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06-06-2010, 02:10 PM   #1
David
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Yoga for crohns disease

While I don't suffer from Crohns disease, I am a yoga teacher who has been quite intrigued with some of the stories I've read here as I've worked on the back end of this website. I hope nobody minds me asking, but has anyone practiced yoga and if so, did you find it in any way made a positive or negative difference in regards to your affliction? As a teacher, the more knowledge I'm able to share with my students, the better. As such, any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
06-06-2010, 02:34 PM   #2
redapple3
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I was diagnosed with Crohn's 4 months ago. When I was really sick, I discovered Restorative Yoga at a place right down the street from my house. It's stretching with lots of props like bolsters and blocks. There is an instructor and another person who adjusts you. Very slow and geared towards people with injuries or people who can't handle a regular practice. It really helped me when I was under weight, tired and couldn't move my legs very well. The teacher was great with adjusting me so that I wasn't hurting anything/doing anything to harm myself. It also helped me stretch out a lot of places where I needed stretching (back, abdomen).

I still take the 90-minute class every Monday and I LOVE it. I definitely need it.
06-06-2010, 03:15 PM   #3
MapleLeafGirl
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Yes and I love it. No matter how crappy I'm feeling it always makes me feel better. The poses themselves are great. The meditation and breathing also help with stress. The only thing I worry about is how much it makes me fart! Though my yoga instructor is constantly saying it's perfectly natural, I can't help but feel a little sorry for whoever gets stuck next to me.
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Kelly

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06-07-2010, 10:37 AM   #4
terri_ann87
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I used to go to yoga (don't have time now I work full time!) but I find the 'swan' position (i think!) is fantastic for when I have abdo pain. Not sure why but I just get on the floor in that position and concentrate on my breathing it seems to really help.
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Terri

Diagnosed Dec 2003 - aged 16.

Meds: Pentasa, Vit B12.

Previous meds: metronidazole, pentasa, azathioprine, 6MP, Budesonide, prednisolone, calcichew, Humira.

Peri-anal fistula leading to 4 minor surgeries, seton sutures and malecott drains - hopefully its about healed!

Right Hemicolectomy (45 cm removed) in Oct 2011
06-07-2010, 10:43 AM   #5
Cat-a-Tonic
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I've been doing yoga a few times a week at home using the Wii Fit. It's great because I can pause it if I have to run to the bathroom. It's probably not as good as doing it in a class with a real live instructor, but it suits my needs and I can be near my bathroom (and if I fart, like Kelly said, nobody else is bothered!). I think it's helping, I do notice that my energy level seems to be a little higher on the days when I've done yoga that morning.
06-11-2010, 02:52 AM   #6
GoJohnnyGo
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I've had an ongoing struggle with yoga. One school kicked me out but not before berating and ridiculing me in front of the rest of the class for failure to keep up. It was humiliating. I did not know that yoga was a competitive sport. I felt like junior high gym class. I was fully refunded for my trouble.

Next time out, I was able to enroll in a specialized class for folks with spinal injuries and/or arthritis. Unfortunately the time of the class was not conducive to my work schedule. Good class though.

I do a drop-in deal now with another studio. I think though, when my contract is up I'll go back to doing it at home using a book of poses.
06-11-2010, 03:14 AM   #7
Dras
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So this yoga stuff really works! I will def be trying it!!
06-11-2010, 05:41 AM   #8
Tan
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I've had an ongoing struggle with yoga. One school kicked me out but not before berating and ridiculing me in front of the rest of the class for failure to keep up. It was humiliating. I did not know that yoga was a competitive sport. I felt like junior high gym class. I was fully refunded for my trouble.

Next time out, I was able to enroll in a specialized class for folks with spinal injuries and/or arthritis. Unfortunately the time of the class was not conducive to my work schedule. Good class though.

I do a drop-in deal now with another studio. I think though, when my contract is up I'll go back to doing it at home using a book of poses.
Hi all thought I would drop in for a quick visit and notice this thread which caught my eye and couldn't resist putting my two cents in!! He..he..

Anyway to start with Ed that is a horrible Yoga experience shame on them no-one should be made to feel less of themselves! My yoga instructor is always telling us to go at our own pace and shows us all different levels so we can try them if we wish or stay at the level we are comfortable with... which is great as it is aways changing to suit us and we always get to try new things.

Well as you guess I already do yoga have been for the last year started up before I got sick last August and lucky I did as it has def helped me thru the last 10 months. It has helped with my stress levels, also since getting this disease have had alot of back and hip pain along with joint pain and have found by doing yoga it helps in these areas. I notice my back will tighten up heaps if I don't do it for a week and struggle with pain. Overall I def would suggest trying yoga and finding one that suits you as there are so many different styles, so if you try a class and don't like it don't think well thats it as the next one might be for you
06-11-2010, 08:35 AM   #9
Cookie
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I took yoga classes for years prior to my diagnosis, but when I moved to Ohio I could not find a studio I liked so I quit practicing. Last year I decided that it might really help me with some of the Crohn's issues, so I set out to find a new studio and started practicing again. It is definitely helpful in a lot of ways. Something that I find really interesting is that I can actually "feel" when I am inflamed, especially during twisting postures. I can't go as deep into the posture on those days, and I can literally feel the pressure of my gut (if that makes any sense). On those days, I often feel very nauseous after class. But I think it's helpful, because I always feel so much better the next day.
06-11-2010, 08:47 AM   #10
ChefShazzy
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I agree that it's helpful; I took a few free classes when they were offered at a local workshop, and it was also part of the mindfulness course I took. I took part in classes that had a range of abilities, so felt like I was in the 'middle'. It helps me get in touch with myself. I prefer being in a class rather than practicing on my own - I don't get distracted as easily. I've also practiced a bit of Qi Gong and found that really great, as well.
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Diagnosis: Crohn's Disease (May 2007)
Meds: Double-dose of Remicade, every 6 weeks
*I'm going to start saying I'm in REMISSION now! Three years since my last hospitalization!*
06-11-2010, 10:25 AM   #11
Nyx
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· Stoma
I used to do yoga prior to my colostomy, but haven't done it since. I think I might try to find a class that is low impact, as I don't think Oscar would like to have his head squished too much in a regular class. Anyone have any suggestions for a style that might not involve me having to lie on my stomach, or press my legs against my stomach too much (I can do some, but not for long periods of time). Other than that, I have no movement restrictions.
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Cindy

Crohn's Diagnosis: May 2006
Current meds: none
Surgeries: Colostomy, December 2009

"Never trust a fart." Jack Nicholson, The Bucket List

Oscar is awesome! Loving my life with my stoma (with a hint of poo)!!

06-11-2010, 11:03 AM   #12
Cookie
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I would say to find a small class and let your instructor know of your situation. They will usually be able to suggest alternate options for poses that are likely to cause you problems.
06-11-2010, 01:55 PM   #13
Keona
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love it. The childs pose helps me every morning with getting out of bed /helps my back. I also do yoga with seniors..haha...and it is light yoga but I now feel I have a ton of grandparents The essential oils and just getting out of the house helps me as well. I didnt realize I didnt know how to breathe very well ..or from the wrong spot. Love it.
06-11-2010, 03:58 PM   #14
dreamintwilight
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I have been wanting to get into yoga on a regular basis, but haven't done so. I've been wanting to do it for years to help with stress, breathing (I'm a singer), and posture and now having Crohn's I think I could benefit from it. I never know where to go though. I'd like to take my husband too who, I think, could benefit from the relaxation and stretching aspects of it.

Would a studio be better than somewhere like a gym than offers classes? OR vice versa? We aren't currently part of a gym, but who knows. We both need to get back into shape, so we might. Any tips for true beginners?
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Marisa
February 2010 - diagnosed with Crohn's disease.
January 2011 - Inflammation downgraded from moderate-severe to mild with no symptoms!
January 2014 - adopted a mostly Paleo diet
May 2015 - still in remission!


Currently Taking
Humira - 40mg/week
Imuran - 125 mg/day
Calcium magnesium citrate
Fermented cod liver oil/butter blend
Culturelle probiotics
Vitamin D
Vitamin C
Biotin
Allegra
06-11-2010, 05:56 PM   #15
MapleLeafGirl
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Marissa - I go to a small local class at it is great. I had tried gym classes and larger groups but it just didn't have the right dynamic for me. We are like a little family. I took my husband to a class (all women, but he doesn't care about stuff like that) and now he does it more than I do. He credits it for the huge improvement in his golf game.

GoJohnnyGo - Doesn't sound like you had a very good instructor. Mine is constantly reminding us that yoga is non-competitive and that if you need to come out of a pose before everyone feel free. I honestly don't even really notice what the other people are doing.

Cindy - Any good yoga instructor will suggest alternatives to any pose to suit your physical needs. I agree with Shady - just go a little early and explain the situation to the instructor. We have a woman with Cerebral Palsy in our class and she manages to make it work for her. We have also had cancer patients.
06-11-2010, 05:57 PM   #16
ameslouise
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I took a few private sessions last fall when I was on a short sabbatical from work. We really focused on breathing and relaxation. The instruction showed me some poses that were good for aiding in digestion and they are great for relieving pain, gas, pressure.

She also showed me how the facial muscles are connected to the gut. When my face is tensed up, my gut is tensed up. It made me a lot more mindful of by body, breathing, relaxing, etc. in everyday life. Definitely helps.

I would like to start going again. Thanks for the reminder!!
07-10-2010, 11:57 PM   #17
David
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I posted on a yoga forum I work on about crohns disease and a couple teachers had some interesting things to say so I thought I'd link there in case it might help someone
07-11-2010, 10:33 AM   #18
Crohn's 35
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Yoga for anyone is supposed to be very good for you. My daughter is in Kenesiology and says it should help me....she has no idea I started but stopped, no reason, just forget...she finds out I a deadlady lol.

Good for all ages!
07-24-2010, 05:31 AM   #19
SilverWillow
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I love yoga, I don't go to a class in case I need to keep running to the bathroom but I have a couple of DVD's. I light some candles an insence, close the curtains and escape for an hour. The pause button is a great invention!
07-24-2010, 09:19 AM   #20
silver
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I love the yoga on Wii Fitness coach...it changes every time you do it so the poses are the smae but in different combinations and you can alter the difficulty level to suit you (plus the pausing thing is excellent!) When i'm feeling focused I do yoga in the evenings whilst watching something with my fiance...

I've always wondered if it was more the breathing than the yoga? As when I saw my clinical psychologist she recommended breathing exercises similar to meditation, anyone know if this has any basis?
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Surgery - 1 bowel resection for diagnosis
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07-24-2010, 11:14 AM   #21
InkyStinky
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I posted on a yoga forum I work on about crohns disease and a couple teachers had some interesting things to day so I thought I'd link there in case it might help someone
Thanks for this link - that was really interesting.

I've been doing a basic yoga DVD (30mins) 5-6 times a week for almost 2mths now. (I'd never done yoga before). When I started the meds had already cleared up the D/most of the pain, so I can't comment on yoga during a flare. But it just struck me recently that I have less bloating/gas now than I did earlier this year - maybe due in part to the yoga????

I was hoping the yoga'd help my fatigue, though it hasn't yet made a noticeable difference. But I've been battling some sort of muscle injury/tendonitis in my hip flexors, and that's improved a lot since I started yoga.
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Sabrina
IBD diagnosed 1990 @ 8yrs old (current dx: Crohn’s); Blood clots 12/2009 (DVT, bilateral PE)
6MP: 50mg/day

Ethel: “So, is everything okey-dokey?” Lucy: “No, it’s inky-stinky” ~ I Love Lucy

-Are you looking for a new treatment option for your Crohn's disease? If so, I suggest you look into the ongoing clinical trial by Qu Biologics for their SSI treatment. Click here for more information or to help spread the word.
08-09-2010, 10:19 PM   #22
roundtuit
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I am new to the Crohn's diagnosis. I think the disease has been with me for some time tho.
I read "Yoga as Medicine" by Tom McCall MD shortly before I was diagnosed with Crohn's in June of this year. It peaked my interest enough that I started taking Yoga classes and I am very please with the results. I feel like I am making my first little baby steps back into exercising after just over 2 years of surgeries and illnesses. The book has a wealth of information and is basically a broad overview of Yoga and meditation. It was writtem about Yoga by an MD that speaks (writes) simply. It gives a very basic overview about Yoga explored as a medicine by the writer. Best 20 bucks I have spent in some time.
Namaste.
08-13-2010, 12:31 PM   #23
teeny5
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Yoga helps me a ton! I do it not only to stretch out my joints that get tight and achy but also to help with anxiety. I have always been a worrier, but with the onset of the disease it is very important that I keep it under control. Yoga helps so that I can clear my mind, relax, and work out some of the things that stress me out. I think it is awesome!
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Previous meds: Sulfasalazine, Asacol, Rowasa, Pentasa, Entocort.


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12-20-2010, 06:29 PM   #24
David
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I am new to the Crohn's diagnosis. I think the disease has been with me for some time tho.
I read "Yoga as Medicine" by Tom McCall MD shortly before I was diagnosed with Crohn's in June of this year.
Thanks for the recommendation, I'm going to pick it up
01-31-2011, 09:32 AM   #25
Patricia
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Hi Folks,

Kripalu Yoga Teacher here and happy to chime in. /hugs to David! Also not a Crohn's sufferer but I am terribly lactose intolerant (my dear friend, a doc, told me there was no such thing, lol, but that was around 20 years ago). I have been on a journey with the tummy stuffs and found my way to this discussion via food/yoga/vaccines wandering on the web. (My next door neighbor has been a Crohn's patient for over 40 years and just told me his came on right after vaccination - touchy subject!!!)

So. Hoping to have an ongoing discussion here and hear all about people's experience with Yoga and digestion. At Kripalu we learn that Yoga is an exploration; a scientific process of trying various postures, breathwork, meditation to see how they interact with our unique body at this unique time of life (always changing).

To GoJohnnyGo (love the great attitudes and fun with the names!) you just hit upon a sour experience and how awful that must have been! I was once in an aerobics class and to instruct me the teacher called out, "Hey Heavy, do x" and when I realized she was talkin' to me it was like ok hun that's the end of me paying you for your classes byezers but ouch. All I can say is that teacher/studio sounds like the Power Yoga type of place that is for some few people but not for the majority. Don't you just want to go back and school them a bit...great fantasy to walk in and state. your. truth. firmly. Yeah - Yoga ain't always about nicey nicey it's also about Truth. Phew that one got me a bit hot, lol.

Postures generally: Yoga is different from most other exercise in that it works the spine and organs in the torso. You bend forward and back, side to side, and twist. Very different from running/biking/skiing/walking which are all good but keep the torso in one position. Yoga moves the torso in postures standing, sitting, lying down, and for some on your head! The endocrine organs get a firm smoosh and send their hormones out; your adrenals (endocrine organs atop the kidneys) get pressed and cleared of blockages and old build up like squeezing a sponge. The fresh oxygenated blood from all the breathing and moving flows in and clears sluggish systems like a spring flood. The deep breathing calms the nervous system and also strengthens the diaphragm. All the fascia of the body get stretched, lubricated and toned. The joint capsules (tissues surrounding each joint) produce synovial (lubricating) fluid but only do so when moved, so every joint in the body gets lubed. Can you tell I love Yoga?

Postures specifically: Pigeon (swan) is a great kidney/adrenal press sitting up and then a belly press leaning forward. Happy baby is a great kidney/adrenal press, too, but lying on the back holding the feet and pressing the back into the floor. All of the twisting postures work the digestion. Wind relieving pose helps expel gas (works best when done alone, lol/wink at the end of a home practice). The upside down postures (bridge, down dog, puppy dog, and maybe after long practice hand/headstand etc.) help move gas, and give the lymphatic system a big boost by allowing drainage towards the thymus - the lymphatic system has no heart to pump it and relies on the body's movement to maintain flow.

And now that I've written too much I'll stop and take a breath and hope that someone finds this helpful!

Love to you all,
Patricia

Last edited by Patricia; 01-31-2011 at 09:34 AM.
02-01-2011, 06:08 PM   #26
fromthegut
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I do Yoga ! Although the type class and teacher varies for me. As was said before.. the teachers are not always healthy.. mind, body, spirit. They have their own issues. Keep trying.
I was very very ill when I fisrt started. I had started seeing a Reiki Master who lead me to Yoga. ( I did Reiki when after receiving pain killers in the emergency.. I knew that I needed to take a different route or I would be another addiction statistic !!) Fear kept me from the studio. I had a young /new teacher come to my home. I don't even know if she charged me. I was so sick that I used huge pillows as I lay on the floor to lift my legs as I did revolved belly. Anything that is a twist is good for me. Nice and gentle at first. I did a routine at home and was goign very deep on some emotional issues.
I finally got up the courage to go to a studio. And boy.. did the emotional stuff start coming up. I had huge anxiety and depression. I believe part of my Crohns is related to stress. I use to use food to stuff my emotions. When I got pain in my stomach.. I would eat as I would have rather felt "full" than the nawing pain.
One Yoga teacher basically kicked me out of her studio. It was her business and she was very angry for me crying. I was crying during meditation too. I had a lot of emotional trauma comign to the surface. But my crohsn kept getting better. My Gastro was stunned. I was on very mild medication. Anyway.. I kept with it. I am in another support group that helped me realized everyone has issues and even some of mine may touch on the Yoga teacher issues.
I went from hardly moving and isolating to doing Yoga on the beach. Some moves I never.. even at my healthiest thought I could do !! It was splendid.. then.. that Yoga teacher moved away. Dang !!! I really need an experienced stable Yoga teacher who willing and able to help me grow. I am looking to try one teacher who has been around for some time. I may try her. But please.. keep trying.
Yoga can be done at any level of sickness. I would like a video for Chair Yoga to do at home. Even at my sickest.. I can do Chair Yoga and it keeps me going or it helps me shower, eat and go back to bad !! LOL
Start with a gentle Seniors Yoga if you are afraid. Peggy Cappy has one called " Yoga For The Rest Of Us ". I know people in much better physical shape thatn me who don't liek Yoga.. that's becasue their mental and spiritual shape is not good. Lots of anxiety and slowing down is hard and most of all uncomfortable !!!
I am an morbidly obese Yoga ambassador. When I started losing weight with Yoga that brought up a whole lot of other emotional issues that I am working on. With the help of the universe, god, great spirit, creator, divine , teddy bear, light bulb, oak tree... whatever is bigger than me... I will get through this next path on my jounrey !!

Lots of love

Jackie

Last edited by fromthegut; 02-01-2011 at 06:17 PM.
04-27-2011, 11:31 AM   #27
peleburrows
 
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I was making an electronic copy of a daily exercise routine that my yoga teacher gave me and thought others might find it interesting. I think she might have got the routine from a Gary Kraftsow book.

01-11-2012, 03:48 AM   #28
tiloah
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So this is not specifically about yoga for Crohn's, but the guy whose yoga podcast I like to download just did an episode (#304) on "Yoga for Better Digestion." I haven't had a chance to watch it, but I thought you might be interested, especially David! You can get his podcast for free on iTunes, but a while after it is posted it costs a dollar or something to download. Or you can just go straight to his website.

If you watch it I'd love to hear what you think about it.
01-18-2012, 04:22 AM   #29
Erwin
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Hi David,
Awesome threat and I am sure it will be of great help for everyone.
Yoga is great for health and we must do yoga regularly to maintain health and to prevent from major disease. I will be kind if you will share some yoga postures with us.
03-11-2012, 01:17 PM   #30
liv
 
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I personally love taking yoga to help my Crohn's symptoms. I'm still too weak to fully commit to a work out regimen and I like that yoga is as challenging as you make it. I personally started taking Hot Yoga. It feels amazing and I highly recommend it. A lot of positions actually stimulate the colon giving yourself a massage from the inside out. The most important thing though that has helped me is the breathing techniques. It's no secret that stress is a huge problem for most IBD sufferers so to learn to control your stress through simple breathing exercises has been a life saver. Yoga is the ideal exercise for IBD patients because you set the level of intensity.
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