Good morning! OK, I’m diving right in today because this cracked me up so much I kept having giggle fits while I was forcing The Boy to take pictures. TOTALLY AWE-SOME!
A friend of mine recently got an amazing job managing the social media for a Yoga Studio. This is the same friend that has been telling me since the day I met her about the important role Yoga can play in helping manage Scleroderma and keeping your muscles moving and grooving.
So this got me to thinking…I wonder if the ancient Masters who created Yoga had any chronic illnesses? After pondering this for a bit, I decided they probably didn’t, otherwise we’d have a few poses that were more familiar looking.
Yep, you guessed it! I just HAD to do it!
*Side Note: Be sure to check out the awesome links and obligatory disclaimer at the bottom!
Top Ten Yoga Poses The Ancient Masters Would Have Included Had They Had A Chronic Illness:
1) There’s Tree Pose for balance and stability, but here’s Falling Tree in Wind Pose for those of us who lack both!
2) There’s Warrior 1 Pose for strengthening legs and opening chest and shoulders, but here we have Bladder-Control Gone Pose.
3) There’s Cat and Cow Pose to strengthen the back and pelvic area, but here’s Holy Cow! Pose that indicates the back’s out…again!
4) There’s Half Lord of the Fishes Pose which stretches the hips and cleanses the internal organs, but here’s the Oh Lord, My Hip Pose.
5) There’s the Downward Facing Dog Pose which stretches and strengthens the whole body, but here’s the Downward Face-Plant. (I practice this one often.)
6) There’s Squatting Pose which strengthens legs and ankles (and relieves constipation!), but here’s Squatting Tiger, Constipated Dragon Pose. (Yeah, I went all creative with that one. Sorry, it just cracked me up!)
7) There’s Half Lotus Pose which opens the hips, but here’s Can’t Open Pose. (Stupid childproof lids!)
8) There’s Half Revolved Belly Pose which is good for strength and flexibility of the spine, but here’s Half Colonoscopy Prep Pose. (It’s only “Half” because you’re still awake and dressed.)
9) There’s Reclined Hero Pose which stretches the thighs and groin, but here’s the Help I’m Reclined And Can’t Get Up Pose. (Which I can be found in often.)
10) And finally there’s Corpse Pose which is used at the end of class to allow the body to relax and process everything that’s gone before, but here’s the Are You Still Alive? Pose. (Since I occasionally feel the need to “recline” on the kitchen floor [don’t ask] and that’s usually the first response I get when a family member finds me in this pose.)
* As it is with EVERYTHING in life, if you have health problems or physical limitations, PLEASE talk to your Doc before you dive in and start any new exercise regimen!
That being said, Yoga really is a great way to keep your muscle a little less stiff and improve your mental state. There are easy poses that can even be done from a seated position in a chair.
Here are some cool resources I found, both articles on the benefits of Yoga for folks with chronic illness and a few of the books I’ve tripped across in the past on Amazon.
A great article from the New York Times from way back in 2005, so it would seem this is turning out to be a well-kept secret. “Chronically Ill Patients Turn to Yoga for Relief”
Another article outlining the benefits of yoga for people with chronic illnesses. “Yoga improves mood, reduces inflammation, and relieves chronic diseases”
“Yoga as Medicine: The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing” by Timothy McCall
“The Book of Exercise and Yoga for Those with Parkinson’s Disease: Using Movement and Meditation to Manage Symptoms” by Lori A. Newell
“The Book of Exercise and Yoga for Those with Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, and Related Conditions: Using Movement and Meditation to Manage Pain and Improve Joint Range of Motion” by Lori Newell
“The Book of Exercise and yoga for Those with Multiple Sclerosis: Using Movement and Meditation to Improve Balance and Manage Symptoms of Pain and Fatigue” by Lori Newell
“Yoga for Fibromyalgia: Move, Breathe, and Relax to Improve Your Quality of Life” by Shoosh Lettick Crotzer
“Recovery Yoga: A Practical Guide for Chronically Ill, Injured, and Post-Operative People” by Sam Dworkis
Mr. Dworkis also has a web page ExTension & Recovery Yoga