Yoga for Pain Relief

Buy the Book (Paperback and E-Book):

Book Excerpts and Articles

Five Guidelines for Movement that Heals, Not Hurts — advice for keeping your yoga practice safe and therapeutic. Excerpt from Yoga for Pain Relief.

Hope for Chronic Pain (with yoga sequence) Yoga + Joyful Living Spring 2010

Yoga for IBS/Better Digestion (with yoga sequence) Yoga + Joyful Living Summer 2010

Yoga for Chronic Pain: An Interview with Kelly McGonigal, PhD “Chronic Pain” Channel

“Strike a Pose: Is Yoga Part of Your Pain-Relief Plan? There’s Good Reason to Think It Should BePain Solutions October 2009

Yoga as a Tool American Psychological Association Monitor on Psychology November 2009

Guidelines for Teaching Mixed-Levels Yoga Classes Mixed-levels classes typically contain students with a variety of abilities, experience, injuries, and illnesses. These guidelines for yoga teachers help ensure that all students feel safe and welcomed in your class.

Full Reference List from Yoga for Pain Relief

Audio Practices:

Downloadable/streamable guided practices based on the book Yoga for Pain Relief.

9-min Alternate Nostril Breathing and Breath Visualization Practice (from ch. 3, “Breath”)

5-min Listening to Your Body Meditation (from ch. 4, “Befriending Your Body”)

20-min Body Scan and Body Gratitude Meditation (from ch. 4, “Befriending Your Body”)

Breath Focus Mindfulness Meditation (17 min, with 2 min instruction and option to practice for 5, 10, or 15 min, from ch. 7, “Meditation”)

Videos/Book Talks

A 70-min event for the Stanford Doctors Speak series sponsored by the Stanford Health Library. Dr. Kelly McGonigal discusses how yoga, meditation, relaxation, and self-compassion can support people with chronic pain. Part lecture, part practice.

A 6-min TV spot in which Kelly McGonigal takes ABC’s View from the Bay hosts through four healing moves for chronic back pain.

A 50-min talk for Cancer Connections on how yoga, mindfulness, and self-compassion can support healing in cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers. Part science, part practice.


Living Yoga Radio Show. Original air date: May 14, 2010. In this 1-hour show, Dr. McGonigal talks with host Robin Rothenberg about yoga therapy for pain relief, her personal path of yoga and meditation, and how compassion (for yourself and others) can be trained through both.

Stanford Yoga Instructor Writes the Book on Pain Stanford Report February 2010. Features interviews with students in my Stanford Health Improvement Program classes for pain relief.

Yoga, Self Care & The Dalai Lama: Q & A with Kelly McGonigal Mind Body Green June 2010. We talked to Kelly about yoga as “self-care,” her collaboration through Stanford University with Tibetan monks including His Holiness, and her upcoming book The Willpower Instinct.

Listen to Kelly McGonigal and Halle Tecco discuss how yoga can support cancer survivors on public radio. Original air date: June 26 2009. “Veronica Rueckert and her guests discuss the use of Yoga, meditation, and stress-reduction as a supplement to traditional medical treatments.”

Non-Profit Organizations Supporting People with Pain

The following organizations provide information, support, and advocacy for people with pain, their families, friends, and caregivers:
American Chronic Pain Association
American Pain Foundation
National Pain Foundation

Non-Profit Organizations Supporting Research, Education, and Professional Training in Yoga and Meditation

The Center for Mind-Body Medicine
Non-profit educational organization dedicated to creating a more effective, comprehensive and compassionate model of healthcare and health education that combines the precision of modern science with the wisdom of the world’s healing traditions.

The Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society
Supports research and training in mind-body approaches to medicine, including the use of mindfulness for chronic pain.

The International Association of Yoga Therapists
Supports yoga therapy research and training and serves as a professional organization for yoga teachers, yoga therapists, and healthcare professional who use yoga in their practice.

The Mind & Life Institute
Supports research on meditation and coordinates collaboration between leaders in contemplative practices, psychology, neuroscience, education, and medicine.

1 Comment

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  1. Thank You! Kelly Mcgonigal for this book. Yoga has transformed my life in so many ways. I am so grateful to have been introduced through this book. A family member with chronic pain was able to regain control over his life and health through his yoga routine. In particular he was able to communicate with his body for the first time and that led to an awareness that eventually led him to discover his entire medical treatment was based on wrong perceptions of his pain. It turned out that he had nerve damage to his neck instead of the many other diagnosis he had received. I was so inspired by the incredible impact Yoga had on him i immediately read this book and after 2 months was cultivating joy in a daily routine. Now months later that same family friend has recently ran a few times almost a year from not being able to walk for more then a few minutes. I have found abundant joy in life and the wisdom i have gained through meditation has allowed me to really be aware of my true goals and how to achieve them. Yoga is amazing. Though i took some classes at gyms before and owned the pants and mat for years, i was able to really discover what Yoga is and how amazing it is through this book. Also the recommendations were a great tool in progressing my Yoga practice. Thank you so much for creating this book
    -Emily Foster

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