Are you thinking of adding more yoga to your healthcare routine this year?
Yoga can help manage the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia and provide self-care strategies for those who have nowhere else to turn. But there are so many different types of yoga and yoga classes that when a sick gal decides she wants to give it a whirl – she can get lost in a sea of yoga. What styles of yoga and types of classes should you look for when trying out a new yoga class?
The Best styles of yoga for chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia
1. Restorative yoga for chronic illness
Restorative yoga really is as nice as it sounds. It involves a lot of props for ultimate relaxation, and most classes take place sitting or lying on the floor. In some classes, you will be holding poses for 20 minutes at a time with the sole focus to be finding rest. Taking this class after one (or several) bad night's sleep is like a fresh scoop of ice cream on a boiling summer day.
2. Restorative flow yoga for chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia
This type of class is a slow-moving flow and allows a lot of time for modifications and restorative poses. This class is not recommended for those who are bed-bound as it does require both seated and standing poses. For those who do have some level of fitness, a class like this can teach you how to move your body mindfully without setting off a regression.
3. Yin yoga for chronic illness
If you love deep stretching this is the class for you. Yin yoga focuses on getting a deeper tissue stretch for increased flexibility and gets into the parts of our bodies we don't usually stretch.
Runner Up: Chair Yoga. While it is doubtful you will see this at a studio, a quick search on Amazon will give you a few nice options for DVD's. This is a great option for those who are bed-bound and would like to add a small amount of movement to their day.
The worst types of yoga for chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia
1. Bikram Yoga and chronic illness
Despite its' scandalous past, Bikram remains a popular type of Yoga. While your experience will depend on your instructor, Bikram can sometimes feel more like a gymnastics class in a heated room than a Yoga class. It is more athletic than other types of Yoga, and the only school of Yoga that promotes competition. I don't recommend this style of yoga for chronic illness.
2. Power Yoga and chronic fatigue
This is the counter style to restorative flow yoga. It is aimed at athletes, and those looking to get a cardio workout from their yoga class. Not recommended for anyone that does not already have a moderate level of fitness.
3. Ashtanga Yoga and chronic illness
While most vinyasa flow classes (including restorative flow classes) are based on the Ashtanga sequences, most Ashtanga classes will be too energetically challenging for this with a chronic illness. The postures focus on building strength and flexibility, but classes are often aimed at those who already have a certain level of fitness.
Have you tried any of these types of Yoga? Do you have anything to add to the list?