Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Y...Yoga Can Bring Back a Little More You

I have a yoga companion!
One of the things that has helped my fibromyalgia the most over the years is regular gentle exercise, particularly yoga. Although I’m not as good at making time for daily exercise as I should be, yoga has taken much of the stiffness out of my muscles and brought some of my mobility back. It also has taught me breathing techniques that allow me to draw my focus away from my pain when my pain gets too much to handle. I can’t ignore my pain completely, but yoga allows me to put some of it in the background, taking the edge off of my pain and discomfort.

Before fibromyalgia hijacked my life, I always assumed that I wasn’t a yoga person. Once upon a time, I was an active person, so I sought out exercises that required a lot of movement and energy. I concluded that yoga would be far too slow and dull to keep me interested and that it wouldn’t do much to keep me fit. Now I realize just how wrong I actually was!

Yoga is a relaxing activity, but it requires a good bit of concentration and energy, as well. And when I do yoga I often sweat more than I’ve ever sweated before. Yoga can be far more difficult than it looks. In fact, I’ve had to modify some of the poses because I don’t have enough strength or endurance to maintain them for very long. Yoga is certainly not for the weak or faint of heart.

Yoga, though, can be a wonderful choice for fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses. (1) There are so many different difficulty levels, and there are ways to modify the poses. This allows you to create a plan that best suits your endurance level and abilities.

(2) It also requires little equipment besides a yoga mat and a video or instructional guide. This makes yoga cheap and mobile. People with chronic illnesses have plenty of expenses to deal with already, so cheap is automatically good. And life with health problems can be complex, so a flexible exercise means you are more likely to stick to it. 

(3) And even small sessions of yoga can smooth away tension and help sore, stiff muscles. Many people with chronic illnesses must deal with fatigue. As such, long exercise sessions are usually out of the question. Pain makes longer exercise sessions difficult as well. Yoga allows you to work in your time restraints and limitations.

If yoga sounds like it might be a good exercise plan for you, I suggest that you find out more about it. Talk this option over with your doctor. Do a little research online. Borrow a book or video at the library and try it on for size. Yoga may be an important step towards a healthier tomorrow, so don’t be afraid to explore it, even if you think it isn’t really your style. You might find that, just like me, yoga is more than what meets the eye and can help ease your symptoms.

1 comment:

  1. More folks are saying so - about yoga. Thanks for the nudge. I really need to look into this.