Working with Pain in Yoga

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Lesson Overview

In this lesson, we apply knowledge of pain and sensation, the nervous system, and Hatha Yoga to inform decisions regarding students who are experiencing pain.


Learn how to apply knowledge of anatomy, physiology and yoga tools to work effectively with students experiencing pain, and to wisely choose tools to support them.


Note some initial considerations related to working with pain in yoga. Describe how Hatha Yoga can help to improve the ability to interpret and evaluate sensation and how to use the breath as a guide in evaluating sensation. Note the vital empowering awareness that students can develop from acquiring greater skill in evaluating sensation. Provide a way that students experiencing a high pain level might begin practice and what we want to identify and release when there is pain. Note which asanas should be approached with caution or avoided and why it’s recommended to practice in a way that brings relaxation and nervous system balance. Describe how to approach movement when experiencing pain and an expert suggestion related to stretching and strengthening.

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