The practice of yoga can provide profound healing benefits for those with fibromyalgia and other chronic health challenges. Yoga (and tai chi) offer the perfect combination of meditation and movement for those who deal with pain and mobility issues.
Have you attended yoga classes or tried yoga videos at home?
Here’s my personal experience: Yoga is only as good as the instructor. I’ve had some good and quite a few not-so-good teachers. This is true, of course, in any classroom setting, but it’s particularly distressing in the fitness world. Some teachers understand the fibromyalgia body and some don’t.
There’s nothing worse
than already feeling unwell,
and having a fitness instructor
push you into a flare.
I had a yoga instructor once tell me that downward dog is good for you even if it makes your wrists hurt for days or even weeks afterward.
Ouch … so not right.
Since we keep hearing how good yoga is for us, are we just to sit back and see if the world conspires to bring us the perfect instructor? Fortunately, I think the world already has.
Let me introduce Shoosh Crotzer.
I’d seen Shoosh’s book, Yoga for Fibromyalgia on Amazon for ages. Oftentimes, Amazon suggests it as a complement to my own book, FibroWHYalgia. I was interested in learning more, and when I connected with Shoosh on Twitter, she was gracious enough to send me a copy. I’ve read it, dog-eared my favorite parts, and find this the perfect time of year to share my findings with you.
What I expected to see (but, thankfully, didn’t) in this book:
- Impossible-looking poses.
- A lot of “You can do it!” rah-rah statements when showing impossible-looking poses.
- “Yogi-speak” terminology and verbiage.
Here’s what I like about the book:
- Each pose is explained in simple terms with clear photographs.
- The descriptions clearly define the benefits for each specific part(s) of the body.
- The tools/supplies needed are all basic and inexpensive things I already own (nothing additional to buy).
- The photographed model is a normal-looking “real” woman (not an augmented 19-year-old in spandex).
- With 26 poses, there’s plenty to choose from, starting with your own problem areas.
- I’m a big fan of Relaxation or Restorative Yoga and find many applicable poses in this book.
- There’s a great resource section at the end listing additional books, DVDs, relaxation CDs, and even websites to search for yoga instructors and classes in your area.
- There’s a super helpful chapter explaining the sequence of poses suggested for specific needs, including general pain relief and various areas of the body such as the neck, shoulders, back, hips, wrists, etc.
Here’s what I like about the author:
- Her clear expertise in dealing with fibromyalgia clients is evident in every page. She shows poses and then suggests alternatives based on various mobility limitations.
- She explains her close connection to the arthritis and fibromyalgia world and why this book is an important part of her work.
- She chose a model to pose for the book who happens to not only be a yoga instructor herself but more importantly, one who has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
- Her knowledge and genuine interest in providing healthy and healing resources for the chronic illness community is obvious throughout this book.
Clearly, I feel this book is a valuable resource for anyone with fibromyalgia and/or any chronic health challenge. While I was provided with a book for review, the findings here are entirely my own. I’m not compensated in any way for the sale of her book and it’s my hope that you head right to Amazon (or your favorite retailer) and pick up your own copy.
Are you going to try yoga? Stress and pain relief may be right around the corner for you!
Have you already had success with Yoga? Please share your experiences below.