Ask any enthusiast: The earliest teachings of yoga give us a trusted workout to this day.
Yoga philosophy is rooted in a dedication to our physical well-being which combines the healthy habits of exercise, relaxation and cleanliness with a nature-based approach to nutrition. Today, reports show that over 15 million people worldwide follow a regular yoga routine – and while many say they do it for maintenance of the mind and body, just as many others rely on yoga stretches as a pain-relieving tonic.
Just a few moves in the right direction can make a world of difference for your bouts of muscle and joint pain. For example, similar to centuries-old, plant-based treatments which have stood the test of time, so has the age-old application of yoga poses for alleviating discomfort. If you’re new to this option, here’s a little background info, followed by a few ailment-targeted poses to try. For eons, yoga teachers have insisted that specific flexing techniques go a long way to soothe the muscles, reduce stress, increase flexibility, improve posture, maximize breathing, lower blood pressure and shed unwanted weight. The safest approach is to practice and perfect the various poses – and pay attention to body limitations. If you have pronounced ailments, be sure to consult a medical professional before beginning any physical routine. With that green light, prepare for the poses by paying attention to proper clothing, footwear, hydration, and by doing warm up activities if you have particularly painful spots.
In fact, many of those who do rely on yoga for muscle and joint relief, say you can’t go wrong by combining it with homeopathic topical treatments such as Arnicare gel or cream. Its naturally-derived active ingredient is found in a mountain flower called arnica montana and when that cream or gel is rubbed thoroughly into the skin, it is said to supply relief to bruising, swelling, as well as muscle and joint pain especially in the neck, shoulders, and legs.
So let the yoga begin.
You’ll soon see that the poses are a variety of backbends, inversions, standing postures, arm balances, core holds and seated twists. Coaching is paramount to your physical improvement, so with illustrations on the website of a leading name in homeopathic medicines, www.boiron.ca/yogatips/, here are eight of the most effective poses to master and what each one can do for you:
1. General tension & fatigue: try the Seated Forward Bend aimed at calming the mind.
2. Tightness in the face: do the Lion Pose aimed at the neck, chest, and jaw.
3. Tight hips: do the Half Lord of the Fishes Pose, aimed at increasing flexibility in the hips and lower back.
4. Swollen legs: try the Legs-up-the-Wall Pose, aimed at relieving tired, cramped legs and at boosting circulation.
5. Stiff neck: try the Cat Cow pose, aimed at releasing tension in the spine.
6. Tight shoulders: do the Eagle Arms pose, aimed at dissolving back tension and improving upper back posture.
7. Achy low back: do the Bharadvaja’s Twist, aimed at backache, neck pain and sciatica.
8. All over: try the Hand-to-Big-Toe pose, which stretches and improves the flexibility of all muscles from head to toe.