This is a guest post by Donna Owens, a long-standing M.E. warrior, qualified yoga practitioner and author of “Yoga, My Bed & M.E.” on how you can gently improve your physical condition when you’re chronically ill.
How Can You Start Doing Yoga in Bed
When You Have M.E./CFS?
1. Listen to your body
We all get excited when we find something new to embark on, especially if it is towards helping us feel better. We tend to dive right in on the first go, only to be rewarded with payback and M.E. flare for days or weeks and we end up giving up.
Start with small steps and slowly climb the yoga ladder over weeks or months. Start with just one or two poses at first, maybe one pose as you wake up in the morning to open the body and ease stiffness and a pose before you sleep to help your mind and body relax to help you drift off to a peaceful state. Take your time and hold the pose(s) or repeat the pose(s) to suit your body and M.E. each day – and we all feel different day to day – so don’t feel as though you have failed if some days you can do more than other days.
So you’ve begun the new year bursting with good intentions to eat healthier, move more and meditate daily. In your enthusiasm, however, it’s tempting to go overboard, trying to go from midnight-snacking coach potato to a gym-loving, juice fasting fit girl/guy in a few weeks time.
Unfortunately, drastic lifestyle changes usually don’t result into lasting results. It’s much easier and more realistic to take small, doable steps towards your goals. So have a look at these 101 simple things you can do today to boost your health and happiness!
This post is an excerpt from my upcoming e-book “How to Create Your Own Action Plan for Recovery“. If you want to stay updated on the release of the book, sign up for weekly newsletters from The Health Sessions here.
All day long, your senses are bombarded with information – sights, sounds, smells. Your brain is constantly busy selecting and interpreting these stimuli, storing what’s important into your long – term memory.
Turning your attention inwards instead of to the world around you has several benefits for your health.
Brain studies suggest that observing what’s happening inside of you – your thoughts, emotions and physical sensations – taps into a different part of your brain than watching the outside world does. Instead of solely relying upon the frontal lobes of the neocortex, focusing on your feelings also activates evolutionary older parts of your brain that are associated with emotional reactions and the integration of physical experiences. It’s that bypass of the thinking and judging parts of your brain that makes mindfulness such an effective method to find your calm when you can’t seem to stop your racing thoughts.
Learning to tune into your body also allows you to pick up signals of stress, pain and exertion before these symptoms become (too) serious.
A mindful body scan is a powerful way to get in touch with your body and really notice what you’re sensing, without judging or trying to change what’s happening within. At first glance, a body scan might seem like you’re just lying down doing nothing. But it involves a little more than that. Because while your body is resting, your mind goes on a guided tour from your toes to your head, pausing at each part and paying attention to what you’re feeling.
Whether you’re lounging on the beach or catching a long-haul flight, summer vacation is the perfect moment to catch up on reading. And not just good books – there are plenty of interesting articles worth checking out too. So kick back and relax and make the most of your summer break with these refreshing recipes, self-care practices and psychological insights.