Hi There, I'm Kayla
I work with people who are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.
You know you and your illness are together for the long haul, but you want to be able to enjoy life and do the things that you wanna do. You’re frustrated and annoyed that friends and family don’t understand what you’re going through, and even doctors, who are supposed to be there to help you, don’t always have the best advice.
I was diagnosed with CFS when I was 12. When I first became ill, nobody knew how to help me.
I was too embarrassed to tell many friends (I was supposed to be young and healthy), but those I did tell either didn’t understand what it meant to be this sick or thought it was ‘all in my head’. I used to swim competitively and play a lot of sports. I also wanted to travel the world and find fulfilling work. As I got older, and my illness wasn’t going away,
I was so afraid I wasn’t going to be able to live out these dreams (spoiler alert: I did!).
I found Yoga 8 years ago when I was running short on options. I had been passed around from doctor to doctor, and nobody knew how to help me. One day I was browsing in a book shop and saw a yoga DVD. Curious to try the new 'fad' and eager to get back to my athletic self I picked it up. It was the best $15.99 I have ever spent. I found the sequences challenging, but it didn't set me back the way other forms of exercise did. I began searching out Yoga and Mindfulness courses specifically geared to those living with illness. Through these courses and using Yoga and Mindfulness in my everyday life, I found the tools I needed to live the life I wanted.
I started Aroga Yoga because I want to show you what worked for me. I can teach you the principles of yoga and meditation that changed my mindset and the relationship I had with my body. This was the single most important factor in my recovery (though I also made diet, lifestyle, and other changes which you can read more about on my blog). Learning to show kindness to my illness and my body allowed me to work with myself, rather than against myself. This major shift in mindset allowed me to make the right decisions to move forwards with my life and my health. I no longer see illness as something that needs to be fought- but rather as something that can be learned from and lived well with.
I run online yoga courses and workshops for people living with chronic illness, and I also work with teachers who want to make their classes more accessible to the disabled community.
I was sick for almost 10 years. I tried pretty much everything to get better, and eventually found my way to health through kindness to myself. I understand what you’re going through, and I’ve done both personal experimentation and academic research to learn how yoga and mindfulness can really promote healing in people living with chronic illnesses. I decided to study to become a yoga teacher in 2013 and studied at Yoga London where I completed my 200-hour yoga teacher training. I've also studied with teachers in India, Thailand, and Canada. The more dreams I've been able to live out in my life, the more I've realized how important it is to help others living with chronic illness to learn to be kind to their bodies, and start healing. I believe if you have your health it opens up so many opportunities- you don’t need much else
I can teach you to be kind to your body and love and accept yourself for where you are now. I can help you to reduce stress and learn to fully relax so you can get some much-needed rest for your mind and body. I’ve overcome my own chronic fatigue syndrome, PCOS, and struggles with anxiety and depression. My courses are all about understanding your body and your illness, and I’m here to help wherever I can. All of my classes are backed by research and self-experimentation about which poses, sequences, and breathing exercises are the most effective.
I really want you to live the life you want. But what I MOST want is for you to make peace with yourself and your illness and what you can do with your life.
When you commit to yoga, meditation, and treating yourself right, you will feel like you have the tools you need to move forwards with your health. You will feel less like you’re fighting yourself and more like you’re working with a good friend to live the life you can live right now. I didn’t go from being bed bound to running triathlons, and I definitely had to re-adjust some of my goals and expectations for life. The result? I feel happy, healthy, and fulfilled, and if I have a bad day, I take rest and don’t panic. I treat myself like I would my best friend.
What’s my life like now?
In the last 8 years I have traveled to over 30 countries, worked several of my dream jobs, run triathlons in a love/hate sort of way, completed an undergraduate degree, gone camping in the Scottish wilderness, gone swimming in the med in November (as a Canadian this seems crazy to me), watched a lot of 30 Rock (laughter is medicine), read classical books without brain fog kicking in, and been able to hang out with friends and family without having to always cancel at the last minute. My life has not gone completely back to normal. I’m more health conscious than my other friends. I know I need to really think about what I’m putting in my body and where I’m putting my energy. My priorities in life changed, and I now feel like I’m happier, healthier, and more self-aware than I would have been if I had never been sick.
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Yoga and meditation have been helping people manage illnesses for thousands of years. Modern Yoga is based on an ancient system of spiritual beliefs, and religious, moral and ethical codes. Today, the benefits of Yoga as a health management system has spread yoga all over the world. Yoga is a series of poses, linked together by breath and flowing movements. The aim of yoga is to stretch and strengthen the body while bringing peace to the mind. In my yoga courses, I personally adapt each pose and sequence to target the needs of students suffering from chronic illnesses.
What are the Benefits of Yoga:
People who practice Yoga may experience:
- Increased energy
- Improved sleep (both falling asleep and staying asleep)
- Increased strength, flexibility, and balance
- A decrease in daily stress
- Regulation of your immune system
- Building psychological resiliency
Students of yoga (myself included!) have reported help in managing chronic illnesses such as CFS/M.E, Fibromyalgia, Insomnia and more.