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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Klemmetson

Practicing Yoga When You Have a Chronic Illness

If you have a chronic illness, practicing yoga can be a great way to improve your physical and mental well-being. Here are some tips for practicing yoga with a chronic illness:

  1. Talk to your doctor: Before starting a yoga practice, it's important to talk to your doctor to make sure it's safe for you to do so. Your doctor can also provide guidance on which poses to avoid or modify based on your condition.

  2. Find a qualified teacher: Look for a yoga teacher who has experience working with people with chronic illness. They can provide modifications for poses and help you develop a safe and effective practice.

  3. Start slow: If you're new to yoga or haven't practiced in a while, start with gentle poses and gradually increase the intensity as your body becomes more comfortable.

  4. Listen to your body: It's important to listen to your body and not push yourself beyond your limits. If a pose is causing pain or discomfort, back off or modify it.

  5. Use props: Yoga props such as blocks, straps and blankets can be helpful for people with chronic illness. They can provide support and make poses more accessible.

  6. Practice breathwork: Pranayama, or breathwork, can be a powerful tool for managing symptoms of chronic illness. Techniques such as deep breathing and alternate nostril breathing can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being.

  7. Be consistent: Consistency is key when practicing yoga with a chronic illness. Aim to practice regularly, even if it's just for a few minutes a day.

Remember, everyone's experience with chronic illness is unique, so it's important to listen to your body and adapt your practice accordingly. With the right guidance and approach, yoga can be a safe and effective way to manage symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.

As someone with a chronic illness myself, I am sensitive to what my students say feels good or feels uncomfortable - and I know that might change every day. Let's talk about how yoga might help you with physical or mental symptoms.

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