Living with chronic pain is a major obstacle to happiness! In my work as a yoga coach in professional sports, it’s a priority to help athletes get out of and stay out of pain—not only for physical performance but also for a positive mental state on and off the field. Athlete or not, chronic pain negatively impacts the quality of our lives.
Although most people are aware of yoga’s stress-relieving capabilities, fewer know about it’s role in pain relief. Increasingly, research is supporting yoga as an effective pain-relieving practice. Various studies have shown that yoga and yoga-based mindfulness meditation can benefit those suffering from chronic conditions like fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, headaches, back pain and more. What’s more, yoga is not only effective in decreasing pain but also preventing it! A 2016 JAMA report showed that the proactive use of exercise, like yoga, provides a greater reduction of back-pain reoccurrence over commonly prescribed passive methods, such as belts, orthotics and rest.