What’s the difference between pain-specific and pain-friendly yoga classes?

Yoga can help people with pain reduce symptoms, keep up exercise and develop personally. You will need different classes at different stages of your pain journey. Here are some guidelines to help you choose the most appropriate pain-sensitive yoga class for you.

Pain-Specific Yoga Classes 

Help you to reduce symptoms of pain, such as excessive fatigue, pain sensitivity and anxiety. Movements are typically gentle to ensure you develop good quality of movement and the skills to progress comfortably without causing a pain flare. You’ll also learn relaxation techniques and basic meditation.

Pain-specific classes are open only to people with persistent pain.  Some teachers specialise – for example, yoga for arthritis, problem backs, or fibromyalgia. Others teach a more general class.

Pain-Friendly Yoga Classes
General yoga classes that welcome people with pain who have their pain well-managed. You are ready for this type of class when you know how to move without a pain flare and have a general idea of how to adapt postures to suit your capacity.

Pain-friendly classes can vary from very gentle or very physical. This means you can find a class that suits your physical and psychological capacity.  The teacher may recommend a one-to-one consult prior to joining the group.

Yoga for Pain Program
The 3-month Yoga for Pain Program is a carefully designed education programs that helps people with persistent pain live healthy, meaningful lives. You progress from doing gentle, pain-specific yoga to knowing how to participate safely in a local yoga class of your choice. The course includes a bit of pain education, workbooks, graded movement and yoga philosophy.

The Yoga for Pain Program is ideal for those who want to take an active approach to understanding their pain, and growing personally from their experience.

A great way to get extra attention, learn to modify your practice and build a relationship with your teacher. Recommended before joining a group class, especially if it’s not pain-specific. You can also see health professionals on our register for a one-to-one to help you get a medical opinion on how you can approach yoga with your body.

Visit the Yoga for Pain Practitinoer register to find a teacher or health professional for you.


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