I have been hoping to go to yoga for almost two months, but even the day of I didn't know if it would be possible. The stars seemed to be aligning against me. The previous day was tough and I was in lots of neurological pain. More broadly, I am in the midst of a flare and am more limited in what I can do than I have been for awhile. Making matters worse, the weather was absolutely frigid. Somehow, somehow, my body cooperated just enough. I made it.
|Perfect Plough Pose|
The class was designed for people with arthritis. Ok, that doesn't exactly fit me, but I figured the teacher wouldn't push me past what I could do. I walked in and was the youngest in the room by decades. Sometimes I say that I feel like having autoimmune disease means that I have a sense of what it is like to be in my 70s (even though I am only in my 30s). In that class it was literally true.
The class was pretty low impact, which is exactly what I needed. The hour and half class consisted mostly of gently stretching, slow movements, deep breathing and meditation. The teacher carefully guided us through the postures and helped us individually to make adjustments so none of them were painful. It felt good to slowly move my rusty muscles and joints that I haven't focused on in ages. I could feel them working hard even to hold basic poses. I recognized many of the poses as lying downs versions of standing poses that I had done in my previous practice. And while I used to do things like headstands, I found the low key, relaxing and supportive atmosphere of a restorative yoga class enjoyable.
The best part is that I left class feeling less fatigue than when I started. If restorative yoga is something that I can do when I am flaring I certainly feel like I can plan to be back for more. This was a big accomplishment for me and I do hope I will be able to incorporate some gentle exercise into my life again on a regular basis.