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Jersey Girl

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I attended a yoga class for the first time in my life this past week, and although I couldn't do many of the moves and it was challenging, I think I did feel a little better that same day. (This is after 2 1/2 years with POTS). I can't wait to go back this coming week to see if it happens again or if it was just wishful thinking on my part. Has anyone else tried yoga? If so what were your experiences?

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i've done some yoga, mostly at home. it was mainly before i got ill, but i have done a few positions since.

found that some of the positions are next to impossible.

also, and this is IMPORTANT, some yoga positions are contraindicated for people with various medical conditions (including heart conditions).

personally, i would recommend you stay away from positions such as the headstand (i.e. any positions that invert the body) or the crow. safer ones are the sun salutation, the triangle and maybe the shoulderstand. the fish may help with breathing, but it can make you feel really strange afterward.

my advice:

get a detailed book on yoga, one which details the positions that should not be tried if you have a problem such as a heart condition, etc.

hope this helps.


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I have been practicing yoga since the very beginning of my illness. I think it's a wonderful form of exercise for thos eof us who can't do anything too incredibly challenging. Justin is right about taking it easy on the inverted poses, though- if you do them, be careful not to come upright too quickly!

I haven't done yoga sicne our move this summer (too busy) but am eager to find a class here and get back into it- I think it would help me a lot. I'm so glad you felt better after a workout- I hope it continues to help you!

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I've been taking a beginner level hatha yoga class for the last year and a half ... it's weekly, with breaks in between sessions, and I do some of the stretches at home as well. I've been sticking with the same level--for me, it just doesn't make sense to take a more advanced class, and I really like my teacher. I hope you've started your practice with a super easy class--and that your teacher doesn't spend too much (any?) time correcting people's poses. For my part, it's just nice to go somewhere and stretch, learn how to control my breathing, and focus on the meditational aspects. The shivasana at the beginning and end of class is both centering and relaxing.

The poses people mentioned are way more advanced than anything that would be tried in my class (which assures me, actually, that I'm in the right place)! Don't try anything that hurts, and go super slow when you roll up from a bent-over-at-the waist position (to avoid getting too dizzy). I hate poses where there's repetition of holding/stretching my arms over my head and then lowering them down; I can feel the blood rushing down my arms and it makes my hands tingle in weird ways. But I do em anyway... and I stop some poses early or don't do some of the positions at all. Of course, you must cheer yourself on every step of the way, and pat yourself on the back for trying a new form of exercise that will help you inside and out. (And remember not to feel bad if you must make accommodations for yourself; I told my teacher about my POTS so he'd know why I was pooping out sometimes, and you may want to do the same.)

Congrats -- I hope you're able to stick with it!

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Yes, I love yoga! I started working one on one with an instructor 6 months ago and she has modified the poses when necessary to meet my needs. We mostly do easy stuff but on the days when I can handle it, we do some strengthening poses as well. And, just learning the breathing techniques has really been a benefit for me. I find that just having a reason to get out of the house and feel I am DOing something to help myself has really been a boost as well. I spend so much time at home alone that I really enjoy getting out for yoga.

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Yes, I have found yoga very beneficial for the past seven years or so--prior to and after severe illness with POTS/diagnosis. I agree with the above posts about starting out in a beginner class and sticking with it until you are very comfortable before moving on to anything more challenging. The breathing, the stretches, floor work, etc I think have helped in some ways to improve symptoms and my endurance. I have tried inverted poses and generally, for me, they do not bring on bad symptoms now. But, each person is unique. It also makes sense to let your instructor know of your posible limitations due to POTS. Enjoy. :)

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I wonder about yoga. I an hypermobile, as many POTS patients are.

I know that Yoga is much more than just stretching. However I believe it does involve a lot of stretching.

Here are my thoughts on stretching. . .

The only people who like doing things that involve stretching are those who can stretch. The people who really need to stretch are the tightly-knit ones and stretching is so hard for a tightly-knit person that they usually hate doing it.

So . . . the only ones who like to stretch are the ones who most likely hypermobile and I am not sure hypermobile people need to worsen it by stretching. I mostly avoid stretching as it pulls even more on already mobile joints.

Just my stray thoughts. Comments anyone?

Michigan Jan

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Michigan Jan, I'm one of those tightly bound ones ... my hamstrings are ridiculously tight, my low back -- everything! (I hate seated poses because I simply cannot sit up straight--my lower back is constantly rounded. It's my particular physiology, though--I had a very strict ballet teacher when I was a little girl (age 5-12 or so) who worked hard with me to get me to straighten my back... I just couldn't do it--and it never got better no matter how hard I tried.)

All that's to say, I'm terribly tight and not a bit hypermobile, as you say, and I don't particularly LIKE stretching--but I do it once a week in class and sometimes at home because it's good for me, and it does help make me feel better! Also, I used to get frequent bouts of sciatica (nerve pain originating in my hip/buttocks and radiating down the leg)... and I rarely get them now that I'm doing the yoga stretches.


(PS I think I'd like it more if I wasn't constantly obsessed about all the other things I need to be doing with my time...)

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i really like yoga a lot, but haven't been doing it lately...oops! i had been really consistent with it...alternating with walks. but, now with the nice weather, i choose the walks...i'm sure that will change in the winter!

anyway, what everyone said was great!

i haven't ever tried to take a class, i am not sure i could do that, but maybe you all will inspire me to try.

i just wanted to share with you three of my favorite resources...

The Little Yoga Book by Erika Dillman...i LOVE this book b/c it is laid out so simply, is only 10 bucks...reall you don't need all of those color photos in the expensive books! she has chronic fatigue syndrome, so that makes the book even better. it is laid out soooo well.

Bed Top Yoga....a video to do gentle yoga in bed. the perfect level for me...if you are interested in this let me know...it is a bit of a hard one to find i think.

Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn and the accompanying cds....LOVE this invaluable resource. this is MINDFUL yoga, which is just my speed and great for the fight or flight response i have. this does yoga as a form of meditation....which i love.

my favorite parts of yoga are that 1. it reminds me of dancing which i miss so much and makes me feel good in my body. 2. it is very centering and calming and i am really working on that mindfulness thing in my life.

hope you keep feeling good from your yoga!


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i tried yoga, but it really hurt me at the most basic level. i have very poor balance and have fallen at least 4 times in the last few weeks. but my son's friend gave me tai chi tapes and those aren't so bad. not so much positioning and staying there and no real balancing acts. how ever, it is the most basic form of tai chi, and have not been able to advance. i have to get xrays of my knees and have arthritis the whole length of my spine, and even tho they say exercise helps, it seems to exacerbate in my case. my son's friend is a yoga instructer and he's bugging the heck out of my son to start. he has juvenile arthritis. so am hoping he will do it. morgan

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