HOW YOGA HAS HELPED WITH MY CHRONIC ILLNESS & WHY WE NEED TO REFRAME OUR VIEW OF YOGA

Unfortunately for many chronic illness warriors, there is a negative opinion towards yoga and it’s benefits because they have heard time and time again how yoga will “cure” their chronic illness. Today, I want to re-frame our mindset towards yoga by explaining how it has helped me mentally and physically throughout the years. 

I am not here to try to persuade you that yoga will cure your disease or that it will make everything go away. Rather, I want to try to explain the benefits that I have seen throughout the past 10 years of my practicing yoga. 

Yes, you read that right, I have been practicing yoga for 10 years, meaning I started when I was 12 years old. My mom was really into yoga and once I was diagnosed with Crohn’s I started taking gentle kids yoga classes to move my body in a loving way and aid in my healing process.

From that time, I have gone through phases with my yoga practice, as you do with any activity. But, for the most part I have stayed fairly consistent with the practice and it has really helped me majorly with my Crohn’s symptoms and mild depression. So, today I want to highlight with you all the 3 main reasons I practice yoga and how it has helped me throughout my journey. 

1. Aid in Digestive Health

Just like any form of exercise, when you move your body it gets your organs moving as well. But, uniquely with yoga, there are certain poses that really aid in digestion. Therefore, doing poses like reclined twist, wind relieving pose, cat cow, and many others will help to stimulate the digestive system. 

This was particularly beneficial in the months leading up to my bowel resection surgery. This is because I had a narrowing in my intestines which made it difficult to digest foods. Therefore, I did yoga every day, sometimes multiple times a day, to help with digestion and to reduce the stomach distention. 

These following practices are particularly beneficial for digestion: 

Yoga for Digestion – 25min

Yoga For Digestion | Yoga for When You Overeat! – 13 min

Yoga for Digestion | Holiday Meal! – 17 min

2. Aid with Muscle and Joint Pain

There are many different forms of yoga, some more rigorous than others. Some provide a really deep stretch which is great for any type of muscle or joint pain. It is proven that moving your body is very important for people with joint pain or arthritis because it stops you from getting stiff. 

Therefore, even practicing some slow stretching yoga everyday can have major impacts on your joint and muscle health. I encourage everyone to spend 5 minutes in the morning and night to do some light stretching. Overall, this will really make a difference in your alignment and stiffness in your body. 

3. Sooth Anxiety and Depression

In the time leading up to my surgery I had mild depression because of the circumstances and the cards I was being dealt with my Crohn’s disease. Because of this, I went on a mild depression and anxiety medication, which helped quite a bit. Additionally, I used yoga as a tool to help me relax and get out of my head. 

By synchronizing your movement with the breath, it is a great way to get out of your head, tap into your body and be present. I personally love Yoga with Adriene and her style of teaching because she focuses on yoga for both your physical AND mental health. If you are new to yoga, I highly suggest you try out her free youtube classes that are available for all levels of yogis. In general, yoga was a great tool for me to use when I was struggling to stay positive and love my body.  

Overall, I hope that this post gave you some inspiration to rethink yoga and its benefits. Whether you take it on full force or incorporate a class here and there, I think that it has major benefits for anyone. 

If you liked the post make sure to share it with a friend and subscribed to my blog to get email updates every time I post. Also be sure to follow me on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest to get more updates from me on my day to day life.  

Your trusty, gutsy gal, 

Nathalie xx

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#WellnessWednesday . . I am so excited to share with you all these gifted products from Saje Wellness that I received last week. . . Here you can see the sleep well kit which includes a tranquility spray, a sleep well roller ball, lavender bath salts, and a lavender eye mask. Additionally, you can see the tranquility essential oil blend. Today, I want to share with you all the benefits of these products and why I love them so much. . . 🌿Tranquility spray: perfect for misting your sheets and pillows before bed to help trigger your brain to calm down for the night. . 🌿Sleep Well Roller ball: this incredible blend of oils is perfect to roll on your wrist before bed or if you are at a hotel. This blend includes lavender, chamomile, orange, red mandarin, jasmine, and valerian which all help to support sleep. . 🌿Lavender Bath Salts: this Epsom salt blend is amazing to use for a nice night time soak. The lavender and Epsom salts help to relax your muscles for quality sleep. . 🌿Lavender Eye Mask: Sometimes it is very hard to get quality sleep when there is a lot of light around you. This mask comes in handy when you need to black out your space, especially when on vacation. . 🌿Tranquility oil blend: This blend of oils is perfect to diffuse before bed and throughout the night to support sleep. . . ALL of these products are incredible and high quality formulations. Thank you again to Saje for sending me these products and oils to try out. I feel so lucky and grateful😍😊💜🌿 . . . #livewellbewell #autoimmunewellness #gutfeeling #patientadvocacy #gutsyfeeling #yogiinspiration #wellnessblogger #wellnesswarrior #wellnessadvocate #wellnesslifestyle #lookwithin #selfcare #selflove #mindfulness #Wellness #Thankful #meditation #essentialoils #oils #yoga @sajewellness

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I am a 22-year-old Canadian woman with a passion to share my Crohn's journey with the world. My mission with this blog is to help Chronic Illness Warriors go after a better life with the use of self love, motivation, and health tips. I am currently in my 4th year of university for architecture school, and will be doing my Master's next year. If you want to know more about my health journey and myself, make sure to check out the "About Me" tab at the top of the page.

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