Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.B.K.S. Iyengar
A couple of months ago, during an Instagram yoga challenge and I heard the term “spoonie yoga” dropped around very non-chalantly, several times in conversation.
I was intrigued.
Luckily I found myself among people who knew and were willing to tell me all about it.
Yogini Rachel Marie White (aka @sleepysantosha who also runs hashtag #yogawithspoonies on Instagram) explains that “Spoonie” is an endearing nickname given to someone who is battling chronic illnesses. It is based on the Spoon Theory by Christine Miseradino, which describes the way people with chronic illness must budget their energy each day (see: http://butyoudontlooksick.com)
My heart connected with it instantly. It seemed like the perfect description of me (I too have to watch my energy, I live with a severe form of hypothyroidism)
What made me happy was that there was a tribe of people on the same path showing the way for others to follow. A whole amazing community of people who were battling all sorts of chronic and autoimmune conditions but were thriving beacause of the inclusion of yoga into their daily lives.
Rachel elaborates that there are some things for spoonies to be a little extra mindful of whilst practicing yoga
- Always, always pay attention to your Breath – holding your breath is often a sign that you have gone too far.
- If something causes you Pain. Stop
- Use Props – they really are your friends.
Rachel: I used to avoid using props in my practice. I thought I was being more minimalistic and more yogic by not using them. But now I realize the opposite is true! Incorporating props is a way to honour the body. I would encourage everyone to try it. Using props can make an otherwise uncomfortable pose suddenly blissful and restorative.
Rachel believes that Restorative practices are the key to developing a sustainable practice. Spoonies absolutely need to include them.
Here are some of her favourite poses for recovery.
(Please note: Images are clickable and will take you to the original Instagram post)
1. Easy Pose or Sukhasana
This is a pose that almost everybody can do. It is a fabulous was to take a quiet moment to reflect and set intentions for the day.
2. Lord or The Fishes Pose or Ardha Matsyendrasana (Gentle Version)
Gentle twists in the middle of my day always help me to feel revitalized, like I’m wringing the fatigue out of my body and the fog out of my brain.
3. Supported Child’s Pose or Balasana
This is an incredible way to reset and feel the stress melt away. You can do the pose either on the floor with support or even seated on a chair.
4. Leg’s Up The Wall Pose or Viparitakarani
Legs up the wall is one of my favorites. It’s so restorative and soothing. This pose in itself is helpful for relieving headaches.
5. Corpse Pose or Savasana
This is the perfect pose to do before bed (or anytime really) bringing the awareness back home to the body and breath.
To connect with Rachel Marie White and learn more about how to manage chronic illness with spoonie yoga visit her website http://sleepysantosha.com
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