This week I want to share my experience of doing Yin Yoga with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. Does it help or cause more pain?
I have to admit, I considered of yoga as a wishy washy thing with bee sounds.
Besides, I cannot stand this whole misconception people have about yoga being a "cure" for chronic pain.
I go to physical therapy every two weeks to build my muscle strength in order to prevent dislocations and knotted muscles. Those sessions are really physically dreading and afterwards I need to lay down the rest of the day but I noticed how much it helped me mentally. Moving helps to clear my mind, get inspired and get to know my body better.
All kinds of sports seemed impossible with the amount of chronic pain and fatigue I have. After reading some blogs and watching YouTube videos about yoga, I realized how a lot of the exercises I do are pretty similar to my physio routine. This has changed my outlook on yoga drastically.
After some googling I found a local yoga studio that offers many different kinds of yoga at several times throughout the week.
The problem I usually have with other hobbies is that you need to go at a certain point in time every week. But yoga, you can join whenever you have the time and energy for it. Which is perfect for chronically ill patients since illnesses are so unpredictable. There is no guilt or shame in skipping a class.
I've been going to Yin Yoga classes now a few times already and I'm loving it! Yin Yoga was founded in the US in 1980 by Paul Grilley. I chose Yin Yoga because it's based on holding stable postures for a few minutes. My physical therapist tells me all the time how I need to learn to move slower. Abrupt movements make my muscles stretch too far and cause knotting. Well, yoga certainly helps me with moving in a more relaxed way.
I was pleasantly surprised when I attended my very first class. I loved how accessible it was. There were pillows and blankets to make you feel comfortable and there is no shame in not being able to do a certain exercise. The teacher often gives alternative exercises if something is too hard and you can rest if you need to.
Just like physical therapy, the moment I get home I need to lay down and rest. Don't expect it to "heal" your illness as some may claim. At the end of the day it is still exercising, which can be really tiring for someone with a chronic illness.
Yoga makes it possible to exercise with my disability. When I got diagnosed, one of the hardest things I had to deal with was giving up of my old life. Yoga gives you the opportunity to have a hobby that is manageable with chronic pain.
It's a great way to let go of all your to-do lists and focus on your body. Yin Yoga makes me forget my daily struggles and be in the moment.
I know that a there are a lot of people out there who are not able to go to an actual yoga class. But I'd definitely recommend watching some YouTube videos and trying it out at home.
That was it for me this week. Thank you for reading and hopefully this post helped you to make the decision whether or not to try out yoga.
Have a low pain week y'all!
Pic credit: WE HEART IT (@_xxChiara)