Muscle aches and spasms often take away from comfort even when trying to sleep. Pain in your body can be caused by many factors, such as a ligament tear from heavy lifting. Daily wear and tear is another unavoidable cause of muscle cramps and pain. However, certain yoga poses can be beneficial in treating muscle pain.
Samiksha Shetty, a celebrity yoga expert and founder of community wellness space, Moon Village, spoke with Health Shots to list a stream of 5 yoga poses to release muscle tension.
Here are some yoga poses to treat muscle pain:
1. Tiger breathing (cat and cow pose)
With slow synchronized breathing, this asana helps relieve the muscles of the spine, back, and neck by creating mobility in the spine.
To do cat cow pose, start on your hands and knees on the floor. Keep your palms shoulder-width apart with your wrist just below your shoulders, and keep your knees hip-width apart. Start by keeping your spine in a neutral position.
Inhale, roll your shoulder blades back, lift your head, and arch your back.
Exhale, round your back by pulling your navel toward your spine. Tuck your chin toward your chest. Continue this flowing movement and connect your breath to each movement. Repeat this for 10 breaths.
2. Fire Log Pose
As the name suggests, this pose creates intense heat in and around the groin and pelvic region, which subsequently lessens any sciatic pain. This pose is particularly useful for cyclists, runners, and office workers.
Sit on the floor with your knees bent and shins stacked with your right leg on top. Use your hand to place your right heel on your left knee. Keeping your hips square to the front of the room, rotate your hips and slowly walk your hands slightly forward, extending your spine. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side
3. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
I’m sure you’ve heard of this one. This asana helps relax the entire body. It strengthens the arms and shoulders, lengthens the spine, calves, and hamstrings, and energizes the entire body by bringing blood flow to the brain.
Start on the floor by placing your hands and knees down. Straighten your legs by lifting your knees off the ground and push your heels down as far as you can. Extend your spine away from the floor with the palms of your hands. Stay in this pose for 5 to 9 breaths.
4. Parivratta Trikonasana Stretch (Revolved Triangle Breathing)
Start by standing up and place your feet 3 to 4 feet apart. Take a deep breath in and as you exhale bend forward from the waist. Place your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart. On the next exhalation, turn your entire upper body to the right from the waist, touching your right ankle with your left hand. Stretch your right arm up in line with your shoulder without overextending your arm. Inhale bringing your hands back to center and exhale rolling to the left side. The movement must be continuous and fluid. Repeat 10 to 15 times on each side. Focus on being in full control of your movement and breathing.
Variation: If you can’t reach your foot, place your hands between both feet and rotate from there to treat muscle pain with ease.
5. Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana)
Many yoga asanas are named after wild creatures. By embodying the spirit of the lizard we can strengthen the muscles of the shoulders, arms, chest and work the buttocks. Well, who doesn’t want a nice booty? By becoming aware of this pose, you can also engage and strengthen your abdominal muscles and reduce excess fat around your belly and hips.
Begin by getting into the downward facing dog position. Inhale, step your right foot to the outer edge of your right palm, and come into an extended lunge position. Now suck your hips keeping your arms straight and your spine flat and long. If you feel comfortable here, slowly lower onto your forearms. Press into the ball of your left foot as you straighten your left leg. Stay here for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.
To add some mobility and movement to this static pose to treat muscle pain, flow:
- Exhale-dog looking down,
- Inhale: Lift your right leg toward the ceiling (3-legged downward facing dog).
- Exhale – Lizard pose on the right leg,
- Hold your breath.
- On your next exhale, return to Downward Facing Dog.
- Inhale: Raise left leg to ceiling (3-legged downward facing dog).
- Exhale: Lizard on left leg, hold for breath.
Do this movement in coordination with your breath about 5 to 10 times on each side.