Yoga and Pain Relief : Exploring the Connection

Yoga is a fantastic exercise form if you’re looking to reconnect with your body and your mind. Yoga helps bring together the two parts of the body that bring peace and calm into your life. When it comes to managing pain and improving pain, yoga is a great way to help. Through the introduction of focus and challenge, yoga helps pain sufferers refocus, as well as practical ways to address pain. To better understand how yoga and pain relief have deep connections, use this guide.

Mental relief

Yoga has been shown, through various studies, to help sufferers of pain feel more in control. This relief manifests as the pain simply not feeling as strong as it did before. Even those who attend yoga classes for beginners can experience this incredible mental relief. Yoga achieves this mental relief by helping to create disassociation from negative emotions and increasing pain suffers acceptance of their pain. Yoga is all about the inner-self as much as it is the outer. Encouraging participants to be more in control of their feelings and state of mind means they can better deal with their pain. It’s this disassociation that creates a more positive outlook and feelings of diminished pain strength.


Yoga is known to be all about stretching, so it’s no surprise that participants talk about greater flexibility helping to lower their pain. When you suffer from pain, it’s easy to sit still and limit your movement. This stationary lifestyle means you’ll become rigid over time, struggling to move freely which can exacerbate painful feelings. Yoga helps people stretch and improve their flexibility, which then helps create more movement and less painful experiences. This improvement in movement and flexibility has been shown to reduce pain, both acute and chronic.

Inflammation or swelling

Pain is most often associated with an injury, inflammation or swelling. If you suffer from any kind of chronic pain, you are likely to be very familiar with inflammation or swelling. Yoga has been reported to decrease the body’s stress responses, which can lead to less inflammation and less pain. Once your body is conditioned to respond to stress with inflammation, it’s hard to break the cycle of painful swelling. Yoga helps retrain the body’s response by increasing the control you feel over your emotions and responses. Through increased control and more positive emotions, your body’s response will change. This change helps decrease the stress your body feels and helps lower inflammation and pain.


The key connection between yoga and pain relief is all within the poses. Yoga has many different types to choose from, but the yoga poses are all based on the breath and designed to help you focus your mind. In these poses, you build strength, more positive energy and challenge your body to move again. Each pose is different and there are different levels for each person to work towards. If you want to stretch and learn to live in a pose, yin yoga is a great option for you. This long-form hold in a pose helps you focus and really create better energy in both your mind and body. This focus helps move the mind away from the feeling of pain and helps reshape your thinking about what’s possible again.


Yoga is one of the best options for pain sufferers whether they be chronic or acute, because of the modifications available. Yoga is a gentle practice that offers flexibility in its approach, meaning you can almost always find a way to make a pose or classwork. Using specialised equipment such as bolsters, rollers or foam blocks are great ways to introduce support while also still challenging yourself at a comfortable level. The important part is to not rush into a pose or class, it needs to be managed appropriately for your skill and pain. Yoga instructors can work with you to create a better plan to help you move through difficulty levels and help lower pain. The important part is to ensure your instructor is aware of your pain, and any injuries you may have.

Yoga is one of the most peaceful and mindful forms of exercise anyone can do. It challenges you to reprogram your mind’s response to challenges and encourages a connection between your breath and your body. This connection creates better flexibility, lowers inflammation and helps to create more positive responses in your brain. All of these connections will help lower the strength of your pain and show you that movement is possible. If you suffer from pain or know someone who does, encourage them to give yoga a try. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or have done yoga before, the connection with pain relief is evident and worth exploring.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 14, 2023

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