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Yoga and stretching

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For dealing with chronic pain and fatigue (and stress) - there have been lots of postings about the benefits of stretching and yoga.


I am wondering how people go about it -


Have you joined a class or go solo - in or out of the therapy pool?

Do you practice it at home - with dvd/tv, music, silence?

If you go to class, was it hard to find one you felt comfortable with?


Mostly, I have been stretching in the therapy pool by myself or with whoever happens to be there at the time. Sometimes I worry that I am isolating myself too much and would benefit both from the company and discipline of a scheduled class.


Also, I was at a demonstration recently of yoga for people with chronic illness. It was terrific, and it was clear the instructor understood chronic fatigue - but I did not get the feeling that the instructor really understood physical limitations of something like scleroderma, arthritis or myositis....


Any thoughts? What works for you?


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A friend of mine was going through training to become a certified yoga instructor. As part of her certification she had to accumulate so many hours of instruction, but... since she was not certified, she couldn't charge. All this was right after my diagnosis of poly and sclero. So while she taught me yoga, I taught her about the limitations of CTD. She helped me a lot, but I feel I helped her as well. She has become a great instructor! However, now that I know what I can and can't do and how to do it, I practice at home by myself. I can't do any inversion where my head is below my heart. Between the reflux and valve regurgitation problems those positions are impossible to deal with.


So maybe contact one of your local yoga training places and see if they have someone in training that needs a trainee. The one-on-one was great. I really learned a lot.


Good luck to you Darlin',

Janey Willis

ISN Support Specialist

(Retired) ISN Assistant Webmaster

(Retired) ISN News Director

(Retired) ISN Technical Writer for Training Manuals

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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My sister has done yoga for the past 30 years & she finds it helps her to relax but I do Tai Chi. I attend a class each week, it does take time to learn but I find the gentle movements quite relaxing but they also help with stretching of muscles & keep the joints moving. I do like the class because it helps with meeting other people and my instructor is excellent and very understanding that somethings I find hard so he thinks of ways to get round some movements. I do have DVD of the exactly the same style of Tai chi along with a book which explains all the moves but I prefer too be shown. I also practice at home for about 20 minutes each day.



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I do hatha yoga, I started last year in the middle of the course, so am just now doing the beginning. I did enjoy it last year, but I am enjoying it more now that I have started at the beginning. I would advise you to join a class, you can tell the teacher your limitations (or not, not everyone is super flexible and there's no pressure to get your legs behind your ears or anything!), and you can meet people too.

Diagnosed diffuse systemic scleroderma December 2005 (on my 30th birthday, as if turning 30 wasn't enough?!)

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