In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
~Albert Schweitzer (Brainy Quote)
Today I have my first guest blogger! :D A friend mentioned her yoga the other day, & knowing she has a heart condition that limits her activities, I thought it would be fitting to have her talk about being active with a serious physical health problem.
I am looking for other guest bloggers to talk about their journey, wherever they are at on it, to be active with mental or physical health challenges, or other issues that put them outside the comfort zone of exercise. If you’re interested in guest blogging, or have a question or something you’d like to see me talk about, I’ve added a contact page at the top.
So let me start with a brief introduction. I’m a friend of our lovely blogger here at My Year To Thrive, and agreed to write a guest post about exercising while disabled.
I have a condition known as Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, which is basically a combination heart and lung disease. I don’t know why I have it or how I got it, and neither do the doctors, (they call that Idiopathic) but life goes on.
Fortunately for me, there are medications and treatments being developed as they discover more and more about this disease. (If you’re interested in learning more about it, there is a lot of easy to understand, good information HERE )
Now that I am on a regimen of medications to keep me stable, I do what I can to keep myself moving. In the past, I have been sick enough that walking around the grocery store was a difficult task, and often used the motorized carts. Now, I have gotten back into good enough condition that I am able to just push a regular cart. While the damage done to my heart has not reversed and never will be, I am at least not suffering from symptoms as badly as I did when I was first diagnosed and in the times before getting up to the medicated state I’m in now. So now I’m able to stay on my feet, do what needs to be done, more often than not, and take care of the things a busy mother needs to take care of.
To help in that, I have just begun doing Yoga. For me it was something that has interested me for a while, and I figured with its reputation for being a soothing and stress relieving practice, I would benefit greatly from it. So far, I have to say that it has been a positive experience. Even though my schedule can be rather erratic and there can sometimes be obstacles to actually getting myself in gear, when I have done it, I’ve always been glad.
I have been taking advantage of my Hulu+ subscription and pulling up episodes of Yoga With A View.
I’ll admit right up front, I’m no yoga savant. I am pretty flexible for my age, but I’m nowhere near as flexible as the instructor on the series! But I don’t let that get in the way. I just do what I can do, stretch as much as my body will let me and don’t beat myself up if I’m not looking like the slender woman showing me all these poses. I also let the soothing vibe she’s trying to create work for me. I kind of shake off tension and just relax into the practice. At the end of that 20 (or so) minutes, I’m always glad I took that time out for myself.
So far, I haven’t been able to make it a regular routine. A boyfriend who sleeps days and works nights would theoretically not be an obstacle, except when he wants you to snuggle with him while he’s sleeping. His best friend being a semi-constant presence is also a bit of a hindrance in a tiny apartment. BUT, I have managed to squeeze at least one practice in since he moved in and as things are becoming more settled, I fully intend to try to do more.
If you find yourself in similar straits, having things that can get in the way, erratic schedules, limited down time, Don’t let those things stand in the way and become excuses! Every day that you can’t, you accept that, and move forward. Then the next day, you try to fit it in. Whether it’s yoga, running or, I don’t know, Prancercise! Try to be kind to yourself and remember that these things make us feel good and to try to fit them in where we can, and love ourselves and forgive ourselves when we can’t.
Speaking for myself, I will add that I do other little things to fit activity into my schedule. While I don’t jog in place in the checkout line at the grocery store or anything mental, I do try to avoid using the electric cart and stay on my feet. I try to do at least a little bit of housework every day, and try not to let myself become embedded into my couch or whatever. Having a boyfriend who is very active and on the go helps with that some. But even without that, walking around a little here and there can help shake off the cobwebs.
Another note is that, I too, suffer from depression and anxiety. I’m medicated for that as well and usually stay pretty stable. But when I drop my basket, I try to be kind to myself as I try to pick things back up. It’s hard enough without beating myself up more. I’ve learned to try to fight those voices that tell you you’re crap and a waste of oxygen and all the rest. Having awesome friends like J has helped a HUGE amount. Hopefully, you have some kind of community/friends/family support behind you as well.
I hope this was helpful or entertaining, or both. Have a great day!
I’m going to close this with a couple of yoga links I found: