Yoga for Stress: My Calming Yoga Sequence

Yoga for stress and calming the central nervous system is one of the best benefits it offers. In this sequence, I share several poses to help you to gently activate the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest mode).

You can do this sequence no matter your mobility level, simply omit what doesn’t work for you today. This is the beauty of yoga, we can adapt it to fit our needs.

yoga for stress

If you want to learn more about the benefits yoga can offer us, see these posts:

Yoga for Chronic Pain and Fatigue
The Central Nervous System, Restorative Yoga and Fibromyalgia
Yoga Nidra for Fibromyalgia

Yoga for Stress Sequence

This could take as little as 15 minutes “physical” practice plus your yoga nidra. Or as long as 37 minutes plus the yoga nidra. It is flexible. If a pose doesn’t feel right, please omit it. Please move mindfully and remember your breath – it is key to calm.

  1. Start in a comfortable position and focus on your breathe for 1-2 minutes. Coming out of the rush and into your place of calm. Begin with some gentle neck stretches if it feels good.
  2. Alternate nostril breathing is a great way to soothe the central nervous system. Here is the tutorial. Practice for 5 minutes.
  3. Child’s pose is a great calming pose that is also good for gently stretching your body. Here is how to do it. Hold for 3-5 minutes.
  4. From table top (all fours) carefully place each hand forward, one at a time, as pictured for Puppy Pose. Puppy is a gentle inversion (so please avoid if you have uncontrolled, high blood pressure or it just doesn’t feel right) that creates a good stretch and induces a sense of calm. Hold for 30 seconds if you are new to it. If it feels too strong feel free to try on your forearms. Hold for up to a few minutes.
  5. Legs on a chair pose. You can use the side of your couch, a chair (as pictured), or you can use the wall for this one. Hold for 5-20 minutes, as comfortable. As above, if it doesn’t feel right, please avoid.
  6. Finish off with a lovely Yoga Nidra guided meditation. If you’re part of Yoga for the Chronic Life virtual studio you have a few longer options (you can grab a seven day FREE trial to check it out). Otherwise here is one from my YouTube.

How do you feel? Take a moment to check in with yourself.

If you would like even more yoga designed especially for fibro bodies, please do come and check out the Yoga for the Chronic Life virtual studio. We even offer a seven day free trial for you to give it a try.

More yoga?

Yoga for a Neck Headache

Seated Gentle Breath Focused Practice

My Favourite Yoga for Fibromyalgia Poses

Get Better Sleep Tonight: My Yoga for Insomnia Sequence

Yoga is a great tool for better sleep, this is my yoga for insomnia sequence. It is a sequence I designed for those nights when you would like to do a little yoga to prepare for sleep but it needs to be gentle, calming and done on your bed.

Sleep is king. It is the foundation upon which my entire healing journey is built. More sleep equals less pain and fatigue. It is not an easy thing to do and I have a whole of life protocol, of which yoga is one part. If you want to really work on sleep, then check out this post.

yoga for better sleep

This sequence draws heavily on poses that come from a style of yoga called Restorative. It was designed specifically for those who were injured or unwell. All of these poses are covered in tutorials and included in classes in the Restful Yoga for the Chronic Life course available here.

Benefits of these poses include:

  • Calming the central nervous system
  • Relaxing the body
  • Helping to induce sleep
  • Gentle stretches

To read more about the benefits of restorative yoga, read this post.

How To Start

You will need a couple of pillows/cushions/bolsters and that is about it! You are most welcome to do this on your bed (mindfully). It can also be done on the floor, on your mat, in a warm and quiet place with the lights low. You want to set the scene for sleep.

yoga for better sleep

Yoga for Better Sleep Sequence

This can be as long or as short as you need. It could be as little as 14 minutes “physical” practice plus your Yoga Nidra. Or as long as 45 minutes “physical” practice plus your Yoga Nidra. You can also omit poses that don’t suit. You could even go straight for steps four and five! The flexibility is endless.

  1. Begin your practice with some centering breathing – simple inhale, exhales. You may like to try the following breathing practices. Alternate Nostril Breathing Practice or One Minute Breathing Practice. Follow this with some gentle stretches for the areas that need it most, for me that is my neck. Cat and cow pose is also nice.
  2. Supported Child’s Pose is the one that made me fall in love with restorative yoga. Set yourself up with as many cushions/pillows/bolsters as it takes to feel fully surrendered into the pose. Here is a tutorial for this pose. Hold for anywhere from 5-15 minutes.
  3. Reclined Child’s Pose is a great follow up, you can add a gentle rock from side to side too. Lying on your back, hug your knees into your chest. Hold for 2-5 minutes.
  4. Legs on a cushion is a great adaptation of Legs Up the Wall, a popular, relaxing pose. This makes it even more accessible. Stack as many cushions/pillows/bolsters as it takes to make your knees higher than your head. Here is a tutorial. Hold for as long as you like! 5-20 minutes.
  5. Yoga Nidra. My favourite yoga tool and a great way to relax down to sleep. Here is a 10 minute one from my YouTube. If you want more, please do come and join the Yoga Nidra for Fibromyalgia course this is where I teach you exactly how to harness the power of yoga nidra for managing insomnia, pain and fatigue.

I hope you enjoyed this! Please do practice it several times in a row to really see benefits.

If you would like more yoga tools, then try the Yoga for Fibromyalgia: Five Minutes A Day Free Challenge then join us here.

yoga for fibromyalgia
sleep better tonight

The Yoga Tool that Changed My Life: Yoga Nidra for Fibromyalgia

Yoga Nidra for fibromyalgia is my jam. If you were starting to think that you need to be able to get onto the floor to experience the benefits of yoga for fibromyalgia -think again my friend.

Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation practice that can be done in your bed (with your heat pack). Or on the floor after a practice.

It can be done first thing in the morning to supplement a poor sleep. During the day as a rest (I do it every afternoon). In the middle of a flare. After work. Before sleep. And in the middle of the night during painsomnia. It really is awesome.

Yoga Nidra – Give it a Go!

How did that make you feel?

I really hope you felt relaxed, calm and maybe that you took a small catnap afterwards.

As a mama with small children, chronic fatigue, chronic insomnia and chronic pain – Yoga Nidra is my go-to for a fuel up. Every day after lunch I take my guided meditation in bed with my electric heat pad while the little ones nap or rest. It is my secret for coping with all the things. I hope that it helps you too.

Why Did I Start Meditating?

I started meditating purely because I was miserable, exhausted and desperately needed some rest. My chronic pain and fatigue was flared up from pregnancy and delivery and having a tiny baby and said tiny baby didn’t sleep much.

I began with a 20 minute yoga nidra guided meditation and experienced rest for my body and mind in a way I couldn’t remember ever achieving (I have had chronic pain, fatigue and insomnia since I was a teenager). I was hooked!

For the past six years I have meditated daily, researched, trained and basically become very passionate about using mindfulness and meditation for the chronics. As a side-benefit I found my anxiety levels have plummeted. I didn’t even realise anxiety was a problem for me until the volume turned right down.

yoga nidra fibromyalgia

When to do Yoga Nidra

  • First thing in the morning if you don’t feel you’ve slept well (most of the time with fibromyalgia?)
  • During a flare
  • In place of a rest/nap (especially useful if you cannot nap but really wish you could)
  • After work
  • Before bed
  • During the night (it is great for those painsomnia nights)
  • Basically whenever suits you

Without weighing you down in research, here are the benefits of meditation:

  • Helps with chronic insomnia
  • Calms the central nervous system
  • Can improve the immune system
  • May help with depression and anxiety
  • Reduces pain and fatigue
  • Relieves stress

How to Harness the Power of Yoga Nidra for Fibromyalgia

It has helped me so much that I have dreamed about being able to share it with you. I have completed two Yoga Nidra Teacher Trainings and practiced the gammit of types of nidra available. I have read every book and article I could get my hands on.

The research on meditation and yoga nidra for insomnia, pain and fatigue has only solidified my mission to share this.

Yoga Nidra for Fibromyalgia is a short course designed to share how to get started in your own practice, including several downloadable practices. It’s practical. It’s simple.

But it’s not easy. You have to commit to your practice. I suggest setting a time each day that you will do it, at least when you are beginning. The more you practice, the more benefit you will see.

I am so freaking excited to be able to share this with you, I hope you will try it again.

yoga nidra for fibromyalgia

If we haven’t met before, I’m Melissa, and I am passionate about sharing the tools of yoga for fibromyalgia with you. I use these tools myself every day to manage my pain, fatigue, insomnia and basically feel a little better. If you’d like to learn more check out the following:

If you would like to commit to five minutes a day, you are invited to join the free challenge Yoga
for Fibromyalgia Five Minutes a Day
.

For unlimited access to yoga designed especially for fibro bodies, come and join Yoga for the Chronic Life virtual yoga studio. We have bed, chair, meditation (including yoga nidra), strengthening, restful yoga and more.

Would you like to learn more about yoga for fibromyalgia?

Yoga for Fibromyalgia

The Central Nervous System, Yoga and Fibromyalgia

Managing neck headaches with yoga

My favourite poses

What yoga is best for me today quiz

yoga nidra for fibromyalgia

yoga nidra fibromyalgia

Legs on a Cushion for Fibromyalgia

Legs on a cushion for fibromyalgia is my simplest, quickest way to get some restorative yoga in and it can be done in bed.

I am not kidding.

When I am not pregnant, and therefore allowed to lie on my back for prolonged periods of time, I do this pose right before I go to sleep.

Restorative yoga is a type of yoga that is passive, designed to calm the central nervous system and induce rest and relaxation. It is incredibly accessible, which is why I love it so much.

Legs on a Cushion for Fibromyalgia

How did that make you feel?

Hopefully super relaxed. Maybe you caught a nap afterward? That would be fab feedback to hear.

If we haven’t met yet, I’m Melissa, and I am passionate about sharing the tools of yoga for fibromyalgia with you. I use these tools myself every day to manage my pain, fatigue, insomnia and basically feel a little better. If you’d like to learn more check out the following:

If you would like to try just five minutes a day for five days, you are invited to join the free challenge Yoga for Fibromyalgia Five Minutes a Day

For unlimited access to yoga designed especially for fibro bodies, come and join Yoga for the Chronic Life virtual yoga studio. We have bed, chair, meditation, strengthening, restful yoga and more.

But if you really want to go all in for a full restful yoga program that includes an entire module on using it to help with sleep – then check out Restful Yoga for the Chronic Life. It’s entirely self-paced and you can get started now.

Would you like to learn more about yoga for fibromyalgia?

Yoga for Fibromyalgia

The Central Nervous System, Yoga and Fibromyalgia

Managing neck headaches with yoga

My favourite poses

What yoga is best for me today quiz

legs on a cushion for fibromyalgia

Supported Child’s Pose for Fibromyalgia

If you have been around for a while, you may have noticed that I have a thing for supported child’s pose. Well, child’s pose in general. But the supported version has a special place in my heart.

Restorative yoga is a passive practice that helps to calm the central nervous system and is therefore super relaxing. From the first pose I tried, supported child’s pose (!), I was hooked.

Below is your opportunity to give it a try. You will want two or three cushions/pillows/bolsters to make a comfortable bed to relax into as pictured. The aim is to relax fully, so you don’t want your body to be “holding” you want it to be supported.

Feel free to play with the set up and hold for as long as is comfortable.

Try Supported Child’s Pose Right Now

How did this make you feel?

Hopefully relaxed, calm and ready to give more yoga a go. I have heard from way too many people that they were put off by yoga previously. I don’t want that for you.

If we haven’t met yet, I’m Melissa, and I am passionate about sharing the tools of yoga for fibromyalgia with you. I use these tools myself every day to manage my pain, fatigue, insomnia and basically feel a little better. If you’d like to learn more check out the following:

 


If you would like to commit to five minutes a day, you are invited to join the free challenge Yoga
for Fibromyalgia Five Minutes a Day
.

yoga for fibromyalgia challenge

For unlimited access to yoga designed especially for fibro bodies, come and join Yoga for the Chronic Life virtual yoga studio. We have bed, chair, meditation, strengthening, restful yoga and more.

Would you like to learn more about yoga for fibromyalgia?

Yoga for Fibromyalgia

The Central Nervous System, Yoga and Fibromyalgia

Managing neck headaches with yoga

My favourite poses

What yoga is best for me today quiz

Supported childs pose for fibromyalgia

Seated Breath-Focused Yoga for Fibromyalgia Class

Would you like to try a gentle, seated, breath-focused class that is designed especially for people with fibromyalgia?

I have just the class for you. It will take just six minutes and you don’t need any props.

You can give this a go at any time of the day, as a quick begin your day practice, during your lunch break, after work or whenever you want to get some gentle movement in.

Seated, breath-focused yoga for fibromyalgia

How did that make you feel?

Hopefully relaxed, calm and ready to give more yoga a go. I have heard from way too many people that they were put off by yoga previously. I don’t want that for you.

If we haven’t met yet, I’m Melissa, and I am passionate about sharing the tools of yoga for fibromyalgia with you. I use these tools myself every day to manage my pain, fatigue, insomnia and basically feel a little better. If you’d like to learn more check out the following:

If you would like to commit to five minutes a day, you are invited to join the free challenge Yoga for Fibromyalgia Five Minutes a Day.

For unlimited access to yoga designed especially for fibro bodies, come and join Yoga for the Chronic Life virtual yoga studio. We have bed, chair, meditation, strengthening, restful yoga and more.

seated breath focused stretch for fibromyalgia

Would you like to learn more about yoga for fibromyalgia?

Yoga for Fibromyalgia

The Central Nervous System, Yoga and Fibromyalgia

Managing neck headaches with yoga

My favourite poses

What yoga is best for me today quiz

Yoga for Neck Pain and Headaches in Fibromyalgia

Recently I’ve come across many people who, like myself, struggle with headaches caused by neck (and shoulder) tension. Specifically from trigger points.

A few of the members in the Melissa vs Fibromyalgia Membership Team expressed avid interest in yoga for neck headaches when I mentioned it there.

So I shared my routine – what I have been doing to manage neck-caused headaches. This routine is the further development of one I was already doing to manage between physiotherapy appointments. When, all of a sudden, I was stuck at home with three small children, a new job that required me on the computer for 20 hours per week and no access to physiotherapy – I had to step it up in order to cope.

My team loved it.

So I created a 10 minute version for you all to try.

Yoga for Neck Headaches Video

Please remember that, no matter how gentle the sequence, you do need to be cleared to exercise by your medical team. Move mindfully and if something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.

We utilise gentle yoga, breathing and meditations in this practice (and all of my practices).

Come and join my free Five Minutes a Day for Five Days Yoga for Fibromyalgia Challenge today!

Other articles that may help you

Myofascial Pain Syndrome, Trigger Points and Fibromyalgia

Restorative Yoga, the Central Nervous System and Fibromyalgia

Micro Yoga for Fibromyalgia

Let me know, how did you find it? What do you do for headaches caused by upper body muscle tension and trigger points?

This is just one of the ways in which I am making practical tools for my members to help them in their journey. If you want to join us – you can do so in the Yoga for the Chronic Life virtual studio here.

yoga for a neck headache
yoga for a neck headache