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Crohn's Disease Forum » Diet, Fitness, and Supplements » Fitness and Exercise » The Crohnsforum.com Yoga Studio - Class Begins Now


 
11-02-2011, 10:47 PM   #1
David
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The Crohnsforum.com Yoga Studio - Class Begins Now

Namaste Yogis. Welcome to the Crohnsforum.com yoga studio. Please take off your shoes and socks and change into your comfortable clothes as class begins soon. I'm David Chapman, your certified yoga instructor and fellow IBD patient.

Disclaimer

I feel it's important to start off with a disclaimer. There's a reasonable chance I have no business opening a yoga studio. If you're interested in joining our studio, I suggest doing so with an open heart but don't turn off your logic and intuition. If any of my suggestions don't ring true for you, don't follow them. This is especially important considering I will be making blanket statements without being able to evaluate your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Everyone is different, please take care of yourself first and foremost. This may mean discussing anything mentioned here with your doctor, therapist, etc before taking part.

About Yoga

The practice of yoga is an ancient methodology first systemized by a sage named Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. Here in the west, when most think of yoga, they think, "I'm gonna get all stretchy, put my legs behind my head, and then do that downward dog thing." The physical poses are called asana and those are only one of the eight limbs of yoga. Yes, there's seven more. Over time, I'll be making suggestions that will hopefully allow you to experience all eight limbs.

About This Yoga Studio

The Crohnsforum.com yoga studio is for people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Anyone can potentially benefit from taking classes here but they will be specifically structured for people with IBD. We'll be focusing on stress reduction, emotional processing, lubrication of the joints, and relaxation techniques. There won't be any power yoga here

We will be building a foundational practice which will then allow us to proceed to deeper practices. If you want to take part in the deeper practices I post, I ask that you first take part in the foundational practices. I feel this is vitally important as some of the practices we will be doing will take you deep within yourself and you need to be ready for what you might face. This will make sense later on. I just said practices like eight times in one paragraph, I am a master orator.
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11-02-2011, 10:49 PM   #2
David
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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do I need a yoga mat? What kind should I get?
A. Please see this post.

Q. Are there any medical conditions that preclude you from doing yoga?
A. Yes and no. Hope that helps

I say that because as I mentioned earlier, there are eight limbs of yoga. If you just had two feet of your ileum resected yesterday, then you have no business performing most asana (yoga poses). However, the fourth limb of yoga is pranayama which is breath control. The seventh limb is dhyana which is meditation or contemplation. And there are other limbs (I'll explain them all soon) that you could do where you'd be practicing yoga that would be perfectly acceptable for your present condition (I will be providing such practices in the future) There are a tremendous amount of conditions that preclude the practice of asana and it's not possible for me to list them all. However, as this practice is directed towards people with IBD, the vast majority of what I suggest here will be doable if you're reading this post. But as I mentioned in my disclaimer, it's not possible for me to evaluate your present condition, that is up to you and your medical providers. If you have a bad right knee in need of surgery and can't sit in some of the poses in the .pdf, let me know and I can make suggestions based upon that. Or if you have advanced ankylosing spondylosis as an extraintestinal manifestation, then some of these poses will not be appropriate for you, and the list goes on. Please communicate with me and I will help you to the best of my ability.

Many of us are taught, "No pain, no gain". That's a load of crap. If you feel pain or fear that one of these poses will cause you pain, stop and communicate with me. If you have some symptom or syndrome that you're unsure of how it will affect you in this practice, communicate with me. I'm here for you. And if I don't know, I'll either ask some teachers I greatly respect or refer you to your medical team as I refuse to guess. You deserve better than that.

More coming soon
11-02-2011, 10:49 PM   #3
David
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Diet and Nutrition

None of us would think for a second that putting acid and dish soap into our car's gas tank would be a good idea. And yet, that's basically what we do with our bodies. The first thing I tell my students is that, in this day and age, we have to be very careful about our diets. If you put the equivalent of dish soap in your body, all the yoga in the world isn't going to do much for you.

Eat organic

While eliminating foods your body can't handle due to your IBD, take on a fully organic diet. Anything but an organic diet means you're putting dish soap into your gas tank. It's that simple. I'm not saying go off the paleo diet if you're on it. I'm not saying go off any specific diets. I'm saying take the next step and make them fully organic.

Get your vitamin and mineral levels checked

Do you know what your B12, Vitamin D, Magnesium, Folate, Iron, Potassium, Calcium, and other important vitamin and mineral levels are? No? Find out. If they're low, begin proper supplementation. You can learn more about vitamin and mineral deficiencies in this thread.
11-02-2011, 10:50 PM   #4
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The Joint Freeing Series

I don't expect you to take part in an 90 minute yoga class. Give me 15-20 minutes a day and I guarantee you will be feeling improvements in a variety of ways. We're going to start with the Joint Freeing Series. This is a series of asana developed by Mukunda Stiles, a wonderful teacher who taught workshops at my old yoga studio of choice.

The joint freeing series will be SO BENEFICIAL to anyone with IBD. It will lubricate your joints, reduce arthritis pain and swelling, get your lymph fluid flowing better, reduce stress, help you relax, oxygenate your blood, and SO MUCH MORE. While it may seem like you're doing very little, that you're targeting just about every joint in your body and utilizing them in their full range of motion is incredibly important and beneficial.

How to do the Joint Freeing Series

First off, NOTHING SHOULD HURT. If something hurts, stop, and talk to me. With that said:

1. Download the Joint Freeing Series

2. Get in comfortable clothes and find a nice, quiet area you can be alone in for 20 minutes.

3. Begin the asana as shown in the .pdf

4. When doing the asana, your breathing is of vital importance. You move with your breath. For example, asana number one, you take a breath is as you move your feet towards you. The movement should take as long as it takes you to take a full breath in (multiple seconds, meaning SLOW). As you move your feet away from you, you breathe out and that movement takes as long as it takes you to fully exhale. Meaning it will be SLOW. Breathe in through your nose, out through your nose taking in as much air as you can and exhaling as much as you can. SLOWLY.

5. Your mind will try to get you to speed up. We're taught by society to get things done as quickly as possible. Catch yourself rushing. Slow it down. Move with your breath. Enjoy the feeling in your body.

6. As you are moving with your breath, really feel your body. Are you clenching your jaw? Relax it. Are you tensing some muscles than need not be? Relax them. Is that little area between your eyebrows scrunched up? Soften it. Full, slow breaths in, full exhales. Move with your breath. Reconnect with your body.

7. Do each asana 6-10 times.

8. When you're done, take your time getting up as you may experience some light-headedness. Maybe go from your bum to your knees. Take a few breaths there. Then move one foot to the floor so only one knee is on the ground and take a few breaths there. Take your time.

9. Feel relaxed? Feel present in your body? Now try to take your yoga off the mat...

That's it Do this once each day. I guarantee you after 30 days you will feel improvement. If you decide to take part, please respond to this thread each day that you do it. As soon as you do 30 straight days of the Joint Freeing Series, you will be welcome to take part in Neurogenic Yoga below. If you miss a day, you will have to start your count over

Your mind is going to create every reason in the world to stop doing this practice. It will try its best to make you miss a day. This is part of the practice. Observe your mind. Smile at it when it makes excuses and don't listen to it.

Do the practice.

I'm happy to answer and questions you may have!
11-02-2011, 10:50 PM   #5
David
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Neurogenic Yoga - Trauma, Emotion, and Stress Processing

This will be taught once the first person completes 30 days in a row of the Joint Freeing Series.
11-02-2011, 10:51 PM   #6
David
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Placeholder for other stuff or where we'll stash all our yoga mats.
11-03-2011, 12:12 AM   #7
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As I have a hard wooden floor and a boney bum I need a mat. Is there any difference in mats or will any cheap one do?
11-03-2011, 12:51 AM   #8
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Okay David. Couldn't sleep, ran across this thread. Did the joint freeing exercises. Felt good & relaxed me. I had forgotten how much I enjoy yoga. Been years. Thanks.
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11-03-2011, 01:01 AM   #9
JohnnyRottenAppleseed
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Wow! Thanks bro! I love yoga and was doing it 5-7 days a week up until a year and half ago. I felt amazing when doing yoga regularly. I look forward to trying out the joint opener tmrw. Glad there are other yogis in here .
11-03-2011, 09:35 AM   #10
David
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As I have a hard wooden floor and a boney bum I need a mat. Is there any difference in mats or will any cheap one do?
Ask 100 yoga practitioners about mats and you'll get 100 different answers. Mine:

For the foreseeable future, we will not be doing anything that requires a yoga mat. However, if, like you, you're on hardwood floors, then something under you that allows for greater comfort is of course recommended. This can be a rug, yoga mat, or thick blanket, but I do not suggest your cat.

When it comes to yoga mats, not all mats are created alike. The most common widths (at least here in the USA in those silly inch things) are 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, and 5/16. Then of course there are a variety of different materials from your cheapo material made from god knows what to your natural rubbers. I PERSONALLY like 5/16 mats as I like nice thick mats for all the hardwood studios out there. I find the 1/8 and 3/16 are too thin and my knees can hurt because of it. 1/4 is adequate but I like to splurge. I also get the natural rubber since it's a little more eco friendly than some of the other materials out there. As I am over 6 feet tall, I also get the extra long mats so I actually fit on the things laying down.

If you've never done yoga before and this is your first experience, I suggest grabbing a blanket, rug, towel, or whatever and seeing if you actually stick with it. If you love the practice, then splurge on a mat. Otherwise, save your money

I'm happy to elaborate on any aspects.
11-03-2011, 09:45 AM   #11
David
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Okay David. Couldn't sleep, ran across this thread. Did the joint freeing exercises. Felt good & relaxed me. I had forgotten how much I enjoy yoga. Been years. Thanks.
Wonderful, good for you

If you decide to take on the 30 day challenge, good luck to you! It's amazing what doing these simple exercises 30 days in a row can do for someone. The physical transformation my 73 year old father experienced was nothing short of miraculous. He went from being creaky and barely able to get himself down on the ground to do the exercises to sitting cross legged comfortably! Old chronic pains began to disappear as well. After a few months he was also able to go off a couple medications (a diuretic and another heart med) because his body started functioning properly again. It literally brought tears to my eyes
11-03-2011, 09:49 AM   #12
David
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Wow! Thanks bro! I love yoga and was doing it 5-7 days a week up until a year and half ago. I felt amazing when doing yoga regularly. I look forward to trying out the joint opener tmrw. Glad there are other yogis in here .
Great! Keep us updated regarding your progress and how you feel

*hugs*
11-03-2011, 09:49 AM   #13
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I've been thinking of getting into yoga lately, will have to look into this thread deeper once I recover from yesterdays surgery.
11-03-2011, 10:49 AM   #14
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I really should do something like this as my joints are always aching, cracking/etc. Just I'll need encouragement and motivation! A phsyio once told me I was falling apart!
11-03-2011, 11:32 AM   #15
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day 1 for me, exercises 16 - 21 were the best - I obviously carry my stress in my back and neck.

I was pretty light headed when I stood up after all that deep breathing sitting on the floor. ( I also have low blood pressure though - probably a combo of the two).

Thanks David.
11-03-2011, 02:10 PM   #16
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I hope you don't mind that I have stickied this thread David. I just feel it offers a great deal to the members and guests here and as such needs to be easily found and accessed

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11-03-2011, 04:04 PM   #17
David
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I really should do something like this as my joints are always aching, cracking/etc. Just I'll need encouragement and motivation! A phsyio once told me I was falling apart!
Join us! I promise you it will help and I have no doubt you'll do great
day 1 for me, exercises 16 - 21 were the best - I obviously carry my stress in my back and neck.
Welcome to the studio! I'm glad you enjoyed 16-21. Each day you have an opportunity to learn something new about your body. One day you might find a muscle that has been compensating for an old injury that can be relaxed. Another day you might find that if you go slow enough, that you have some muscle weakness in your forearms and aren't doing the wrist exercises quite right. Keep an open mind and observe yourself. Have fun with it

I was pretty light headed when I stood up after all that deep breathing sitting on the floor. ( I also have low blood pressure though - probably a combo of the two).
I should have mentioned that in my instructions, I'm so sorry This can of course happen to anyone but it'll be more likely in people with IBD, especially if you're anemic. I'll edit the instructions now.
I hope you don't mind that I have stickied this thread David. I just feel it offers a great deal to the members and guests here and as such needs to be easily found and accessed
Sure, it's cool.

11-03-2011, 04:06 PM   #18
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Ask 100 yoga practitioners about mats and you'll get 100 different answers. ...but I do not suggest your cat.
I take this to mean that at least 1 out of 100 yoga instructors WILL suggest using the cat? She's underfoot much of the time anyway so I may as well put her to some good use! (Kidding of course!)

Thanks for posting this, David. I'm going to try it. I do have an actual yoga mat too so the cat will be spared.
11-03-2011, 04:11 PM   #19
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For your FAQ...

Are there any medical conditions that preclude you from doing yoga?

Dusty.
11-03-2011, 04:24 PM   #20
David
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For your FAQ...

Are there any medical conditions that preclude you from doing yoga?
IBD







(I'll add my real answer, if it doesn't adequately answer your question, please let me know. Thanks )
11-03-2011, 04:31 PM   #21
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This interests me. I've never done yoga. Think I could convince my boss to let me do it at my desk? LOL. I'll look at some of the information when I get home tonight. I don't know if I'm ready to commit to doing it quite yet.
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11-07-2011, 04:54 PM   #22
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I have been interested in Yoga for awhile. Have been using the "Wii" yoga on fitness plus. It does make a difference but here I can converse with an instructor who also feels my pain (lol). Thank you for this most considerate offer.
11-10-2011, 12:24 AM   #23
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I've now done 7 days in a row, hubby started the day after me, so he's done 6. He probably notices more of a difference than me as I'm quite active already.

Enjoying everything except getting up at 5:30 to fit it into the day (thank goodness for the time change.)
11-10-2011, 12:28 AM   #24
David
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Wow, good for the both of you! Well done!
11-10-2011, 09:15 PM   #25
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Downloaded and looking forward to taking the challenge
11-23-2011, 05:05 AM   #26
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i think i'm definitely gonna try this out!!!! thanks, David!
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11-23-2011, 06:32 AM   #27
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For part of my course we have to pair up and be a lifestyle coach for each other, look at diet and fitness, suggest changes and re-evaluate.
I have felt a bit worried as my partner seems to want me to do a few things but right now I'm so achey and tired.
I suggested yoga and now I have found this! I will try so hard to do this every day! (have tried doing it every day in the past and it doesn't last long!) I also have to do a bit of swimming and walk to the swimming pool.
I think I just have to wait for her to get risk and ethics approval!
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11-23-2011, 10:00 AM   #28
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Wow! This is amazing. Thank you so much for posting all of this David.
I'm feeling rubbish today but am determined to try it out and feel better for it.
Thanks again
Sam
11-25-2011, 10:29 AM   #29
SarahAnne
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Thanks so much for this thread, David!!

My hubby and mom bought me a yoga mat and some other accessories last year, but I haven't done anything with them. I didn't want to go to a class, and I couldn't find a decent video.

Now I can use my stuff, and get a workout that I know will be easy enough on me! Thank you so much!!
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11-29-2011, 06:25 PM   #30
raeleene7
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I am soooooo up to the challenge! Thanks so much David for all the effort, time, and a seemingly eternal amount of encouragement for us and patience with us!
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Surgeries: 9
Meds previously taken: Prednisone, imuran, metho, remicade, cimzia, humira, pentasa, prilosec, on and on and on. (tried all meds to date- except tysabri!)
Trials: 6
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