture guides!

Yoga is believed to help with fibromyalgia in the long run by reducing both the frequency and intensity of the pain associated with the condition.
2K Shares