Fibromyalgia can make exercising difficult, but it’s not impossible! There are many benefits of yoga in the morning to help you manage your symptoms and strengthen your body.
Gentle yoga keeps your muscles and joints loose so you’re less likely to seize up and experience aches and pains.
Yoga can be used to calm your mind as well as your body. When practiced in the traditional way, yoga is so much more than an exercise routine. It can teach you to be aware of your body, help you relax, and focus the mind.
What Is Fibromyalgia and How Does It Affect People?
- 1 What Is Fibromyalgia and How Does It Affect People?
- 2 Benefits of Yoga In the Morning for Relieving Symptoms
- 3 How to Get Started With Yoga
- 4 Best Yoga Positions to Try When You Have Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a condition which causes widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and sleep, memory, and mood issues. Many people believe that fibromyalgia changes the way your brain and spinal cord process signals, amplifying painful sensations.
Typically fibromyalgia symptoms begin after some kind of triggering event. Things like physical trauma, infection, surgery, or even serious psychological stress could trigger fibromyalgia. For other people, the condition may manifest in the slow accumulation of symptoms over time, without a notable cause.
This condition often comes with a series of other symptoms or disorders. If you have fibromyalgia, you may also suffer from tension headaches, temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), irritable bowel syndrome, depression, or anxiety.
There is currently no cure for fibromyalgia. On the bright side, there are ways to manage symptoms through medication and lifestyle changes.
Benefits of Yoga In the Morning for Relieving Symptoms
Doing yoga in the morning offers three main benefits when it comes to relieving symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Ease Muscular Tension
Most people who are living with fibromyalgia experience frequent tightness in the muscles or stiffness.
Doing gentle stretches for your large muscles can keep them from seizing up. If you do yoga regularly, your muscles will be more flexible and less likely to tighten up.
Improve Spinal Alignment
Your skeleton is perfectly designed to support your body weight, with a little help from your muscles and tendons. But when something causes your skeleton to come out of alignment, it can lead to pain and stiffness for you.
One of the benefits of doing yoga in the morning is improving your spinal alignment. With yoga, you learn to move in ways that keep your skeletal system aligned and support your whole body.
No matter what fitness level you’re starting from, you will experience increased flexibility and stronger muscles. This all makes navigating daily tasks easier in the long run!
Sleep and Feel Better
Perhaps the most important benefit of yoga for fibromyalgia is actually for your mind instead of your body.
Studies have shown that doing yoga regularly can increase your sleep quality, reduce stress, and calm your mind.
Daily yoga helps your body regulate stress hormones. Doing an intense yoga workout can cause your body to produce some mood-boosting endorphins.
How to Get Started With Yoga
As with any exercise routine, you should check in with your doctor before beginning your new gentle yoga practice.
Then, spend a little bit of time exploring different styles before deciding which one you want to engage in.
You can work with an instructor or do a self-guided program.
If you’re going solo, make sure you understand how to safely do each position. Videos and apps can help you! Here’s a gentle video for beginners.
To get the most benefits of yoga in the morning, you want to create a routine. This can be just two or three simple poses that you move through to start with.
Don’t worry about how you look. Instead, really focus on how your body feels. When you find someplace where there’s a stretch or muscle engagement, sit with it for as long as you can and breathe deeply.
Like any new exercise, yoga might feel a little intense or even uncomfortable when you start. But no yoga positions should ever actually cause you pain or exacerbate your symptoms.
If you feel any of the following symptoms, you should stop:
- Sharp pain
- Numbness or tingling
- Intense pain that keeps you from catching your breath
When you’re confident that your yoga practice isn’t making your symptoms worse, slowly start to add new positions. The key here is really taking it slow and practicing consistently!
Doing a few minutes each day is better than trying to do an hour-long session several times a week. Always listen to what your body is telling you.
Best Yoga Positions to Try When You Have Fibromyalgia
To get all the benefits of yoga in the morning for fibromyalgia, choose positions that you can do comfortably.
Remember that many people who have fibromyalgia can get dizzy upon standing. It’s probably best to choose positions that focus on lying down or sitting!
Legs Up The Wall
This position is great for reducing stress and swelling in the ankles (a common symptom of fibromyalgia). It also encourages blood circulation!
Start by placing one hip against the wall. Lean back as you support your torso with your arms and gently swing your legs up the wall.
Your body should be in an L-shape, with your legs resting on the wall and your back flat on the ground.
Adding a blanket under your hips can help reduce the stretch if your hamstrings are tight. You can also shift your hips away from the wall and bend your knees gently.
Breathe into the stretch and try to let your mind relax. You can stay in this position for as long as is comfortable!
This restorative yoga pose has been found to help keep your digestive system healthy. That’s an extra bonus if you suffer from intestinal symptoms, too.
Start by lying on your back with your knees brought up to your chest. Open your arms into a T-shape and then slowly lower both of your knees to the right. Try to keep your shoulders both on the ground by breathing into it.
If you can’t reach the ground with your knees just yet, you can rest them on a pillow.
Remain in this position for three to five minutes before switching sides.
This well-known yoga pose strengthens your body and invigorates your whole body. It can also be modified easily for any level of ability.
Begin on all fours, with your toes tucked under your feet. Walk your hands forward one step and then exhale as you lift your knees off the ground.
Breathe in deeply and then exhale as you push your hips up towards the sky. Your body should be in a V-shape.
If this position is difficult for you, you can keep your knees bent. If you’re feeling up to it, you can peddle your feet by straightening/bending your legs to further stretch your hamstrings.
Remember to keep your hips lifted high and your core engaged by drawing your navel in towards the spine. Stay here for three to five breaths before lowering back down to all fours on an exhale.
Since moving from seated to standing may cause dizziness or discomfort, this move is best done in a chair. Make sure to choose a chair with a flat seat. You’ll also need some yoga blocks or a stack of books ready to help you get the most from this pose.
Sit down with your feet firmly grounded, ankles directly below your knees.
Inhale deeply, feeling your chest and belly expand. Exhale as you bend forward from the hips. You can keep your feet together or shoulder-length apart, whatever feels best for you.
Your hands should not be hanging. If you can’t reach the floor (that’s okay!) use blocks or books to give them something to rest on.
Spend a few minutes breathing into the stretch before you slowly roll back up, vertebrae by vertebrae. Your head should be the last part to come up.
Figure-Four Hip Opener
If you suffer from tight hips, this move is going to be your new best friend. It will gently open up your hip flexors!
Start by sitting in your chair with your spine tall and your feet firmly on the ground. Bring your right ankle up and rest it on your left knee, creating a 4-shape.
Rest your hands on your right ankle and knee. Focus on breathing and releasing tension in your right hip in order to allow your knee to relax downwards.
If your knee and ankle are already level, lean forward from your hips until you feel the stretch. Keep your spine straight while you do this!
Stay in this position for several minutes and then swap sides.
Dealing with fibromyalgia can be difficult, but there are healthy ways to manage and even reduce symptoms. There are many benefits of yoga in the morning for setting a calm, healthy, and fluid tone for your day.
Just remember to go slowly! Take your yoga practice at the pace that feels best for you and respects your limits.