Yoga For Chronic Illness
For those diagnosed with chronic illnesses from diabetes to heart disease to Crohn’s, the stages of grief are the same.
Denial and isolation, anger and bargaining, depression and acceptance.
Yoga can help us move through these phases and more and more research has shown that there can be tremendous health benefits as well.
This is not to imply that yoga will cure a chronic condition, however.
A consistent practice of yoga and meditation can help those dealing with illness by alleviating symptoms and side effects, reducing stress, boosting the immune system and decreasing anxiety.
Yogic emphasis on breathing and mindfulness are at the heart of these benefits.
Safety and comfort are important in all yoga classes but teachers must be ever mindful of student’s particular needs. This is why special training is critical for yoga instructors who teach students with special conditions.
It is also why it is as imperative to discuss chronic conditions with your yoga instructor as it is to seek your doctor’s approval in advance.
When practicing yoga with a health condition, it is even more important to let go of internal and external expectations.
While yoga has been used for thousands of years to maintain and restore health, many Westerners associate it only with exercise and physical movement. The goal with yoga is development of a more holistic sense of health and well-being.
The practice of yoga is aimed at connecting the body and mind. Awareness and honesty are key.
At the core, yoga practice teaches us mindfulness and awareness. With this deeper understanding and connection, we can enable changes to take place in ourselves – physically and mentally.
Awareness also helps us to accept those things which we cannot change while moving forward in a positive direction.
We are dedicated to helping all of our students reach their potential but we must first understand where our students are starting from in order to help them along their path.