Deal with Pain: One Helpful Way

Pain often comes up when we do yoga asanas, as it does when we do any exercise. For some of us, pain is a daily sensation whether we exercise or not. Mindfulness yoga offers helpful ways to approach our perception of bodily pain. Find out what this Buddhist yoga teacher and author has to say about pain, here.

In many cases, pain sensations increase from moment to moment and our reactivity grows and changes, conditioned by ever-increasing sensations.

At first, as the sensations arise, we jump to the notion that this pain is a thing. We identify with the pain and may say, “My shoulders are killing me.” A fantasy may arise in the mind about how much we hate this posture or exercise, or our teacher for having us stay in the posture too long–at least, too long for our taste. Instead, we can commit to paying really close attention to what is happening. Really observe the sensations. What we see, if we stick with it, is that the sensations are not personal. The sense of self grows less hard and solid. There is just sensation and it is constantly changing. The discomfort and pain is seen as empty. It is not a separate entity with which we should do battle. It is a natural conditioned process. It is no different with feelings, mental formations, or consciousness.

Adapted from Mindfulness Yoga, by Frank Jude Boccio (Wisdom Publications, 2004). Find out about his workshop March 11-18 in Costa Rica at www.eomega.org.

46 comments

Marianne Good
Past Member 3 years ago

Thanks.

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen3 years ago

Thank you :)

katarzyna phillips

all well and good, but to get to that stage, you have to be well-tuned into these things for it to have such a long-lasting effect on your body and lifestyle. however, as one commentator noted and i shall personalise it here, i have 'CHRONIC PAIN'. my nerves are basically firing too much information from being in pain for so long, that now even though the original cause for the pain may have gone away a long time ago, the nerves still fire the pain receptors. i know it's not personal, my body is just screwed and the nerves are totally frazzled. it doesn't matter how much yoga or mindfulness i do, you can't stop what is going on inside and therefore i am constantly in pain. i AM dealing with it, but it's not as easy and straightforward as it is for someone who just has a headache or a sprained limb from too much exercise. the chronic pain has led to me being disabled from it-i can't walk like i used to, i'm in pain a lot and too much can really exacerbate it, but it's hard to say 'no' as i was in the british army and we were told 'no pain, no gain' so when is enough really enough? you really shouldn't generalise too much, you make the people like me feel useless and that we have to keep explaining what's going on in fear of being judged, when is absolutely NOTHING to do with you. you've never tried to walk even a few steps in our shoes, so how can you tell us what PAIN really is?

Shanti S.
S S3 years ago

Thank you.

Vicky H.
Past Member 3 years ago

noted-thanks

Aud Nordby
Aud nordby4 years ago

interesting.thanks

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen4 years ago

Thank you :)

LMj Sunshine

Thank you for sharing.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you for sharing.

Susan A.
Susan A4 years ago

depends on actual cause of the pain, and whether it's acute or chronic, methinks...