Pain Has a Function

Pain will let you know when there is something wrong in your body. We have all felt pain, and we know that pain can be an irritation or unbearable. When pain is trying to tell you something, and you ignore the message, your pain could continue to worsen until the pain memo is the only thing you can think about. Think about the last time you had pain. What was the problem? Did you eat something bad that resulted in stomach pains? Did you wake up in the morning with a stiff, sore neck? Did you have a surgery that took some time to recover from? Some pain seems easy to understand, but other pain needs some detective work to fully comprehend. Now go back to the pain memory from above, what kind of pain was it? Did you have a dull ache or a sharp pain, was it tingly or prickly? Was the pain new or an old friend? Chronic pain is with you for a long period of time while acute pain comes on suddenly and is usually associated with an injury or an illness.

Types of Pain

Recently, Nancy Stechert from Yoga Tree in Hotchkiss, CO taught a yoga workshop and explained that pain in yoga can be divided into 2 main categories; pain that you want to move towards and pain that you want to move away from. Pain that you want to move away from might be something like a broken bone, or a torn hamstring. Pain that you should move towards would be something like a good stretch. On other occasions, I have heard Nancy describe the pain this way, “When you are in a pose and you feel pain, notice how intense the sensation is. If the pain is the only thing you can think about, then the pose must be changed. If the pain is more in the background – you are aware of it, but you can still hear and understand the instructions as well as focus on other parts of your body or breath, then maybe you can sit with that sensation a while to see what you can learn from it.”

Pain is a learning tool

An example, is when a person with a “bad “ shoulder attempts Triangle Pose, it will be uncomfortable to push the shoulder and extend the arm up to the ceiling. There is one saving grace for the shoulder in this pose: Triangle pose is not done from the shoulder. The whole spine must extend and rotate. If that action happens, the shoulder will feel no stress when the arm reaches to the ceiling! Do you see the magic? If the pose is incorrect, and the shoulder already hurts, you will have immediate feedback to teach you the proper alignment!

When you have an injury your yoga will develop the most because you have a teacher inside you (your pain). Your yoga practice will teach you about yourself, and your poses will be rewarding. You will become your yoga instead of pushing and forcing your body into poses. Yoga is a deep looking in and it can teach you beautifully, but only if you stop ignoring and listen to your body. One of the easiest times to listen is when your body is yelling at you. Oh and when you are doing your yoga correctly, it will help with the pain. This is a WIN, WIN! Check this site out for info on a pain/yoga study.


at Grace Yoga, we understand pain

Helping you avoid future pain and correct the pain you have today is one of our passions. If you have chronic pain, a series of private yoga, foam rolling, or Yamuna body rolling classes will help you understand how to work with your pain in your practice. Rossiter is another great option to fix pain fast. Rossiter, Yamuna, and Yoga, and foam rolling are all great tools for your pain tool kit. For help deciding on the best approach to become pain free, just give us a call 🙂

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