If you have talked to your doctor about fibromyalgia then in all likelihood one of the first things they recommended was that you do your best to stay active and create a regular exercise routine. But as anyone with fibromyalgia knows, exercise sucks! Your muscles are sore, your joints ache, and your just too fatigued to care about anything as miserable as exercising. Well the solution to this dilemma can be fixed by a simple, four letter word: yoga.
The most prominent symptoms of fibromyalgia, muscle pain and fatigue, are only exacerbated when you don’t find a way to exercise. The old expression “Use it, or Lose it” is true. Spending all day in bed leads to muscle atrophy and weight gain which means it will only hurt all the more whenever you do try to move around.
However finding the energy to hit the gym or go for a jog is beyond most fibro sufferers. This is where yoga comes in. The simple stretches of a light yoga routine are designed to relieve muscle tension and soreness, the exact problems that people with fibromyalgia face. Yoga is also known to be an excellent way to calm your mind and reduce stress, one of the leading causes of the eternally dreaded fibro-flares.
If you are suffering from fibromyalgia and haven’t yet tried yoga, we recommend that you give it a shot. While we are no substitute for a full yoga class or instructional video, these 8 easy, beginner yoga poses will allow you to experiment a little and decide what’s right for you.
It seems simple right? Hardly like stretching at all? Well there is a lot going on behind the scenes of this basic pose. All your attention is directed towards grounding yourself with the earth. Your shoulders, spine, and breathing are all in alignment. Feel your shoulders pulled down and your spine lengthen as you calmly breathe in and out. Stress decreases and you feel a relaxation in our muscles and organs.
Learn more about Mountain Pose.
Standing Forward Fold
This pose is known for its incredible calming effects. It also opens up the entire back of your body. It is also easy to modify depending on your level of pain and flexibility. If this pose is too challenging at first, try placing your hands against a wall for support while performing it.
Learn more about Standing Forward Fold.
Morbid name aside, this pose is a great one to end any yoga session on, but it can also be done at any time you need to calm your mind or relax your body. Stretch your arms and legs out flat and focus your thoughts inward. The greatest strength of this posture is how it teaches us to ignore our surroundings and simply exist in the moment.
Learn more about Corpse Pose.
The Warrior I pose puts the focus on muscles strength, specifically the large muscles of the legs, back, and arms. It also allows you to calm your mind. This pose is an excellent way to maintain your strength and is perfect for those with fibromyalgia.
Learn more about Warrior I.
This pose is known as an inversion and sets your body in the opposite direction of our typical posture. The muscles in our legs and hips are given a chance to stretch out and relax. Your inverted posture will also cause your blood flow in your legs to reverse which can reduce swelling and fatigue. If this pose is challenging at first, try placing a folded blanket underneath your hips to offer you some support.
Learn more about Legs-Up-the-Wall.
The Cobra pose opens the chest and front of the body as well as strengthing and stretching your back, two of the most sensitive areas for those with fibromyalgia. This pose should be eased into until you feel completely ready for it. Start by placing your palms beside your chest and breathe with your forehead still on the floor. Gradually lift yourself up, and only go as far as your body will allow.
Learn more about Cobra.
This pose is meant to turn your thoughts inward and quiet your mind. By this pose’s very nature, outside stimulus is eliminated, allowing you to focus on your breathing. If would like to include some light stretching in this pose, work on rounding your back, stretching your shoulders out, or stretching our arms forward.
Learn more about Child’s Pose.
Bound Angle Pose
This pose is great for opening the hips and strengthing the knees and groin. Like many other poses though, when first beginning this pose it is important to gradually ease into it. Start with your legs extended in front of you and then slowly open your hips and bend your knees. With practice, you will be able to bend more and open up your muscles even further.
Learn more about Bound Angle Pose.