Yoga Techniques: Yoga for Chronic Pain

Breath Practices

  • “You can send health-enhancing yoga breathing messages to your body any time, anywhere.” (Larry Payne, PH.D. & Richard Usatine, MD)


  • Meditation can help to disentangle pain from the mental reaction to pain, causing suffering.
  • Guided meditations such as gratitude meditations show success in retraining the mind to respond differently, resulting in less pain and more comfort.

Sound Vibration: Chanting, Mantra

The physical vibration of sound waves has a palpable effect on the body and mind and is of demonstrated therapeutic value…Looking beyond their physical effects, sound waves can also be a vehicle to bring awareness into an area of the body that may be dull. Yogis have observed that areas of dysfunction in the body are often cut off from full awareness. From a yogic perspective, pain is commonly related to prana, or life force, not moving well through an area—a pranic block, if you will…When the breath is accompanied by the vibrations of different sounds, it can be…a way to move energy that has been stagnating. – Yoga for Chronic Pain


  • This is not intended to be a complete list of options for a person suffering chronic pain. Rather, it is a list of some yogic tools that have been shown in research and practice to improve the lives of chronic pain sufferers.
  • Yogic tools can support (and do not need to replace) other modalities. It is common for the improvement to be so great as to reduce or eliminate the need for other support such as pain medications but any modalities that are desired may be combined with yoga.
  • Ayurveda, the “sister science to yoga,” can also be a support through an Ayurvedic diagnosis of a person’s constitution and imbalances at the root of the condition.