Toxic Yoga and Exercises Classes

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Darcyfarrow, Mar 31, 2003.

  1. Darcyfarrow

    Darcyfarrow New Member


    I read somewhere here someone who talked about hurting themselves fairly seriously doing yoga. BUT they were getting ready to try it again. Been there; done that; watch out.

    The concept that yoga can hurt you is too way out for most health care professionals, but, believe me, it can. If I understand the concept, one is supposed to allow gravity and the placement of appendages to ncrease the stretch naturally. The idea that using only gravity and putting your body in a certain position insures that you won't hurt yourself is really, when you think about it, a fakey notion. Like eating only uncooked food ensures you'll have a balanced diet.

    For those of us with Fibro, our muscles can be strained and the fibers torn without the discomfort necessarily reaching
    the level of our awareness. I believe that the muscular structure of many of us Fibro sufferers is subtly flawed, off-center for any number of reasons, and that these deviations from the normal human muscular-skeletal structure manifest in hundreds(?) of slightly off-center muscle-tendon-skeleton relationships all over our body. Yoga depends on the muscles stretching leisurely a certain way when the trunk and arm, say, are put in a certain position. The very immobility of this "relaxation" keeps our bodies from making the unconscious adjustments we'd make if we could move. So some of the wrong muscles get pulled the wrong way, quite contrary to the intent of the yoga pose. So there's my theory, which aliens told me the last time I sipped woowoo tea with them. Just kidding!

    Personally, I tried yoga at least three time during the early days of my Fibro. Every time I injured myself, albeit not seriously. Finally I decided to forget it. I did have a yoga book I was working with a while back and tried to be careful, but again I hurt myself. If you do yoga, I believe, you'll do better alone with a book with good pictures. I'm more likely to hurt myself in most exercise classes than on my own for the following reasons:

    Unless you are in a class where most people move as carefully and slowly as you need to, you may be in a dangerous position. Invariably, people get competitive and you, looking around at all the cavorting pretzel people, can unconsciously pick up on this competitiveness and hurt yourself so easily! That said if you find a "safe" class and always pay more attention to what you are doing than what others are doing, classes can be great motivators. You meet others further along the improvement track and later hopefully you can be that sophomore attendee encouraging the freshman.

    Of course as one exercise guru said, "modify! modify!" Don't do anything which might hurt you; don't work longer than you feel comfortable with, and warm up and cool down longer than the class does. You guys probably know all this, but maybe this will help someone from getting injuried, which is SO-O discouraging. Love, Darcy
  2. patchwork

    patchwork New Member

    who understands FM/CFS and will recommend yoga positions to stimulate the endocrine system and regulate other body systems without necessarily stretching the muscles. I've done it and it's great and I've really benefitted. However, it costs money of course!!!
  3. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Designed by a doc to improve breathing. The doc is actually the person on the tape. It's an excellent tape for beginners as it's very gentle.

    I decided to attend a local Yoga class "just for people with FMS." Well, it was a bust for me. Even though I paid up front, I only went three times. I hurt my back.

    The instructor was not there after the first lesson and her mother taught the next two. We spent most of our time running back and fourth to the supply room for blocks, bolsters, etc. Also, the room had carpeting which really bothered my allergies.

    The mother called me on my cell phone when I was trying to gas up in the middle of the Everglades at night. Geez, she just wouldn't take no for an answer, trying to get me to come back. I finally just had to almost hang up on her. This is just waaaaay too aggressive behavior for someone who is supposed to be trying to help people reduce stress in their lives.

    Love, Mikie
  4. paula45

    paula45 New Member

    You may be talking about me....I fractured two vertebrae doing yoga incorrectly and I'm pretty scared. I had had such great results up until that point. It makes me sad that now I may be lifelong back pain from it. It's been a year now and I'm still in awful pain. I really wish I had known how careful one has to be. Good thread and I wanted to ad my two cents.
  5. kellbear

    kellbear New Member

    Between Sport Yoga and the original yoga. Yoga has become a fad, and has drifted away from the stretching, breathing, meditating yoga that it once was. I tried the newer yoga tapes and it about killed me. I then contacted Lillias Folen. She did all the PBS yoga shows when I was growing up as a kid. She teaches the breathing in these. It makes a big difference. The newer yoga is too aerobic
  6. beckster

    beckster New Member

    It is an individual thing. I used to love to go to yoga class before I got sick and injured; even toyed with the idea of becoming a yoga teacher. Now I cannot do anything close to what I used to; it is just another thing I have had to give up. Finally after improving slowly over many years, I can do the very gentle stuff at home on good days (Like anything else; no point in pushing yourself on the bad days; makes the body worse.) It is frustrating because most medical professionals can't understand this; and most yoga gurus don't either. I agree with the folks above; I can only do light yoga, breathing, etc. at home. With me it is not so much the muscles and tendons, but the nerves; get them to going and !ouch! watch out, takes a long time for them to calm down. Alas, such is the way it is!
  7. tansy

    tansy New Member

    but later caused really serious problems with my spine. Teachers couldn't get their heads round that, in their opinions I needed to do it to keep my spine healthy and supple.

    Chiro put me straight. I still do some yoga type movements; and as Mikies pointed out some are great for breathing and can makes you feel like you've actually got some more oxygen into your body.


    [This Message was Edited on 06/05/2003]
    [This Message was Edited on 06/05/2003]
  8. gbean

    gbean New Member

    I was an athlete before I got fibromyalgia. I played tennis, ran cross country and did a lot of aerobics.
    I never did yoga when I was healthy. After I had fibro I tried yoga off of a tape-and after doing only the first few simple exercises it took me a whole week to get over the incredible soreness it caused me. Thus, I can't say anything about injuries, but think it is like all exercise for me-I can't do it at all because it flares my pain tenfold for an average of a week.
  9. OmShanti

    OmShanti New Member

    i do believe it can be a good thing, for fm/cfs and for other things as well, when done correctly--which means *listening* to your body and honoring it. it's not about trying to do a pose a certain way, it's perfect however you are able to do it at that moment.
    I started a yoga instructor certification class in mid-April...and right around that time was my first really horrible flare, which is just now starting to subside...I'm worried because I love yoga, LOVE it, it's been very healing for me at times in the past and that's what made me want to bring those benefits to others, and I've just spent thousands of dollars on this cert. program, but if i have flares like this often, there's no way i'll ever be able to maintain a daily practice (which is key). one day at a time i guess. much love and peace to all ~ tara
  10. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Pilates looks deceptively easy but it can be very hard on the back if not done correctly. Tai Chi is a nice slow discipline which improves muscle tone, strength, and balance. If done properly, it is also like prayer set to motion and can produce the same relaxed feeling as meditation.

    Love, Mikie
  11. JQP

    JQP New Member

    While I was still attending the gym, my trainer (just graduated in sports science and now fastly becoming a fibro expert) told me to avoid yoga bbecasue of the strain holding one position can put on my body. Wisdom received.
    Now my doctor keeps asking me when I am going to take it up, because he has read articles that say it is good.

    Reading all your experiences scares me silly. I feel that if I don't attempt what the doc says, then will he stop 'helping' me - if you know what I mean?

    Yet again between the devil and the deep blue sea!!!

  12. tulip922s

    tulip922s New Member

    I started yoga 3 months ago and have been having good luck with it. Apparently there are many different types of yoga,,,I take a gentle Hatha yoga class and have found the gentle stretching to be quite beneficial. My instructor is aware of my illness (CFS/FM) and has tailored some exercises for my special needs. The key is to never push, do what you can,,,it shouldn't be painful. Of course that is easier said then done when some days just lifting my head off the pillow is painful. I signed up for twice a week, but, can only make it when my body allows (have become quite undependable). I find that after my lesson, my body feels much less tense and I can sleep soooooo much better. Best of luck to all. Tulip