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Yoga Poses for Muscle Pain Relief

Yoga poses are famous for helping with weight loss, toning muscle, and aiding in balance.  There are numerous other benefits to Yoga, and we will discuss that of muscle pain relief.  We will first discuss why Yoga is extremely beneficial for alleviating pain and we will examine a few simple and effective Yoga positions you can perform at home or in your office.

Muscle pain is generally caused by strain or tension.  If you are doing little more for your pain than taking some over-the-counter or prescription pain it will continue to be an annoyance.  Practicing yoga poses helps to relieve pain in two (2) major ways:

1.  Yoga positions open up and stretch your muscles naturally

2. Yoga is properly performed with deep breathing, which delivers oxygen to the muscles to help heal

So what are some basic and beneficial yoga poses which can be performed independently of an entire sequence?  For this article we will focus on back and neck pain.  Quite a few people suffer from back and neck pain, and here are a few yoga positions you can practice to help alleviate such pain. 


Cat/Cow is a yoga pose which is performed on all fours (hand and knees).  Look straight ahead and take a deep breath while you lower your belly to the ground and heighten your rear.  You are now in cow position.  Hold your breath for as long as it took you to draw it in then exhale and return to your start position.

Next, inhale deeply once more and low your head, trying to relax your neck completely; and as you inhale raise your spine up and round out your rear like you are a cat in a deep stretch.  Hold in this position for the same count of breaths, then return to start position.

Repeat this sequence 6-8 times at minimum. 

High Cobra

High cobra is performed on the belly with your legs straight and your toes pointed away from you with the tops of your feet on the floor.  Plant your palms on either side of your chest and bring your spine up one segment at a time, beginning with your head.  Keep your belly on the ground and push slowly with your arms and pull your head back as if you’re trying to bring it to your toes. Again, like in cat/cow, inhale when you’re moving into position, exhale and inhale when you’re in position, and exhale as you return to start. 

Repeat this action at least 6-8 times.   

Swaying Willow

You will be standing for swaying willow with your feet approximately shoulder width apart.  Starting with the base of your skull begin lowering your upper body, breathing slowly and deeply the entire time.  Go all the way down until you are bent at the torso.  Make sure to relax your neck and let your arms dangle down.  Once you’re relaxed, begin to sway slowly from side to side, allowing your head to get as close to each foot as possible. 

Sway at least 5 times on each side, then slowly rise back up and repeat a few more times.  This is also one of the best yoga poses for relieving tension in the thigh muscles.  

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