Yoga is practiced so regularly these days, and has been in practice for over 5, 000 years. We are all very much aware of what yoga does for our fitness and our overall well being, and so it has become a valued part of many of our lives. I find that there are fewer people though, that are aware of specific yoga postures for specific ailments.
Since I feel it is important to know what each yoga posture can do for us, and since I also feel it is important that one be able to create their own yoga practice based upon their personal health situations, I have put together this quick reference list. Enjoy! You’re welcome.
Acne: Sun Salutations, Shoulder Stand and its counter-poses, Head to Knee poses, Peacock poses and Abdominal Isolation
Arm Strengthening: Sun Salutations, Incline Plane, Bow Pose, Wheel Pose and the Balancing Poses (Tree, Peacock and Crow)
Asthma: Deep abdominal breathing, Shoulder Stand, Bridge and Fish Pose, Bow Pose and Corpse Pose
Back Pain: Sun Salutations, Fish Pose, Bow Pose
Breath Deepening: Sun Salutations, Inverted Poses, Bow and Balancing Poses, Breathing Exercises
Chest Strengthening: Sun Salutations, Bow, Crow pose
Chin & Throat: (for balancing thyroid): Fish, Wheel, Sun Salutations
Common Cold: Sun Salutations, Shoulder Stand, Breathing Exercises, Neti Pot – try to avoid dairy, grain and animal products and of course processed foods
Constipation: Inverted Poses, Sun Salutations, head to knee Poses, Bow Pose, the balancing poses (Peacock and Crow variations) – remember to eat fiber rich foods – dates, healthy grains, fruit, etc.
Delaying Aging: Sun Salutations, Shoulder Stand, Bridge Pose, Fish Pose, Wheel Pose, Abdominal Strengthening and Breathing exercises
Depression: Sun Salutations, Shoulder Stand, Backward Bending and Balancing Exercises
Determination (lack of): Balancing Exercises
Diabetes: Head to Knee Poses (Sitting and Standing), Sun Salutations, Bow Pose
Here is a great video to guide you through some traditional Sun Salutations:
Digestive Problems: Abdominal Strengthening Poses, Shoulder Stand, Plough, Head to Knee pose, Bow Pose, Peacock Pose
Eye Problems: Inverted Poses (Shoulder Stand and Plough Pose)
Excess Weight: Sun Salutations, Inverted Poses (Plough and Shoulder Stand) Bridge and Fish Pose, Bow and Breathing Exercises – you may wish to combine with a restricted mono diet of fruit or a juice fast for a short time
Fatigue: Corpse Pose, Wheel Pose
Focus (lack of): Sun Salutations, Balancing Exercises and Breathing Exercises
Gastrointestinal Disorders: Shoulder Stand Sequence, Head to Knee Pose, Bow Pose, and Peacock pose
Hips (Toning): Spinal Twist, Twisted Crow Pose, Triangle Pose, Bow and Wheel Pose
Insomnia: Inverted Poses, Corpse Pose and Breathing Exercises
Laryngitis: Sun Salutations, Shoulder Stand, Wheel Pose
Lethargy: Sun Salutations, Shoulder Stand, Wheel Pose and Balancing Poses
Menopause: Bow Pose, Shoulder Stand, Fish Pose, Plough and Head to Knee Poses
Menstrual Disorders: Bow, Shoulder Stand, Fish, Plough and Head to Knee Pose
Nervous System Disorders: Shoulder Stand, Bow Pose and Corpse pose
Ovarian Insufficiency: Inverted Poses, Bow Pose, Wheel Pose, Abdominal Isolation and the Head to Knee pose
Rheumatism: Sun Salutations (mildly 3-6 rounds), the Bow Pose and Triangle Poses – you may wish to try and avoid dairy, wheat and animal products along with processed and convenience foods
Sexual Disorders: Inverted Poses, Head to Knee (sitting and standing), Bow Pose, Balancing Poses (Peacock and Crow variations)
Spinal Stiffness: Spinal Twist, Bow, Sun Salutations, Twists, Crow Pose
Stomach Strengthening: Inverted Poses, Head to Knee Poses, Bow Pose, Wheel Pose, Balancing Exercises
Thyroid Deficiency: Shoulder Stand and Plough Pose – you may wish to include more celery and green leafy veggies in your diet, along with juices
Uterine Disorders: Inverted Poses, Bow Pose
Varicose Veins: Inverted Poses, Head to Knee Poses and Backward Bending
There you have it, a comprehensive list of yoga poses for a number of different ailments … yoga as medicine. Here is another tip, for any of these ailments listed above, incorporate what Philippus Paracelsus has named ’’The Greatest Remedy – The Physician Within!”. That would be you. You know your body better than anyone else ever possibly could.
Combine your practice with a herbal cleanse or a juice fast for a few days or a week, and you will feel reborn. If you have not yet picked up a copy of Iyengar’s Light On Yoga, I highly recommend it for a solid reference guide to yoga postures for specific conditions.