Chronic / Terminal Illness

*These lessons can be one-on-one, small group, large group or for a special event. They can be taught at my house or yours as well as in a corporate office. Props for up to two people will be provided.

I myself have been living with Lupus and Hypothyroidism as well as the myriad of side effects caused by both of these diseases, like digestive disorders, Raynaud’s Phenomenon, PTSD, photosensitivity, heat intolerance, and more for many years which makes this specialty very personal to me. I know firsthand how debilitating living with a chronic disease can be. It begins at the time of diagnosis as the stages of grief are triggered; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and the topic of this discussion, acceptance. The stages of grief are only part of the problem, there’s also the symptoms of the disease itself and the side effects of those symptoms and the medications that one might be taking. Even after remission the psychological impact is considerable due to the lingering stigma of that particular disease and this causes much stress and even depression. It’s really a lot to handle and understandable why so many lose hope. Though yoga is not a cure, it is life changing and it is the reason that I am currently in remission.

A typical 90 min yoga class at a studio is a wonderful experience for the average person, but for someone with a chronic or terminal illness it may be impossible and for those that attempt it, it can actually cause more damage than good. It can be quite depleting and trigger the stress response causing flares and disturbances in the body. A small group class or private session crafted specifically for you and your illness however could change your life. Focusing on body awareness, breath with movement and meditation in a safe, comfortable and relaxing setting can shift your symptoms all together. The key here is mindful yoga that’s being offered in a caring and non judgemental environment.

For me yoga was the only form of physical activity that I could do without triggering any symptoms, throwing myself into a major flare or ending up in the hospital or on bedrest for days on end. I was finally moving my body again and that felt amazing and what was even more amazing than that was the psychological transformation that ensued. Combining movement with breath awareness, meditation and restorative sessions were helping me feel less angry, sad and depressed. No other form of exercise did this for me and for the first time in a long time I had no anxiety surrounding the movement of my body, it became the safest and most effective form of exercise and therapy for myself and my disease.

This practice can literally shift the way you feel about your illness. Yoga can help you become an ally with your illness instead of letting it define or defeat you. Living with negative feelings about our illness does not serve us and only causes more stress, anxiety and depression which only causes more illness. Yoga allows you to connect with yourself in a way nothing else can. It teaches you how to look inside, how to listen to the  messages your body sends you and how to be compassionate and patient as you listen to these cues and give your body the care that it needs. Yoga elicits hope and optimism, this can help make coping with your illness a bit easier. You’ll build strength, physically and mentally, improving how the body handles pain and stress. Yoga reduces stress and can alleviate symptoms and side effects of medication and even boost your immune system. You’ll have more energy, you’ll feel relaxed, rejuvenated and have a higher quality of life.

YogiNest also offers family and friend sessions and recognizes how hard our illnesses can be on our loved ones. This emotional support from one another is imperative in our healing as well as theirs. We build relationships with your medical community by communicating with your doctors to make sure the program we build together is complementing your current medical plan.

This leads us to acceptance, the final stage of grief. Once we accept the reality of our situation, once we accept that we must take the wheel in our own hands, once we accept our power and understand that we can make a difference in our own lives, nothing is impossible. Let YogiNest help you find your power, let me show you how yoga changed my life and how it can change yours as well.