Don’t ever let anyone tell you that Yoga is a joke or that it’s easy. It’s not! I started with some beginner yoga and have moved on to some more challenging stuff. Every morning I pop in a DVD and being my daily butt kicking.
I started with some yoga zone DVD’s, flexibility and stress release and body sculpting. When they weren’t challenging anymore I changed over to yoga works, beginner AM/PM, Core Strength and Body Sculpting. I have just started the Body Sculpting DVD and it kicks my butt every day. The more challenging DVD’s raise my heart rate and challenge my strength.
At first I loved Yoga for it’s gentle movement and stretching. I loved that it didn’t get me moving super fast or make me out of breath. I also loved that I watched my legs turn to rock hard muscle and my arms get stronger. Yoga has helped me push the limits of my muscles in the comfort of my home where no one is watching. When I was in full blown flare it was all I could do to do the beginner class. I had to force myself every day but I felt better for it.
Now, my pain has settled down some, knock on wood, and I have started to build even more strength and strive for better fitness and a slimmer shape. There are still a few movements I just don’t have the flexibility or the strength to do but I try anyway. I have range of motion loss in one shoulder and I still have to be careful not to tense my shoulder area as I work.
The scale however, hasn’t moved significantly. I feel better, stronger and I have less pain but I’d still like to see that scale move. I also notice that my pants fit a little differently. I have a more firm abdominal area. I can’t say I’ve lost much in the way of fat but it’s been sort of moved around. I am slowly learning that it’s less about that number on the scale or even your dress size and more about feeling good.
As a nurse, I still worry about the research that talks about belly fat and it raising your risk of heart attach or stroke. No one can really control that and it’s not true of everyone. There are so many body types no one can keep track. There is no right or wrong, it’s what’s right for you. I am working toward accepting that. I don’t have to like it though!
If you’re reading this, give yoga a try. Especially those with FM or Chronic pain. It won’t take the pain away. But the stronger you are the better equipt you are to deal with your pain. Over time you will feel so much better. You’ll become more aware of your posture and body kinetics. By sitting straighter and moving better you will strengthen the muscles that should have been supporting you all along. Give it a try!