Recovery Messages & News

Yoga for Chronic Pain

By Ms. Sue Dietrich, RN, Certified Yoga Instructor, Reiki Master

I, like millions of people, live with intermittent chronic pain. Anyone who knows me is well aware that my right arthritic hip, actually both hips, cause me regular grief. Having tried all kinds of therapies over the years, I can definitively report that Iyengar style yoga practice is the one thing that helps my hips the most! Effective hip pain management notwithstanding, I was so delighted with the ever-expanding benefits I derived from my yoga practice that I became a Certified Yoga instructor at the age of 50 and have never felt better! Yoga’s wide range of practices including asana (physical postures), pranayama (breath work) and meditation have much to offer those living with chronic pain.

Overall, participating in a regular and well-rounded yoga practice helps relieve pain by lowering stress, the main culprit that exacerbates pain and lowers pain tolerance. Instead of focusing solely on an area of discomfort, students learn to feel their bodies as an organic wholewhose parts are interconnected both physically and energetically. Through focus on proper alignment, breathing and posture, the body awareness and mindfulness components intrinsic in yoga encourage practitioners to engage and release deeply, yet gently, any discomfort in their body, mind and/or spirit.

For the last two years, I have faithfully practiced Iyengar style yoga 3 times per week and have found some simple and effective long lasting strategies to manage my chronic hip pain. It is my experience that anyone can practice and benefit greatly from yoga, especially those afflicted with chronic pain. Through the use of props such as blocks, straps and chairs, yoga postures can easily be modified and individualized to suit each persons’ therapeutic needs.

Please feel free to contact me anytime about the yoga classes, workshops and private sessions at HUM by email [email protected] or cellular at 403-919-3138. Namaste! Sue Dietrich, RN, Certified Yoga Instructor, Reiki Master.