Fibromyalgia & How Yoga May Help

Fibromyalgia & How Yoga May Help

Fibromyalgia is characterized as a widespread musculoskeletal pain that can be accompanied by fatigue, memory, sleep, and mood issues.

It has been believed by researchers that fibromyalgia can intensify your pain by affecting the way your brain and spinal cord can process the nonpainful signals with the painful ones. Many symptoms can begin after an event such as physical trauma, infection, psychological stressors, or surgery.

Many people who do have fibromyalgia tend to also have IBS, TMJ, anxiety, tension headaches, and/or depression.

Even though there is medication that your physician can prescribe, exercise and relaxation can be beneficial too. Yoga, specifically, can help you relax your body right in the comfort of your own home.

Here are some various poses you can try that are gentle on the body:

Banana Pose

First, lay on your back, and raise your arms above your head. Then, without moving your back, move both of your legs to the lower corner of your mat (it doesn't matter which corner).

Then, move your arms to the opposite upper corner so that your body resembles the shape of a banana. There will be a stretching sensation in your side. Inhale deeply for about 8-10 breaths, then switch sides.


Downward-Facing Dog

Start on all fours, with your hips above your knees, hands slightly in front of your shoulders, and toes tucked. Inhale.

Exhale as you lift your knees off the ground and bring your body into an upside-down V-shape.

Keep your hips high, your neck lengthened, and your belly engaged.


Supine Spinal Twist

This is a restorative pose with a gentle twist that can help keep your digestive system healthy.

Lie on your back and bring your knees to your chest. Spread out your arms so you are in the shape of a T, then slowly position your knees to the right of your body. If your knees don’t touch the ground, try using a pillow. Make sure to breathe.

Allow your shoulder to relax towards the ground. Stay in this pose for 3-5 minutes then switch sides.


Forward Fold

Start by grabbing a chair. Sit in the flat seat and make sure your feet are planted on the ground with your ankles directly lined up with your knees.

Take a deep breath, hinge forward at the hips, and fold forward over your thighs. If it feels better, you can move your feet apart but make sure that your hands are resting on something.

If the floor is too far away stack up some blocks or books to help you. Breathe deeply for three minutes then slowly roll back up into a sitting position. Your head should come up last.


Butterfly Stretch

Having fibromyalgia may increase pain or achiness around your hips. This pose may help to gently stretch your hips and help to increase flexibility.

Sit down with your back straight. Bend both knees so that you can bring the soles of your feet together. Hold them together with your hands.

With your back still straight, gently and slowly push your knees towards the ground to open up your hips. Hold this stretch for about 30 seconds and repeat 3-5 times.


Though yoga is generally considered a safe exercise, it's important to talk with your doctor before taking up a new physical activity to see if it's right for you.