Did you know that consistent yoga practice provides many health benefits, especially for anyone suffering from chronic pain? Studies have found that yoga can prevent the changes that chronic pain causes in the structure of the brain. These changes are linked to depression, anxiety, and brain fog.
Catherine Bushnell, PhD, a director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, said, “Practicing yoga has the opposite effect on the brain as does chronic pain.” Bushnell also reported that ongoing yoga practice can increase levels of pain tolerance, leading to a decrease in chronic pain. Brain images of someone suffering from chronic pain revealed that it causes changes to occur to the brain's volume of gray matter and disturbs the connections of the white matter. New brain images performed on people who had been practicing yoga for a period of time, showed that yoga actually bulks up gray matter and strengthens the connections of white matter.
Yoga is a gentle exercise that helps you build strength and flexibility. It is also an activity that is widely available. You can find a yoga class in many local communities, gyms, or YMCA organizations. If you aren't comfortable with public classes, then you can hire a personal trainer, find online classes, or purchase instructional DVDs. Yoga does not require expensive equipment. The only thing recommended for yoga practice is comfy clothes and a yoga mat to help you stay steady while performing poses.