5 Beginners’ Iyengar Yoga Poses To Relieve Any Chronic Pain

B.K.S. Iyengar founded this type of yoga by paying close attention to anatomical details and the alignment of the body. Thus, Iyengar Yoga became a practice of precision. In this type of yoga, the poses are held for long periods and often modified with props in order to relieve any chronic pain. This method is also designed to systematically cultivate strength and flexibility, and it is very therapeutic for specific conditions.

Here is my top favorite 5 beginners’ Iyengar yoga poses you should practice if you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, arthritis, or neck pain:

1. Arm Balancing in a Tortoise Pose-to-Firefly Transition with a Chair

Image Credits: Arm Balancing in a Tortoise Pose-to-Firefly Transition with a Chair

Sit back in the seat of a chair with your legs wide and your knees bent;
Bend forward at your hips and place your arms on the floor (or on blocks) in between your legs;
Keep your abdominal muscles engaged;
With an exhalation, begin the process of straightening your knees as fully as possible;
Repeat the bending and straightening of your legs a few times;
Then, try and stay in the pose with your knees extending, toes spreading, and abdominal muscles engaged;
Breathe into the back of your body, allowing the skin and muscles fibers to spread and elongate;
Shift your buttocks further forward on the seat of the chair;
Exhale and as you press your hands into the floor or the blocks, shift your weight forward onto your arms;
Lift your abdominal wall, hips, and buttocks simultaneously;
Straighten your legs as you did before;
Stay in the pose for a few breaths;
Focus on moving the breath into your back ribs region;
Exhale as you lower your hips;
Inhale and exhale as you lift again;
Repeat this transition, moving back and forth a few times.

2. Strap Trick in Locust Pose

Image Credits: Strap Trick in Locust Pose

Take a long yoga belt and place it on your back at the bottom of your shoulder blades;
Pull the ends of the belt so that it feels snug across your shoulder blades;
Then, take the ends up the front of your armpits, over the tops of your shoulders near the neck;
Then, recross the straps across your upper back;
Pull down and out slightly on the ends of the belt;
Place a bolster or rolled blanket under your abdominal area;
Press your legs down into the floor;
Bend your elbows, walk your hands upon the strap;
As you inhale, begin to straighten your arms as you pull on the ends of the belt;
Keep your legs and buttocks actively engaged as you exhale;
Continue to pull back on the ends of the belt with your hands;
Roll your shoulders back and down away from your ears;
Let the lift of your chest precede the lift of your head;
Stay here for a few breaths;
Then exhale and slowly bend your elbows to come out of the pose;
Rest and repeat the pose a few times.

3. New Take on Half Moon

Image Credits: New Take on Half Moon

From an extended triangle bend your right leg and shifting your weight from both legs to only the right hand and right leg;
Pull up the muscles of your right leg and keep the outer right hip and buttock firm;
Press out through your left heel as if you were pressing your leg into a wall;
While exhaling, reach your left arm over your head;
Keep the muscles of your hips and buttocks engaged;
Then bend your left leg at the knee;
Allow your head and neck to relax so that the crown of your head points more and more toward the floor.

4. Marichi’s Pose (Marichyasana III)

Image Credits: Marichi’s Pose (Marichyasana III)

Start with a staff pose and bend your left knee;
Bring the sole of your left foot on the floor;
Make sure that close to the groin and against the right leg;
Exhale and rotate your torso to the left;
Slowly try to reach the right arm outside of the left thigh;
Turn the palm to face behind you;
Twist further till the right shoulder is outside of the left knee;
Bring your hand behind your back by bending the right arm;
Exhale and reach the left arm behind you;
Try to hold onto your fingers, hands, wrists or wherever you can hold;
Exhale and twist further;
Gaze toward your toes or over your left shoulder;
Stay in the pose for few minutes (one to two minutes).

5. Stomach-Turning Pose

Image Credits: Stomach-Turning Pose

Lay on your back with a folded blanket under the sacrum for support;
Extend arms out to the side in a “t” shape with palms facing up;
Bring legs up into tabletop position;
Keeping legs in tabletop position, move knees toward right elbow, hovering over the floor;
Keep both shoulder blades on the floor and arms pressing into the floor;
Return to the center;
Repeat 3-6 times on both sides.

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