Have you wondered how it would feel like if a simple activity like walking, reaching for stuffs or a just a hug suddenly invokes pain all around the joints? Yes, this painful condition is nothing but Fibromyalgia. Those who are already suffering from it, needs no introduction about the almost daily widespread muscle pain they have to endure, along with a whole lot of other symptoms like constant fatigue, depression, fibro fog, insomnia and low-grade depression.
For the unversed, Fibromyalgia is a chronic painful condition characterized by unexplained pain in the joints and muscles often mimicking the symptoms of arthritis. There are around 18 tender points in the body known as trigger points and you are diagnosed with fibromyalgia even if you have pain or tenderness in 11 of those 18 points. Some of these common trigger points include the top of the shoulders, the hips, the back of the head, the upper neck, the knees, and the outer elbows. Although the absolute cause of fibromyalgia is still unknown, however, studies suggest that it can suddenly flare-up due to physical trauma, stress, or flu.
A chronic condition may require medical intervention but if you have a milder variety, the traditional practice of Yoga might be your ultimate redemption. This age-old practice loosens cramped muscles and releases the tension trapped within them. Equally, it also helps to calm the mind, combat stress, fatigue, anxiety and insomnia, thus relieving the underlying symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Well, since everyone has specific needs and fibromyalgia makes movement difficult, get prior doctor’s approval before practicing these yoga poses and ensure you learn it from well-trained personnel. We bring you these excellent yoga postures that are sure to reduce pain and gradually help in managing fibromyalgia.
Yoga Poses For Fibromyalgia
Uttanasana (Forward-Bent Pose)
While standing, bring the feet hip-distance apart. Without bending your knees, slowly bend your body above the torso downwards. See that your knees are straight. You can allow your hands and hang down and rest your palms on the ground or just hold your feet to the ankles. Hold this position for 8-10 breaths, then slowly get back to the standing position.
Touted as ‘Padahasthasana’, this inverted posture is quintessential in stretching the hips, spine and calf muscles. It opens the entire back area and gradually helps in assuaging pain and stiffness. It has a soothing and calming effect on both the mind and body.
Balasana (Baby Pose)
Get down on your knees, keeping the spine straight. Now slowly bend forwards such that both the thighs touch the chest. Keep bending forwards until your head is beyond the knee and touches the ground. Straighten both the arms backward on either side of your legs with your palms, downwards facing the floor. Be in this position for 20-25 seconds, take few seconds of break and again repeat 2-3 times.
The Baby Pose is one of the best restorative postures for combatting fibromyalgia. The posture resembling a child in the womb, proffers an absolute relaxing stretch to the spine and back, that in turn wards off fatigue and calms the nervous system.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Lie flat on your stomach and place your head on the ground. Keep both your hands on either side of your shoulders. Slowly, put pressure on your palms and lift your body up from the torso while stretching your back and belly muscles. Straighten out your arms and keep your shoulder blades pressed against your back. Fix gaze at a point on the ceiling and hold this posture for about 15-30 seconds and exhale as you return to the starting position.
The cobra pose not only tones the abdomen but also helps stretch out the chest and lungs. It is extremely pivotal for soothing sciatica, strengthening the spine and providing relief from fibromyalgia symptoms. It is even good for improving blood circulation in various parts of the body and makes one feel deeply relaxed as they open up the shoulders and chest.
Veerabhadrasana (Warrior pose)
Stand straight on the ground looking in the forward direction. Move your feet about 4 inches apart in the forward direction. Turn your left foot out by 90 degrees and right foot in by about 15 degrees. Lift both the arms sideways till it levels with the shoulders. While breathing out, bend your left knee. Slowly turn your head and look to the left. Keep breathing and stretch your hands further apart. Gently push your pelvis down and hold the posture with the determination of a warrior. Repeat with the other side with the right foot forward. Do it 3-4 times keeping a minute in between for relaxation.
The warrior pose improves balance of the whole body and increases stamina. It not only strengthens and tones the arms and back muscles, but also significantly addresses the painful symptoms of fibromyalgia such as muscle cramps. Additionally, it also helps in burning a lot of calories and provides the body with the requisite amount of energy.
Viparita Karani (Legs Up The Wall Pose)
Initially, sit about 3 inches from an empty wall. Lie onto the back and swing your legs upwards in such a way that the back of the thigh rests against the wall. Rest your entire back, i.e. the spinal column on the floor below and relax the arms on either side of the body or the tummy. Hold the position for 10 minutes or as long as you can and then slowly pull your leg back to the starting position.
Viparita Karani is one of the most relaxing poses that allows one to lie flat on the ground with the legs straightened up without much twisting. This inverted posture effectively takes off the weight from the feet, while relaxing the muscles of the hips and legs. It also helps in fighting fatigue, a major symptom of fibromyalgia.
After completing these poses, come back to shavasana pose and relax you mind and body for 10 minutes. This marks the end of the yoga session.