Bone Matters | Wesley Mission School for Seniors

It was my honour and pleasure to be holding this holiday workshop for the students at Wesley Mission’s School for Seniors.  My heart was so full after today’s workshop as I saw happy souls walk away with courage and confidence in themselves both inside and out! Well done to all the speakers today and also the seniors for showing up! 

It’s a common misunderstanding that bones are like ‘dead matter’. That time is your bones’ worst enemy and that there is NOTHING you can do about it. 

Well, that’s NOT entirely true. In fact, bones are ALIVE and far more than the common misbelief. If they are alive, it means they need care! 

Bones are organs and continue to rebuild until you die. It’s just that their growth slows down as you age. As you age, bones do lose their strength (also measured as Bone Mass Density), which is why older people are more prone to breaking their bones. And even more frequent in female than in males. However, with dedicated care, you can prevent rapid loss of bone mass and even make changes to your (perhap, rigid) posture. Age is no limitation! 

For this workshop today, my audience was senior people all over 55+. The goal of the session was to help them understand that we are not ‘withering’ away with brittle bones. In contrary, the goal is to help them learn how about bone density, techniques to increase bone mass (particularly using yoga) and how correct postural alignment can be achieved over time. 

I’m not going to share the presentation on this blog post but for those who are interested, send me an email for further information. 

Some key takeaways from the session:

1. There are 206 bones in a fully grown adult body, representing 15-20% of body weight. 

2. Our body is continuously removing OLD bone and replacing it with NEW bone through a process called ‘remodelling’, all throughout our lives. 

3. Starting as early as 40 years old, the replacement of new bone becomes SLOWER than the removing. This is when bone mass density (BMD) starts decreasing. 

4. BMD is the highest between 20-45 years old with men having both larger and stronger bones than women. 

5. Women experience more rapid drop in BMD during their menopause years due to hormonal changes that stagnates the the speed of bone remodelling. 

4. Increasing BMD is important all throughout our lives through a healthy diet and exercise.

5. Yoga is a great way to increase bone density for the senior population due to its gentle and weight-bearing nature of the physical activities. ^However, please note that common ageing osteo or rheumatoid dysfunctions can have implications on the types of yoga poses one should avoid or practise. It’s is highly recommended that you work with a trained yoga therapies for a tailored yoga program and get clearance from a certified medical practitioner. 

6.  The recommended calcium intake for women over 45 is 1200mg and for men over 45 is 1000mg. Vitamin D is 1000ug for both groups. A common practise is to “increase” the calcium through taking calcium oral supplements. In a healthy diet for this population should see enough of calcium intake. So, it’s best to check with your doctor (drawing bloods) to see whether supplementation is required. Meanwhile Vitamin D may be the more prominent mineral that is lacking to help with bone growth, seeing the need for supplement intake.

7. Last but not least, we spent much time discussing the important of our anatomical alignment. How our muscles will naturally recruit the correct ones and find balance when we are able to bring ourselves closer to alignment. For most people, perfect alignment is not possible. In fact, I personally believe we all suffer from some sort of chronic holding pattern. But being constantly aware of anatomical alignment properties helps us identify chronic issues we may be experiencing and alleviating symptoms of them. 

8. Final note, we can trust that the bones will dry but the spirit never does. Therefore, remember always:

“A joyful heart is good medicine but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. ” ~ Proverbs 17:22

Resources:

Advertisements

Chair Yoga at Wesley Mission

Thank you, Wesley Mission! Let’s all ‪#‎growyoung‬!

I walked into class last week when the Program Coordinator said to me, “Jo, we have some folks from the team coming to film you later to share your experience. Is that ok?” (Something like that).
In my mind immediately.. “Whooooaaa? What am I wearing? Do I look ok today??”
“Of course, sure!” I responded, all awhile convincing myself I will be fine.
Then it dawned on me… Why do I do what I do? It’s not about me… It’s about community and helping others and if I stay true to that, all will take shape. Relax, Jo. Chill out.
And as it turns out, it was super fun! And thank you to the amazing team at Wesley for allowing me to be part of this #growyoung movement. All I ask is that I will be reminded in my senior years of ageing gracefully, too.

Yoga for Fibromyalgia | Yoga Therapy

I don’t know anyone who suffers from Fibromyalgia but I know this disorder well through research.  There was a stage in life when I was in deep depression and I researched on nights on end on my symptoms associated with depression.  Many of those symptoms pointed towards either Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.   I was so convinced that I was suffering from either from my constant physical pains and ailments that I almost did not believe my doctor’s diagnosis that I was simply suffering from depression and its manifestation into physical ailments.   So, whilst I’m no sufferer, I’ve got a glimpse of what it could look like.  Whilst there’s no cure, I’m hopeful that this piece here can help! Leave me a comment with your feedback.

SPECIFIC ISSUE
Fibromyalgia

fibromyalgia-symptom-graphicAffecting about 2-5% of the population; mostly women and tends to develop during middle adulthood, fibromyalgia sufferers experience heightened pain sensations together with some or more symptoms such as chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain, muscle stiffness, fatigue, disturbed sleep and impaired neurocognitive abilities.   The disorder is diagnosed with a series of tests.  A common diagnostic tool used for fibromyalgia is the 18 point test – a check on certain points of the body for pain [11/18 usually signifies the need for further pathological tests such as X’rays or blood tests].  Causes of fibromyalgia are not clear but physical trauma or significant psychological stresses (depression, anxiety) or genetics can all be contributing factors that lead to the body’s ‘change’ in processing ‘pain’ from the spinal cord to the brain.  Researchers believe it to be a result of an abnormal increase in the pain-signalling neurotransmitters together with the brain’s pain receptors developing a memory to the pain threshold and overreacting).

THE BENEFITS OF YOGA FOR THIS ISSUE (SYMPTOM CONTROL)
There is no cure for fibromyalgia but treatment can provide symptom relief.  Yoga is helpful for fibromyalgia sufferers to help with pain management, relieve muscle stiffness, manage stress and regulate sleep.

  1. Stress aggravates the symptoms of fibromyalgia.  The deep breathing and breath work techniques in yoga calms the mind and allows the body to learn how to cope with anxiety and stress.
  2. Deep breathing also helps with pain management.
  3. The meditation and mindfulness practices can help with impaired concentration or the ‘fibre fog’.
  4. The yoga poses/exercises can help stretch out the muscles and alleviate muscle stiffness, also helping with regulating the sleep.
  5. Lastly, Holy Yoga is much more than just the yoga.  Seeking God and His grace is an important part to receiving healing from Him.  So, prayer and meditation on the Scriptures play a critical role in Holy Yoga’s therapy program to deliver peace and healing.
CONTRAINDICATIONS
  1. If professional medical practitioner has advised against yoga.
  2. If there are any sharp pains while doing yoga poses, stop immediately.  Consult your yoga therapist to ensure the poses have been carried out correctly and if the sharp pain persists every time you get into a pose, stop and seek medical practitioner’s advice.
15-30 MINUTE FLOW
1. Easy seated (Somatic Method -> Listen to your breath, Watch your belly rise and fall, Lengthen and deepen breaths)
2. Neck rolls
3. Lateral neck stretches
4. Seated spinal twist
5. Cow face pose but with Eagle arms
6. Seated Bound Angle/Butterfly pose
7. Extended Childs Pose
8. Son Salutation with Open Side Angle and Triangle Pose
9. Lying on back -> Knees to Chest
10. Happy Baby
10. Reclined pigeon
11. Corpse Pose -> Final Resting Position

SOURCES & RESEARCH

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibromyalgia#Exercise
  2. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fibromyalgia/basics/definition/con-20019243
  3. http://www.arthritisvic.org.au/Conditions-and-Symptoms/Fibromyalgia
  4. http://www.yogajournal.com/article/health/pain-reliever/http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19632546
  5. http://www.wikihow.com/Heal-Fibromyalgia-Naturally
  6. http://www.racgp.org.au/afp/2013/october/fibromylagia/
  7. http://www.doyouyoga.com/8-yoga-poses-for-fibromyalgia/
  8. https://yogainternational.com/article/view/the-art-of-surrender-yoga-fibromyalgia
  9. http://www.fibromyalgiahope.com/fibromyalgia-and-yoga.html

*Disclaimer:

These suggestions offered in the Grace x Strength With LoveJosephine yoga classes or therapy programs on www.lovejosephine.com are not intended to replace medical recommendations by your medical practitioners. It is highly recommended and, in most cases, essential that you stay compliant to the treatment advice given by a western medical professional. The suggestions and educational resource offered by Grace x Strength With LoveJosephine on www.lovejosephine.com are meant to be observed and used in conjunction with medical treatment. Neither the therapy programs nor yoga classes are designed nor recommended to replace medical treatment.

The resources offered here are intended to complement and support the medical treatment targeting the specified issue, with the goal of enhancing the well-being of the patient.

Yoga for Fibromyalgia | Holy Yoga Therapy

I don’t know anyone who suffers from Fibromyalgia but I know this disorder well through research.  There was a stage in life when I was in deep depression and I researched on nights on end on my symptoms associated with depression.  Many of those symptoms pointed towards either Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.   I was so convinced that I was suffering from either from my constant physical pains and ailments that I almost did not believe my doctor’s diagnosis that I was simply suffering from depression and its manifestation into physical ailments.   So, whilst I’m no sufferer, I’ve got a glimpse of what it could look like.  Whilst there’s no cure, I’m hopeful that this piece here can help! Leave me a comment with your feedback.

SPECIFIC ISSUE
Fibromyalgia

fibromyalgia-symptom-graphicAffecting about 2-5% of the population; mostly women and tends to develop during middle adulthood, fibromyalgia sufferers experience heightened pain sensations together with some or more symptoms such as chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain, muscle stiffness, fatigue, disturbed sleep and impaired neurocognitive abilities.   The disorder is diagnosed with a series of tests.  A common diagnostic tool used for fibromyalgia is the 18 point test – a check on certain points of the body for pain [11/18 usually signifies the need for further pathological tests such as X’rays or blood tests].  Causes of fibromyalgia are not clear but physical trauma or significant psychological stresses (depression, anxiety) or genetics can all be contributing factors that lead to the body’s ‘change’ in processing ‘pain’ from the spinal cord to the brain.  Researchers believe it to be a result of an abnormal increase in the pain-signalling neurotransmitters together with the brain’s pain receptors developing a memory to the pain threshold and overreacting).

THE BENEFITS OF YOGA FOR THIS ISSUE (SYMPTOM CONTROL)
There is no cure for fibromyalgia but treatment can provide symptom relief.  Yoga is helpful for fibromyalgia sufferers to help with pain management, relieve muscle stiffness, manage stress and regulate sleep.

  1. Stress aggravates the symptoms of fibromyalgia.  The deep breathing and breath work techniques in yoga calms the mind and allows the body to learn how to cope with anxiety and stress.
  2. Deep breathing also helps with pain management.
  3. The meditation and mindfulness practices can help with impaired concentration or the ‘fibre fog’.
  4. The yoga poses/exercises can help stretch out the muscles and alleviate muscle stiffness, also helping with regulating the sleep.
  5. Lastly, Holy Yoga is much more than just the yoga.  Seeking God and His grace is an important part to receiving healing from Him.  So, prayer and meditation on the Scriptures play a critical role in Holy Yoga’s therapy program to deliver peace and healing.
CONTRAINDICATIONS
  1. If professional medical practitioner has advised against yoga.
  2. If there are any sharp pains while doing yoga poses, stop immediately.  Consult your yoga therapist to ensure the poses have been carried out correctly and if the sharp pain persists every time you get into a pose, stop and seek medical practitioner’s advice.
15-30 MINUTE FLOW
1. Easy seated (Somatic Method -> Listen to your breath, Watch your belly rise and fall, Lengthen and deepen breaths)
2. Neck rolls
3. Lateral neck stretches
4. Seated spinal twist
5. Cow face pose but with Eagle arms
6. Seated Bound Angle/Butterfly pose
7. Extended Childs Pose
8. Son Salutation with Open Side Angle and Triangle Pose
9. Lying on back -> Knees to Chest
10. Happy Baby
10. Reclined pigeon

11. Corpse Pose -> Final Resting Position

SOURCES & RESEARCH

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibromyalgia#Exercise
  2. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fibromyalgia/basics/definition/con-20019243
  3. http://www.arthritisvic.org.au/Conditions-and-Symptoms/Fibromyalgia
  4. http://www.yogajournal.com/article/health/pain-reliever/http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19632546
  5. http://www.wikihow.com/Heal-Fibromyalgia-Naturally
  6. http://www.racgp.org.au/afp/2013/october/fibromylagia/
  7. http://www.doyouyoga.com/8-yoga-poses-for-fibromyalgia/
  8. https://yogainternational.com/article/view/the-art-of-surrender-yoga-fibromyalgia
  9. http://www.fibromyalgiahope.com/fibromyalgia-and-yoga.html
*Disclaimer:
These suggestions offered in the Holy Yoga With LoveJosephine yoga classes or therapy programs on www.lovejosephine.com are not intended to replace medical recommendations by your medical practitioners. It is highly recommended and, in most cases, essential that you stay compliant to the treatment advice given by a western medical professional.The suggestions and educational resource offered by Holy Yoga with LoveJosephine on www.lovejosephine.com are meant to be observed and used in conjunction with medical treatment. Neither the therapy programs nor yoga classes are designed nor recommended to replace medical treatment.
The resources offered here are intended to complement and support the medical treatment targeting the specified issue, with the goal of enhancing the well-being of the patient.

Yoga for Menopause | Yoga Therapy

Every week, I teach a seniors class and have a class full of mostly women well into or past their menopausal years.  Whilst there are still years away for me, it’s an extremely interesting and topical subject for me as a yoga therapist surrounded by senior women students and interacting daily with my mother who is currently experiencing symptoms.  I hope this is somewhat insightful to you, whether it’s you or a family member going through the unpleasant symptoms of menopause.

SPECIFIC ISSUE

Menopause
 menopause-depression-stress
Up to 70% of women experience menopausal symptoms during menopause which can last up to 10 years; although there are outliers which may extend beyond this duration.  Menopause can start as early as 40 years but most commonly experience in mid 40’s or 50’s – with the most commonly sighted average being 51 years.
Menopause occurs because of the sharp decrease of estradiol and progesterone production by the ovaries.   The rapid decrease in circulating estradiol levels at menopause impacts many tissues, from brain to skin.  Whether directly related to the lowered levels of oestrogen or not (contradicting research results), many women claim to experience hot flushes and other common symptoms such as:
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headaches, dizziness
  • Lower sex drive
  • Fatigue
  • Dry skin, itchy skin
  • Weight gain
  • Vaginal dryness; discomfort during sex
  • Mild loss of bladder control, frequent urinary urgency, incontinence
  • Disturbed sleeping, night sweats
  • Psychological symptoms e.g. depression, anxiety, inability to concentrate, mood swings, loss of self-esteem
THE BENEFITS OF YOGA FOR THIS ISSUE (SYMPTOM CONTROL)
In one study, yoga cut hot flashes by 31% and other research has found that regular yoga practise improved libido, mood   and craving control. [1]
Many menopausal women agree that heat, anxiety, stress and fatigue often bring on or intensify hot flushes.  Gentle yoga poses and practising mindfulness meditation can help sedate the sympathetic nervous system, in turn, allowing the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) to take over.  The PNS slows the heart rate and brings the body’s systems back into balance.
Gentle inversion poses can sometimes help with insomnia to alleviate anxiety.  When done with restorative poses, the body can feel at rest.
Heart/Chest opening poses, such as Bridge pose or Supported Reclined Bound Angle, can help with lifting the spirit and opening up the emotional blockages such as depression and mood swings, with the overall effect of rejuvenation and fighting off fatigue.
Root lock (Mula Bandha) helps regain the control of the urinary urgency and frequencies.  Even just the bringing awareness to muscle groups and help manage the symptoms.
The breath work and meditation, particularly in Holy Yoga’s biblical intentions, will help with concentration and centering the mind’s focus,  lifting the ‘fogginess’ often experienced in hormonal fluctuations.

Biblical meditations on what The Word has to say about dealing with each of the menopausal symptoms is the most powerful tools in managing menopause.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  1. If professional medical practitioner has advised against yoga.
  2. If there are any sharp pains while doing yoga poses, stop immediately.  Consult your yoga therapist to ensure the poses have been carried out correctly and if the sharp pain persists every time you get into a pose, stop and seek medical practitioner’s advice.
  3. If suffering from degenerative bone dysfunctions, such as osteoporosis and/or osteoarthritis, or spinal dysfunctions, such as kyphosis or lordosis, ensure there is physician’s clearance before doing yoga.  Pay kind attention to reclining poses and let yoga instructor know of  any known pains.
  4. If there are any blood pressure issues, take care in getting into poses wear the head is positioned below the heart vertically, e.g. forward fold and downward dog
15-30 MINUTE FLOW
1. Easy seated (10 sets of breaths relaxed, 3 sets of breath in Mula Bandha)
2. Mountain
3. Forward fold
4. Mountain with cactus arms -> Mini back bend
5. Childs Pose
6. Downward Facing Dog
7. Bridge
8. Plow/Shoulder stand/Legs up the wall
9. Happy Baby
10. Spinal Twist

11. Supported Reclined Bound Angle Pose

SOURCES & RESEARCH

  1. http://www.prevention.com/fitness/yoga/10-yoga-poses-to-relieve-menopause-symptoms
  2. http://www.yogajournal.com/article/health/the-graceful-change/
  3. http://www.replens.com/FAB-Blog/Fighting-Vaginal-Dryness/23/Menopause-FAQs-When-It-Start-How-Long-Does-It-Last.aspx
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menopause#Signs_and_symptoms
  5. http://www.34-menopause-symptoms.com/articles/qa-what-happens-to-my-hormones-during-menopause.htm
  6. http://www.34-menopause-symptoms.com/treatments.htm
  7. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/05/yoga-for-menopause-7-pose_n_2991865.html
  8. http://www.fitnessnetwork.com.au/resources-library/yoga-and-menopause

*Disclaimer:
These suggestions offered in the Grace x Strength With LoveJosephine yoga classes or therapy programs on www.lovejosephine.com are not intended to replace medical recommendations by your medical practitioners. It is highly recommended and, in most cases, essential that you stay compliant to the treatment advice given by a western medical professional. The suggestions and educational resource offered by Grace x Strength With LoveJosephine on www.lovejosephine.com are meant to be observed and used in conjunction with medical treatment. Neither the therapy programs nor yoga classes are designed nor recommended to replace medical treatment.

The resources offered here are intended to complement and support the medical treatment targeting the specified issue, with the goal of enhancing the well-being of the patient.

Yoga for Menopause | Holy Yoga Therapy

Every week, I teach a seniors class and have a class full of mostly women well into or past their menopausal years.  Whilst there are still years away for me, it’s an extremely interesting and topical subject for me as a yoga therapist surrounded by senior women students and interacting daily with my mother who is currently experiencing symptoms.  I hope this is somewhat insightful to you, whether it’s you or a family member going through the unpleasant symptoms of menopause.

SPECIFIC ISSUE

Menopause
 menopause-depression-stress
Up to 70% of women experience menopausal symptoms during menopause which can last up to 10 years; although there are outliers which may extend beyond this duration.  Menopause can start as early as 40 years but most commonly experience in mid 40’s or 50’s – with the most commonly sighted average being 51 years.
Menopause occurs because of the sharp decrease of estradiol and progesterone production by the ovaries.   The rapid decrease in circulating estradiol levels at menopause impacts many tissues, from brain to skin.  Whether directly related to the lowered levels of oestrogen or not (contradicting research results), many women claim to experience hot flushes and other common symptoms such as:
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headaches, dizziness
  • Lower sex drive
  • Fatigue
  • Dry skin, itchy skin
  • Weight gain
  • Vaginal dryness; discomfort during sex
  • Mild loss of bladder control, frequent urinary urgency, incontinence
  • Disturbed sleeping, night sweats
  • Psychological symptoms e.g. depression, anxiety, inability to concentrate, mood swings, loss of self-esteem
THE BENEFITS OF YOGA FOR THIS ISSUE (SYMPTOM CONTROL)
In one study, yoga cut hot flashes by 31% and other research has found that regular yoga practise improved libido, mood   and craving control. [1]
Many menopausal women agree that heat, anxiety, stress and fatigue often bring on or intensify hot flushes.  Gentle yoga poses and practising mindfulness meditation can help sedate the sympathetic nervous system, in turn, allowing the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) to take over.  The PNS slows the heart rate and brings the body’s systems back into balance.
Gentle inversion poses can sometimes help with insomnia to alleviate anxiety.  When done with restorative poses, the body can feel at rest.
Heart/Chest opening poses, such as Bridge pose or Supported Reclined Bound Angle, can help with lifting the spirit and opening up the emotional blockages such as depression and mood swings, with the overall effect of rejuvenation and fighting off fatigue.
Root lock (Mula Bandha) helps regain the control of the urinary urgency and frequencies.  Even just the bringing awareness to muscle groups and help manage the symptoms.
The breath work and meditation, particularly in Holy Yoga’s biblical intentions, will help with concentration and centering the mind’s focus,  lifting the ‘fogginess’ often experienced in hormonal fluctuations.

Biblical meditations on what The Word has to say about dealing with each of the menopausal symptoms is the most powerful tools in managing menopause.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  1. If professional medical practitioner has advised against yoga.
  2. If there are any sharp pains while doing yoga poses, stop immediately.  Consult your yoga therapist to ensure the poses have been carried out correctly and if the sharp pain persists every time you get into a pose, stop and seek medical practitioner’s advice.
  3. If suffering from degenerative bone dysfunctions, such as osteoporosis and/or osteoarthritis, or spinal dysfunctions, such as kyphosis or lordosis, ensure there is physician’s clearance before doing yoga.  Pay kind attention to reclining poses and let yoga instructor know of  any known pains.
  4. If there are any blood pressure issues, take care in getting into poses wear the head is positioned below the heart vertically, e.g. forward fold and downward dog
15-30 MINUTE FLOW
1. Easy seated (10 sets of breaths relaxed, 3 sets of breath in Mula Bandha)
2. Mountain
3. Forward fold
4. Mountain with cactus arms -> Mini back bend
5. Childs Pose
6. Downward Facing Dog
7. Bridge
8. Plow/Shoulder stand/Legs up the wall
9. Happy Baby
10. Spinal Twist

11. Supported Reclined Bound Angle Pose

SOURCES & RESEARCH

  1. http://www.prevention.com/fitness/yoga/10-yoga-poses-to-relieve-menopause-symptoms
  2. http://www.yogajournal.com/article/health/the-graceful-change/
  3. http://www.replens.com/FAB-Blog/Fighting-Vaginal-Dryness/23/Menopause-FAQs-When-It-Start-How-Long-Does-It-Last.aspx
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menopause#Signs_and_symptoms
  5. http://www.34-menopause-symptoms.com/articles/qa-what-happens-to-my-hormones-during-menopause.htm
  6. http://www.34-menopause-symptoms.com/treatments.htm
  7. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/05/yoga-for-menopause-7-pose_n_2991865.html
  8. http://www.fitnessnetwork.com.au/resources-library/yoga-and-menopause
*Disclaimer:
These suggestions offered in the Holy Yoga With LoveJosephine yoga classes or therapy programs on www.lovejosephine.com are not intended to replace medical recommendations by your medical practitioners. It is highly recommended and, in most cases, essential that you stay compliant to the treatment advice given by a western medical professional.The suggestions and educational resource offered by Holy Yoga with LoveJosephine on www.lovejosephine.com are meant to be observed and used in conjunction with medical treatment. Neither the therapy programs nor yoga classes are designed nor recommended to replace medical treatment.
The resources offered here are intended to complement and support the medical treatment targeting the specified issue, with the goal of enhancing the well-being of the patient.

Yoga for Bulimia | Yoga Therapy

img_1467-1
[Edit: A few readers have been curious as to what inspired this post.  Usually for all my other therapy posts, I have a little blurb to introduce it.  And for this post, I had originally left it blank.  Why?  Because I wasn’t so sure I was comfortable in publicly posting this where it will be forever shared on the Internet.  Because I still carry a shadow of shame for my years suffering from bulimia and body image issues.  So I decided to leave it blank.  I’m not lying if I’m not saying, right?
But with a sigh of relief, I’ve been encouraged to share this.  I did. I was once a sufferer of both anorexia and then, recovering from that, bulimia.  On and off for 10 years.  But God worked His miracles, as He always does and He healed me.  Healing wasn’t easy but if you believe it will happen, it will.
Now that I’ve revealed this.  I can probably conjure up enough courage to share a little more but in another post.  All this post is about is how Holy Yoga CAN actually help in the journey of eating order recovery. And yes, I know how this feels.]
SPECIFIC ISSUE
BulimiaTHE BENEFITS OF YOGA FOR THIS ISSUE (SYMPTOM CONTROL)

Particularly for sufferers of eating disorders, yoga can help relieve and bring healing to the sufferers.  Here we narrow the study into Bulimics – characterised by those who consuming large amounts of foods in a short amount of time, following by ‘purging’ either through self-induced vomiting or the use of laxatives, commonly resulting from an overwhelming sense of guilt and fear of gaining weight after the excessive food intake.  Bulimics are frequently associated with other mental disorders such as anxiety and depression.
A *study carried out in Australia showed that bulimics who engaged in a 12-week yoga program self-reported reductions in binge eating and increased their physical activity, and a small number of them saw reductions in BMI.
Firstly, the spiritual benefits of Holy Yoga for relieving bulimic tendencies is to help the sufferers find peace and comfort in Christ.  Starting from this pivotal change in belief can help bulimics realise or reduce the need to ‘purge’ after a binge-eating session through acceptance.  From there, they may find it easy to start relying on God’s grace and love for comfort in lieu of the need a ‘binge’ for comfort and satisfaction.
Different breathing techniques adapted to individual circumstances can help the sufferer learn to cope with anxiety.  Through deep breathing, which sends signals to the brain for the body to relax, it gives the sufferers an opportunity to reflect and face the root causes of their eating disorder instead of escaping them.  By addressing the deep-seated issues which are causing the disorders does the sufferer stand a chance of healing and recovering in a sustainable way.
Deep stretching and staying in a certain challenging yoga poses can help bulimics understand and deal with managing temptation.  By training the brain and body to find ways of adapting to a challenging situation, a bulimic can learn the techniques and coping mechanisms to manage the next bout of ‘binge’ temptation.

Most importantly, Holy Yoga promotes the importance of handing over the willingness to be healed over to God than the ‘willpower’ of our selves to change the habit, addiction or disorder.  Perhaps that willpower was the very culprit that got the bulimic into the disorder in the first place.  So, trusting the willpower is a risky choice.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

1. If diagnosed by medical practitioner as to having low blood pressure, avoid any reclining positions.
2. If suffering from reflux, avoid any poses that inverts the upper body such as standing forward fold.

3. If BMI is under a healthy range and protruding bones are causing pain in certain poses, seek advice from yoga therapist on how to modify poses or whether it is safe to participate.

15-30 MINUTE FLOW

1. Easy seated (Somatic Method -> Listen to your breath, Watch your belly rise and fall, Lengthen and deepen breaths)
2. Double pigeon -> Fold forward (Left & Right)
3. Easy seated (Somatic Method -> Clench fists/Release, Shrug shoulders/Relax ->  1 set of breath each -> Feel the difference)
4. Seated forward fold (Stay for 5 sets of breaths and resist temptation to ‘get out of the pose’)
5. Seated Open A (Stay for 5 sets of breaths and resist temptation to ‘get out of the pose’)
6. Bow pose (Open up the heart and chest and release any feelings of shame, guilt or anxiety)
7. Extended Childs Pose (Somatic Method -> Don’t ‘try’ just relax -> Imagery on the words ’surrender’ & ‘embracing’)
8. Hero Pose (Somatic Method -> Eyes closed and listen only for 3 sets of breaths)
9. Reclined Hero

10. Final resting in Reclining Supported Bound Angle (rolled up mat underneath the back at the bottom of the ribs but above the lumbar)

SOURCES & RESEARCH

  1. http://www.yogajournal.com/article/eating-disorders/truth-yoga-eating-disorders/
  2. http://www.sonima.com/yoga/yoga-eating-disorders/
  3. http://www.empowher.com/bulimia-nervosa/content/anorexics-bulimics-binge-eaters-yoga-can-help-studies-say
  4. *Study – 2009 School of Health and Social Development, Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing and Behavioural Sciences, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Victoria 3125, Australia- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19632546
  5. http://www.researchgate.net/publication/245537044_A_systematic_review_of_physical_therapy_interventions_for_patients_with_anorexia_and_bulemia_nervosa
  6. http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-6070/How-Yoga-Helped-Me-Recover-From-an-Eating-Disorder.html

*Disclaimer:
These suggestions offered in the Holy Yoga With LoveJosephine yoga classes or therapy programs on www.lovejosephine.com are not intended to replace medical recommendations by your medical practitioners. It is highly recommended and, in most cases, essential that you stay compliant to the treatment advice given by a western medical professional.
The suggestions and educational resource offered by Holy Yoga with LoveJosephine on www.lovejosephine.com are meant to be observed and used in conjunction with medical treatment. Neither the therapy programs nor yoga classes are designed nor recommended to replace medical treatment.

The resources offered here are intended to complement and support the medical treatment targeting the specified issue, with the goal of enhancing the well-being of the patient.