Whole Woman: Pain, Pain Go Away 2

We hear from a yoga instructor on some poses to alleviate aches and pains.

Remember when you were young and couldn’t wait to be older? But now that you finally are, you’re noticing that your body has a lot more aches and pains than it used to. Luckily, two local experts were happy to share some simple exercises that you can do at home so you don’t have to break the bank, or your back.

This week, we have some tips from Linda DiCarlo, a yoga instructor at Iyengar Yoga Source.

Period cramps can be a pain, literally. Here is an easy pose that will help the discomfort disappear and make the next week more tolerable.

Seated Wide Angle Pose 

Depending on your flexibility, sit on one or two blankets (more blankets equals more lift, allowing you to bend forward with more ease).

Place your bolster about a foot or so directly in front of you and separate your legs to create a ninety-degree angle.

Lengthen and extend your spine and lean forward
to place your abdomen, chest and head over the bolster.

Rest your forehead on your hands to provide a space between your face and the bolster. Stay three to five minutes.

Headaches can put a wrench in your day. Thankfully, some yoga poses can help; they’re designed to increase the circulation of blood to your head. Here’s how you can avoid feeling like someone hit you over the head with a hammer.

Downward Facing Dog

Begin on your hands and knees, placing your hands on the floor beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips.

Turn your toes under, lift your hips up and straighten your legs. You should now be in a tent-shaped pose.

Press into your palms and move your shoulders back toward your knees; straighten the line that runs from your hands and arms to your side ribs and waist.

Move your knees away from your face and keep your legs straight.

Stay for one to five minutes, depending on your stamina (and feel free to rest your head on a blanket or bolster in the meantime). Maintain a normal breathing pattern while in the pose.

Full Bridge Pose

Place one bolster vertically on the floor and a second one just below it. Sit down on the middle of the first bolster with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.

Place your hand on the floor beneath your shoulders, to either side of your torso. As you lean back, lie down on the bolster -— your shoulder blades should fall on the edge of the bolster.

Extend your legs out so that your feet are on the second bolster.

Extend your arms from the shoulders out by your sides and rest your hands on the floor, palms facing upward.

Lift your hips and buttocks until your shins are vertical and your thighs are parallel to the floor.

Hold one to two minutes.

Bad habits develop over time, and poor posture is one that affects both looks and health. These poses are an effective way to help prevent severe back distortion as you age.

Cross-Legged Seated Twist

Fold two blankets to create a seat. Place a block behind where you will be sitting.

Sit down and cross your legs at the shins, making sure your knees are lower than your waist (sit higher if need be).

Swing your left hand to your outer right thigh and turn your torso to the right.

Bring your right hand behind you and place it on the block. Walk your right hand further toward the left side to turn your torso more.

Turn your waist, then your mid chest, and then the shoulders.

Repeat steps on opposite side and breath comfortably.

Camel Pose

Fold your yoga mat in half and then in quarters. Kneel on the front edge of the mat with your feet on the back edge of the mat, slightly separated.

Place your bolster across your lower shins and feet.

Press firmly down into your shins and extend well up into the spine.

Push your pelvis forward slightly and firm your tail bone region.

Lift your rib cage from your waist and draw your shoulder blades together and downwards.

Sustain those actions as you arch your spine backwards. Bring your arms back and place your hands on the bolster.

Lift your chin and look back and up at the ceiling. Keep your thighs as vertical as possible.

Breathe with rhythmical breaths and expand your chest.

We all get stressed and sometimes we just need a few minutes to ourselves. This pose will do the trick to help you calm down and feel relaxed again.

Supported Corpse Pose

Place your mat in a quiet, well-ventilated space and put the bolster on the end of the mat. Place your bolster across your lower shins and feet.

Sit on the mat a few inches in front of the bolster. Bend your knees and put your feet on the floor, about a foot in front of you.

Lower your torso onto the bolster so that you are lying flat. Place a folded blanket under your head for support.

Roll your shoulder blades down toward your waist.

Move your feet so they are hips width apart and relax your legs completely. Let your feet fall out to the side.

Place your hands palm side up and away from the sides of your torso, but well below the shoulders.

Lie quietly and watch your breathing pattern. Resist the urge to breathe more deeply; try a soft, steady, slow, smooth inhalation and a quiet, smooth exhalation.

Continue for five to ten minutes.