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Yoga for Chronic Fatigue: A Book Review

It isn’t a secret that I adore yoga and meditation as tools for managing the chronic fatigue and pain associated with fibromyalgia.

I read and reviewed Kayla’s first book Yoga for Chronic Pain and loved it, so I was super excited to read her second book Yoga for Chronic Fatigue.

Yoga for chronic fatigue book review

In the first part Kuran explains chronic fatigue, the part the central nervous system is theorized to play and how the parasympathetic nervous system can help:

“When the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, you’ll notice
that:

Digestion improves

Your muscles relax

Your heart rate slows down

You can breathe deeper” part one understanding chronic fatigue syndrome

Interestingly after years practicing my meditation and yoga I have noticed all of these benefits in my daily life – particularly improved digestion and relaxed muscles.

In part three, The Yogic View of Chronic Fatigue, we are introduced to Ayurveda and yoga’s holistic view of health.

Kuran explains complex ideas with clean, concise language such as the theory of the central nervous system’s part in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and yogic components such as Ayurveda.

Step three goes through mindfulness as a tool for healing. (Which I am super passionate about!)

Step four discusses using the breath as an energy source, “Pranayama can increase your fitness and energy levels – without getting out of bed!”

Step five is the actual yoga! Kuran provides a more active routine, a gentle restorative routine and discusses yoga Nidra.

“Like other forms of meditation, yoga Nidra helps release serotonin and decrease cortisol which lowers your stress response.” I adore yoga Nidra and it’s a vital part of my coping when I’m tired, especially when I have tiny babies and am not sleeping much at night – so I always enjoy learning more about it.

I loved the suggestion that even in a flare up we can do yoga. Practicing yoga doesn’t mean a big routine or even physical movement – Kuran points out that even visualizing yourself doing yoga poses can be useful. A breathing practice while lying in bed is sufficient. This makes yoga such a useful tool for those fighting chronic fatigue – its adaptability.

If you enact the action points suggested at the end of each step you will be a long way toward a holistic healing process.

I highly recommend this book and yoga if you struggle with chronic fatigue.

Get your reading on

Purchase your copy from Amazon here. (Affiliate link: Please note that if you make a purchase using my link, I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you).

If you love reading like me try Amazon Kindle Unlimited Membership – you can try your first month free and access unlimited reading or listening on any device! They now have magazines too! It’s also available for those of us who use Amazon.com.au *squee*.

If audio books are more your speed, as they are for me with three little ones, you know you can get a free trial of Audible on Amazon here. I’ve recently started reading a lot more audio books as the hands free option is far easier to access with the wee ones. You will get access to two audio books, plus two Audible Originals, and other cool membership options for 30 days. Cancel anytime if you don’t want the full subscription.

Yoga for chronic fatigue

See my review of Kayla’s first book!

Join us for this special course to utilise mindfulness and meditation in your journey.

Mindfulness for the chronic life

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Mindful Parenting with Fibromyalgia: Mindfully Parenting While Fighting Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue and Insomnia

I was so frustrated that they had woken the baby again that I yelled. I yelled so loudly I am sure the neighbour was sorry the baby was awake. My heart rate rose, my headache was exacerbated and I felt terrible. The boys didn’t mind because they were used to periodically top blowing. This was not mindful parenting.

And then it clicked for me.

Mindfulness for our parenting journey with chronic pain and fatigue`

I am a Fibromyalgia and Mindfulness Coach. I have learnt and teach others to utilise mindfulness and meditation in their fight against chronic pain, chronic fatigue, insomnia, anxiety and overwhelm. But what about utilising this knowledge in my daily life? What about using it to help not only myself but my kids?

I dug into the research. As I do.

I found this article, “Analyses showed that parents who reported more mindful parenting engaged in more positive and less negative parenting behavior, which was then linked to more positive behavior in their kids—meaning less anxiety, depression, and acting out.”

So what are the characteristics of a mindful parent?

Attentive
Non judging
Non reacting

It means managing our responses – emotions and behaviours – so that our children learn to manage theirs also.

This can be tricky when we face chronic, all day, every day pain, fatigue and insomnia.

If you wanted to practice a five day challenge for yourself here are the days:

My Mindfulness through Chronic pain and fatigue challenge

Your Free Breathing Practices

Find your one minute breathing practice – to use the calming breath from day one here.

Find your five minute breathing practice – to use in day five here.

Mindfulness for the Chronic Life

I added a module specifically on mindful parenting to my Mindfulness and Meditation for the Chronic Life: Mindfulness and Meditation to help Chronic Pain, Fatigue, Insomnia, Anxiety and Overwhelm running from 1 June. So now it’s nine weeks of content to help you utilise mindfulness in your chronic life!

Mindfulness for the chronic life

You can get in on my free Mindfulness for the Chronic Life Workshop here.

I’d be so delighted to have you join us!

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Yoga for Fibromyalgia: A Giant Introduction with Links

No Type “yoga for Fibromyalgia” into Google and you will find a wealth of information trails to follow.yoga-20647_640

Countless blogs and articles cover the benefits of yoga, meditation and mindfulness for people with Fibromyalgia.

The crossover of yoga into the Western world has resulted in a more mainstream practice and scientific research backing up what practitioners have known for years.

There’s even research that has found encouraging correlations between regular yoga practice and decreases in pain, fatigue and sleep problems.

The Yoga for Fibromyalgia Podcast Video

The yoga for those with Fibromyalgia is relatively relaxing and breath-focused. Restorative yoga is highly recommended.

A sequence I created with a yoga instructor has given me the basis for regular practice, with modifications for days where I haven’t the energy or pain levels to cope with a full sequence and for days when I feel I can push a little further.

I have some gentle, restorative poses that I enact naturally. Especially legs on a chair and child’s pose.

After more than a decade of learning to live well with Fibromyalgia, perhaps the most valuable learning I possess is the ability to tune in to my body. I am constantly analysing what works, what doesn’t, what’s causing what pain, what helps which body parts.

I bring this into my yoga journey, which has had ebbs and flows over the amount of time I’ve dealt with the pain.

This article is a free downloadable PDF in my Resources page. Sign up here to find it.

The value of yoga for a body with pain and fatigue can be found in:

  • The awareness of what you are doing with your body in each pose, consciously engaging the correct muscles, taking the correct stretch or benefit on offer.
  • The basis of the breath. Breathing is key to yoga and to accessing the parasympathetic nervous system. Even the stretches encourage full use of the breath, offering relaxation benefits to stretches.
  • The invitation to be outside of usual mind chatter. It’s so easy to be lost in the movement, the breath and the experience of the pose.
  • The gentle strengthening. A favoured pose, Downward Facing Dog utilises all the key muscle groups.
  • The ease of fitting practice in. Some days it can be 20 minutes on the mat, engaged in a flowing sequence. Others it can be a few key stretches in snippets of minutes. On yet others it can be one restorative pose for 10 minutes. Corpse pose can be used when sleep is being elusive, with or without a body scan relaxation.

The practice of yoga includes many options and I definitely make use of the tools it offers.

Other posts you might like

Some yoga tools:

Yoga for fibromyalgia my experience research with podcast video

I have been trying to fit Yoga Nidra in more often. I have been struggling with sleep for various reasons and my son has been getting up early and I believe the 20 minute sessions I manage to fit in really help. The other day my fatigue levels were around 5/10 for the rest of the afternoon! Here’s the YouTube video I’ve been using.

My ideal yoga practice would look like this:
Sun salutations first thing, gentle yogic stretches at work, yoga nidra after work and legs on the chair pose in the evening. Or any one of these in a day. I never do all of them.

Perhaps one of the best parts of yoga for Fibromyalgia, is that you can fine tune it to your experience, your day, your mood. If the fatigue is bad and post exertion malaise has been plaguing you, you can choose a few poses and take breaks. If a particular body part has been upset, you can gently stretch all the muscles around it to free it up. If you’re desperate for a break from your mind and it’s constant noise, you can do Yoga Nidra and let the voice take over for a time.

Has anyone else found benefit from yoga practice or parts of it?


I’m so into yoga for Fibromyalgia that I have created a lot of resources about it:

sign up to newsletter

It’s a free report in my Resources page.

It’s a chapter in my book Melissa vs Fibromyalgia

 

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Three Good Things August 17 2015

I’m a member of a Fibromyalgia support and information group on Facebook with an amazing administrator. She introduced me to the concept of Three Good Things.

This concept has really inspired me. On days when I’m past exhausted and in a lot of pain and can’t see beyond that, I force myself to write my Three Good Things in my diary. 97882024561081

This week I want to share Three Good Things as a kind of round up:

1. I’ve settled into the routine of my new job with the baby and conquered the week of my husband’s nightshift. I’ve been exhausted, but I’ve done it!

2. Something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but always found too extravagant, was to have a private yoga session. A very experienced, very excellent yoga teacher helped me to create a modified sun salutation sequence to build my strength and ability back up. I want the stretching, the breathing, the calm and the exercise of the practice. I’m looking forward to fitting it into my week, hopefully three times per week so that I can build up to a whole class. I also got the Yoga Girl book from the library today.

3. Food experiments! I bought a whole free-range chicken on Sunday and roasted it in white wine, salt, pepper, vinegar and paprika. I served that with roast vegetables I cooked with it. On Monday I had a sandwich for lunch with sliced chicken meat. On Monday evening I put the rest of the chicken into the pressure cooker with water, salt, pepper, cumin, tumeric and coriander for an hour. After that I de-boned the chicken and put the meat, stock and vegetables into a saucepan for another hour. I’m feeling very virtuous eating my soup!

I’m mindful of these things to be grateful for (and passionate about). 

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Mindfulness: The Mindfulness Solution to Pain Book and Ruminations

I recently read the book, The Mindfulness Solution to Pain: Step-By-Step Techniques for Chronic Pain Management (2009) by Jackie Gardner-Nix. Katarina from Painfully Aware wrote about it and I decided I needed to check it out!

Affiliate notice: Please note that some of my links may be affiliate links and I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you if you use these links.

One key idea from this book latched onto me and has not let go since. The idea of noticing my pain and, non-judgmentally, taking note of all the details. Where it is, how it feels, what may have caused it.

mindfulness for pain

Through this idea, I have come to understand more and more the separate components of my pain. For example, I know that the pain in my neck and back is probably caused by the overreaction of my muscles to stimulus. Also, there may be a problem in my right shoulder that is causing some of the problems around there.

Edited to add 2019: It is amazing that I noticed this as I learnt in 2017 that my neck pain was caused by myofascial pain syndrome and that was a huge piece of the puzzle!

I have noted an interesting paradox with my leg muscles, they respond most negatively to exercise when they have had a break. Longer periods of exercise do cause more tightness, but it is the getting used to exercise again, even after a one day break that causes the most trouble. So I really need to make an effort to walk or do Pilates every day. Which is not easy with rain, the baby and not much sleep!

I have also noted, more clearly than before, that not enough sleep causes the most problems in my life. When I can get 8-9 hours per night, preferably uninterrupted, I can cope with it all. The pain, the fatigue and the resulting roller coaster of emotions that come with this. When I don’t get enough sleep, for a long time, I spiral. Neck flare ups, more general pain, more deep-in-my-bones fatigue, cold sores, ulcers and lethargy.

The idea of meditation has always appealed, but I have never been any good at the sitting still and focusing on the breathe version. I would take to the five minutes of lying down after yoga practice, happy for the rest after the work. I can enter a mindful, peaceful state while walking and just being. But I don’t just go and meditate.

One afternoon, I had an hour to lie down between finishing work and getting my boy, and I didn’t feel like struggling with myself to have a nap. Falling asleep in the day time, potentially because I use Amitriptyline at night-time to get to sleep, is very difficult. I get frustrated. So instead, I meditated. I breathed, I performed a body scan (mentally checking in with all of my muscles) and rested. I felt very nice afterwards.

One night, after several particularly bad nights with the baby, I found that my neck was too sore and my headache too great to fall asleep. So I attempted visualisation (the concept of visualising my pain receding and the muscles relaxing). I gave it a good effort and found it not to be a useful form of pain relief for me. I took Panadol, waited about 20 minutes and finally, when the medicine took the edge off enough for me, got to sleep.

Mindfulness and the tools that this entails are useful aids for dealing with my pain and help to lessen the effects of the emotions that come with the chronic pain. But they can’t replace medicine when it is bad, or my whole of life wellness plan.

The Mindfulness Solution to Pain is well worth checking out!

If you are interested in using mindfulness for chronic pain and fatigue:

Check out my free workshop