Before I was diagnosed, doctors constantly told me that I needed more exercise, it seemed to be their standard, catch all diagnosis. I joined the gym, I swam, I did weights and various exercise classes. I went for private Pilates classes and tried Tai Chi, brought a Wii fit and tried Zumba but none of them made any difference to how I was feeling. I felt good for a while but the reality was nothing made me feel great or eased my Fibro symptoms. The will was most certainly there but the body was definitely not willing.
This time last year, I was just a week away from my 50th birthday and I had decisions to make. I had suffered for 25 years, was I going to suffer in the same way for the next 25? The answer was a resounding and most emphatic NO!! I did my research and found that Yoga and Rebounding (more of that later) was the way to go. So I headed off to see a local yoga teacher who whilst she was happy to teach me privately thought I would benefit from being in a class.
Been there and got the T shirt – classes made me uncomfortable. Some weeks I could cope, others I would be embarrassed when I had to sit out because I really just couldn’t keep up anymore and eventually I left feeling despondent and useless, resigned to my Fibro fate. But not this time!!
I attended my first Yoga class in October 2013 and despite a few wobbles (literally), I stuck at it and persevered. Now I go to class once or maybe twice a week and every morning on waking I head to my yoga mat for just 10 minutes. Those 10 minutes really sets me up for the day and the most important benefit of all is that I do it – I get up and I do it. The sense of achievement is fantastic and makes me feel less of a fibro victim.
Yoga is amazing in that you can achieve something with just little and often as opposed to hours of high intensity exercise. Yoga is gentle and allows you to just be for a few minutes. It helps you use your breath to its full capacity and move your body within your limitations.
For me, Yoga started out as a chore but I am so glad that I persevered, now I cannot imagine not having Yoga in my life. I have achieved so much and for somebody who could only reach her knees when she bent down to now being able to touch the floor has proved to me that Fibromyalgia and exercise can co-exist.
If you do nothing else, I urge you to stretch throughout the day. Reach up your arms, stretch out your legs, gently bend or carry out a slight twist. These small movements will send out a huge message to your body that you are not going to sit still and succumb to the aches and pains of Fibromyalgia without a fight. What do you have to loose?