One of the things that’s difficult about trying to find chronic wellness is when you’re in a flare. With my fibromyalgia, flares come about for a few main reasons. The first is weather. Late winter, early spring we were going from warm, spring-like days to cool, chilly ones, and up until about March 1, there was snow and ice to factor into the mix. Stress, especially work stress and emotional triggers, also brings about flares. Living on a homestead, sometimes stress and weather (like worrying about power outages during an ice storm) go hand-in-hand. The issue is how do I keep up my yoga practice when that happens?
I’ve talked before about different poses for when you don’t feel like doing yoga. In fact, I covered some things you can do in my webinar last month. My go to in this situation is to not think about an entire sequence or practice, but ask my body, what pose feels best for me in this moment? Usually I can lift my arms above my head, or even bend over in a forward fold. Sometimes it’s laying on the bed in corpse pose, counting my breaths and letting my body relax. I avoid more strenuous poses or even trying to do a complete routine. Instead, it’s a matter of what can I do in this moment?
Asking myself what I can do in the moment has a couple of benefits. First, it removes any pressure I have to do MORE. Too often in our yoga practice, we feel the pressure of doing more. It also helps bring me into a mindful space. What does my body feel like? How can I experience this moment the most comfortably? How can I move my body with the most comfort? Often, once I complete one pose, I can breathe and perhaps stretch my body in a different way. Or, I feel just good enough to move onto the next thing I’d like to do, or even just to move into relaxation.
Fibro flares and yoga don’t have to be at odds with one another. Instead, when we stop and listen to our bodies, we can find peace and healing in the moment. One breath at a time.