Yin Yoga and Chronic Illness: An Interview with Jennifer O’Sullivan

Last week I wrote about what Yin yoga is. To add to that, I've brought in an expert on how Yin yoga can help with recovery from chronic illness - Jennifer O'Sullivan. Jen has been teaching yoga for 13 years. She has an in-depth understanding of how Yin yoga can help relieve pain and fatigue, and assist body tissues in healing from all sorts of stressors from illness to surgery to pregnancy.

Watch the interview on Yin yoga and chronic illness here:

Some of my Yin yoga and chronic illness interview highlights:

  • Jen's unlikely transition into the yoga world from a rock climbing gym
  • How Yin yoga and mindfulness helped Jen find peace in stillness
  • How yoga helped her recover from a lower back condition triggered by pregnancy
  • The importance of mindfulness for someone who often felt the need to be active and on the go
  • Jen's amazing expertise on anatomy, tissues, and fascia - I learned so much from this interview!
  • How Yin yoga can - slowly, over time - help the tissues of the body heal from injury or surgery
  • How a yoga class can create a space, and a community, for healing to occur in people living with chronic illnesses

I hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I did! To learn more about Jen and her practice - head over to her website here. I love this article Jen wrote about Yin yoga and mindfulness. If you're interested in learning more about some of the nitty-gritty details we were talking about, Jen is offering an online course on Fascia starting in November. And lastly, if you're near Alexandria, Virginia - go take one of Jens' classes and discover Yin yoga for yourself!

For anyone that was interested in learning more about Traditional Chinese Medicine, you can check out this therapist recommended in the interview.

Have questions about anything we discussed in the interview? Let us know in the comments!

Yin is not for every body. There are many conditions in which Yin Yoga in particular and Yoga in general may not be a good idea. It is impossible to spell out all the cases, so all we can offer is some broad generalizations, but please realize that never is never right and always is always wrong. There will be exceptions to every generalization and yoga, like health care, is best tailored specifically to the individual student. The best thing to do is speak to your doctor before starting any new physical practice. 

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2 Responses

  1. Thanks ladies so much for sharing your work. I just wanted to point out, that contraindications for yin yoga weren't covered. If you have a connective tissue disease like arthritis or lupus you should exercise caution with a yin practice. The longer holds can be hard on already stressed tissues. The stress relieving aspects are great. Always work with a qualified person and mention your health issues to your instructor in advance.
  2. Very good point, Christa! I'll add in a note to both these yin yoga posts about contraindictions! Glad you enjoyed the interview :)
  3. […] pain or chronic fatigue. If you’re interested in learning more about Yin yoga keep an eye out for this interview! I learned so much talking with Jennifer and can’t wait to share it with […]

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