Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder that affects up to 10 million Americans, most of them women. It was identified in 1816 by a Scottish physician, but wasn’t officially recognized by the American Medical Association as an illness until 1987. It manifests as pain in the fiber of the muscles, often throughout the body, along with unrelenting fatigue, headaches, and sleep disturbances. And it can mimic other ills, such as chronic fatigue syndrome or rheumatoid arthritis, which often leaves sufferers spending years seeking a correct diagnosis. Because there is no definitive test for the condition, the diagnosis is tricky and some doctors continue to question its validity.

There is one diagnostic tool available if you suspect that you or someone close to you has fibromyalgia. In 1990, the American College of Rheumatology created a map of 18 “tender points,” or places on the body that are most often tender to the touch in people with fibromyalgia. A person who feels pain in 11 of the 18 tender points probably has it.

Pain points:

  • Front of the neck (above the collarbone, on either side of the larynx)
  • Back of the neck (where the base of the skull and neck meet)
  • Elbows
  • Hips (where the butt curves to join the thighs)
  • Lower Back (very top of the butt, bottom of lower back)
  • Upper Back (where the back muscles connect to the shoulder blades in the upper back)
  • Shoulders (Between the edge of the shoulder and the bottom of the neck)
  • Chest (on either side of the sternum/breastplate a few inches below the collarbone)
  • Knees (inside of each knee pad)

The exact cause of fibromyalgia is still a mystery, science is beginning to shed light on the disease. “There are genetic risk factors that make it more likely that you will, under certain circumstances, develop a chronic pain disorder like fibromyalgia,” says Leslie Crofford, an expert in the disorder and chief of rheumatology at the University of Kentucky, Lexington. A person may be born with a risk factor, but it will remain dormant until it’s activated by something like a car accident, a repetitive-motion injury or osteoarthritis.

I created this challenge to help bring awareness to pain relief through yoga.  Please pass this along to anyone that may need some relief.


Day 1 of the#jan16fibroflow is Balasana or Child’s Pose: The main point here is to focus on your breath.

  •  Start off on all fours.
  •  Bring your knees as wide as your mat, big toes to touch.
  •  Lower your hips to your heels.
  • Take a deep inhale here, as you exhale, lower your chest/forehead to the mat.
  • Slowly inhale, counting to 4 as you do.  Slowly exhale, using the same 4 count.
  • Stay here for 5 full breaths.  If you have any shoulder issues, bring your arms parallel to your sides with your palms facing up.
  • Keep your tailbone pointed towards your heels to find space along the spine.
  • As you inhale, imagine that you’re filling up your body with air, creating space.
  • As you exhale, pull your belly button to your spine and aim to sink into the space you just created in your body. –
  • For a stretch, work on rounding the back or reach your arms forward to stretch the shoulders.

Day 2 of my#jan16fibroflow is  Tadasana or Mountain Pose.  Most people believe that mountain pose is a passive pose, because it looks like we are just standing with our arms elevated. It’s actually a very active pose.

  • Bring your big toes to touch with a sliver of space between your heels.
  • Engage your legs, by contracting your thigh muscles (imagine lifting your thighs away from your knees).
  • Take a deep inhale and lift your arms overhead, with your fingers pressed together and palms facing each other.
  • Bring your belly button to your spine.
  • Roll your shoulder blades down your back to pull your shoulders away from your ears.
  • Slightly tuck your chin to your chest to elongate your neck.
  • If you’ve any shoulder issues, bring your arms to your sides. But keep the shoulders drawing away from your ears.
  • This will help strengthen the shoulders and stretch the base of the neck.
  • Stay here for 5 deep breaths, imagining you’re filling up your body with each inhale, rooting yourself into the earth on each exhale.
  • As you root down through your feet, lift your energies upwards from the earth to the skies.

Day 3 of my#jan16fibroflow is Uttanasana/Ardha Uttanasana or Forward Fold/Half Lift

This will help you find space in the lower back (w/bent knees, belly rests on thighs), upper back (breathe into the upper back/imagine you’re inflating your back while inhaling).

 From Mountain Pose, (see day 2) take a deep inhale and bring your palms to touch overhead.

  • As you exhale, hinge from your hips as you fold forward. As opposed to rounding the back.
  • If the stretch is too much on your hamstrings, place a deep bend in your knees and rest your belly on your thighs.
  • Let your head hang heavy and grasp opposite elbows or let your palms rest on the ground.
  • Bring your belly button to your spine.
  • Focus on breathing here.
  • Stay for 5 breaths.
  • Feel free to alternate between lifting and lowering the right and left heels for an active stretch for 3 breaths and finding stillness for the last 2.


Day 3 of my#jan16fibroflow is Uttanasana/Ardha Uttanasana or Forward Fold/Half Lift

From Forward Fold:

  • Inhale and bring your hands to either your shins or your thighs.
  • Roll your shoulders down your back and bring your gaze straight down.
  • Squeeze the armpits together and towards your bottom.
  • Imagine that your back is as flat as a table.
  • Stay here for 2 deep breaths.

Day 4 of my#jan16fibroflow is Squat and Curl

From Half Lift:

  • Place a deep bend in your knees and place your palms on your mat.
  • Lift your heels as you lower your bottom to meet your heels.
  • Take a deep inhale, tuck your chin to your chest.
  • On your exhale, bring your forehead towards your knees. Try lifting your heels higher to help.
  • Bring your belly button to your spine.
  • Roll your shoulders down your back and away from your ears.
  • Stay for 5 deep breaths.
  • On your inhales, imagine you are filling up upper back muscles and lungs with air, creating space.
  • On your exhales, focus on exhaling out all of your breath while engaging your core.
  • Try to make your ball smaller on each exhale.

This pose helps to stretch the upper back, while the chin to chest connection stimulates the thyroid and parathyroid glands.

Feel free to combine days 1-4 to warm up the body for tomorrow’s poses.


Day 5 of my#jan16fibroflow is Virabhadrasana 2 and Viparita Virabhadrasana or Warrior 2 and Reverse Warrior.  This pose builds strength in the legs, while creating space in the hips.

From Squat and Curl:

  • Place your palms on the mat, step your right foot forward and your left foot behind you (back foot at a 45 degree angle, toes more forward than to the side.)
  • Press into the outer edges of the feet to assist in engagement of the legs.
  • Place a 90 degree bend in your front knee, making sure your knee is stacked directly over your ankle.
  • Your back leg is straight. If there is a bend in the knee, scoot your leg closer to the front of the mat.
  • Bring your belly button to your spine.
  • Extend your arms to the side, right arm over right leg. Left arm over left leg, palms facing down.
  • Roll your shoulder blades down your back to pull your shoulders away from your ears.
  • Bring your gaze to the tip of your right middle finger.
  • Slightly tuck your chin to your chest to elongate your neck.
  • Remain here for 3-5 breaths. Sink a little deeper into the front knee on the exhales.Day 5 PT. 2 – Reverse Warrior

From Warrior 2:

  • Bring your left hand to touch the back leg and the right hand towards the sky.
  • Roll your shoulder blades away from your ears and down your back.
  • Keep your legs as they were.
  • Stay here for 2 breaths.

Feel free to alternate between both of today’s asanas. Combine all of the previous poses for a fun flow.


Day 6 of my #jan16fibroflow is Garudasana/Eagle Pose

From Mountain Pose (Tadasana):

  • Sweep your right arm underneath your left, connect your palms or give yourself a hug.
  • Put a deep bend in your left leg and cross your right leg over it. (Option here, to wrap your foot around your calf or use your toe as a kickstand.)
  • Bring your elbows and knees into one line.
  • Pull your elbows closer to your knees.
  • Keep your core engaged.
  • Draw your tailbone down towards your heels.
  • Inhale, unwrap your legs.
  • Switch sides.
  • Stay for 4-5 breaths.
  • Find a non moving point in front of you to focus on for balance.
  • Try sinking into your standing leg on each exhale for balance and to potentially find more depth.

This pose stretches the middle of the upper back, strengthens the legs and flushes the body through compression.  Feel free to combine yesterday and today’s asanas to warm up the body for tomorrow’s poses.


Day 7 of my #jan16fibroflow is  Bhujangasana or  Cobra Pose

From Eagle Pose:

  • Unbind your arms and legs.
  • Take a deep inhale, go back to Mountain Pose.
  • Connect your palms over head, exhale, forward fold.
  • Inhale, half lift. Exhale, squat and curl.
  • Press your palms into the mat and come onto your knees.
  • Make sure your shoulders are stacked over your wrists. (You can take this from your knees, if you’re still building up your arm strength, or enter full plank)
  • Inhale, hinge forward on your toes, shifting your shoulders over your fingertips.
  • Exhale, squeeze your elbows towards your body and slowly lower your chest to the mat.
  • Keep your hands here. The tips of your fingers should be in line with your shoulders.
  • Bring the inside of your feet to touch and zip up the legs together. Like a mermaids tail.
  • Press the tops of the feet into the mat, so that the knees and bottom of the thighs lift off of the mat.
  • Exhale out all of your air.
  • Inhale, lift your torso off of the mat. Hands lift too!
  • Roll your shoulder blades together and down your back.
  • Squeeze your elbows towards your body.
  • Your chin is slightly tucked into your throat to elongate your neck, your gaze is straight down.
  • Breathe here for 2 deep breaths.
  • On your second exhale, release and rest with your cheek to the mat.
  • Feel free to bend your knees and windshield wiper your feet to soothe your lower back.

This pose strengthens the shoulders and the upper and lower back while opening the chest.

Day 8 of my #jan16fibroflow is Baddha Konasana or Cobbler’s Pose

From Cobra Pose: Return to Child’s Pose

  • Take 3 breaths here.
  • Press yourself up onto all fours. 
  • Find your seat and move the fleshy bits of your bottom aside to find your sit bones.
  • Press the soles of your feet together. (If this is too much on your hips, place either a block under each knee or a folded up blanket)
  • Grab your feet, sit up tall and roll shoulders down your back.
  • Bring your belly button to your spine.
  • Stay here for 5-6 breaths.
  • If you’ve started off with support under the knees, try removing them after 4 breaths and see how it feels to remove them.

Combine all of the poses for a fun flow that will strengthen and stretch you when and where you need it! The key to these poses is to breathe.


Day 9 of my #jan16fibroflow is Viparita Karanai or Legs Up The Wall 

  • Find a wall and sit next to it, hip to wall.
  • Lie down on your back and turn your bottom to the wall.
  • Scoot your bottom to the wall until it touches.
  • Bring your legs up the wall.
  • Flex your feet and press your lower back into the mat.
  • Bring your hands either to rest on your hip bones or next to you on your mat, palms up.
  • Stay here for as long as you’d like. From 5 breaths to 10 minutes.
  • Focus on your breath.

If you’re having any pain, deep breathing can and will help. Focus on filling up your body w/ air on each inhale and on each exhale settle into your body.

Day 10 of my #jan16fibroflow is Savasana/Ardha Savasana or Corpse Pose/Half Corpse Pose

  • Just relax here.
  • Focus on relaxing each part of the body, starting with the feet.
  • Then work your way up. If there is pain in your lower back with your legs outstretched, enter half Savasana.
  • Walk your feet to the edge of your mat, toes either pointing forward or slightly turned in.
  • Let your knees rest at the center of the mat against each other.
  • Breathe.


Remember to breathe.  Don’t hold your breath during any of the postures.  If you are trying these out because you are in pain, take slow, deep and even breaths.  $-6 counts in, 4-6 counts out.  Always warm up your body.  You are exactly where you need to be, just believe in yourself and your ability to relax.



Randi Evette

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