If You're Chronically Ill, You Might Be Interested In Spoonie Yoga

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Yoga geared for chronically ill bodies can make a world of difference.

What is Spoonie Yoga?

To know understand what spoonie yoga is, first you have to understand what spoon theory is. It was a concept that Christine Miserandino, a chronically ill woman, came up with in an attempt to explain the fatigue and exhaustion that accompany chronic illness to a healthy friend. You can read more about it here.

After the analogy became popular, chronically ill people began to call themselves spoonies. Despite having different conditions, calling yourself a spoonie was a way to show show solidarity to other people with similar life experiences, dealing with ableism, accessibility, family problems as a result of illness, and so much more.

Spoonie yoga is an offshoot of the spoonie community, a form of accessible yoga geared towards people are often unable to participate in regular yoga classes due to strength, fatigue, joint problems, and more. Much of the time, spoonie yoga instructors are chronically ill or disabled themselves and understand what it's like to live in an inaccessible world.

Getting Started!

Before you begin any new exercise routine, especially as a chronically ill or disabled person, it's important to consult your doctor and see what they say. Their insight into your condition could be invaluable and they will know the best way for you to get started.

The Sleepy Santosha offers a free book on spoonie yoga for beginners that is good to look over!

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Check Out:

Sleepy Santosha, a spoonie herself, creates awesome spoonie yoga videos, many you can find for free on YouTube. She also runs the Spoonie Yoga Tribe, an online community with ton of fun perks for less than $20 a month.

Accessible Yoga, an organization that strives to make yoga an attainable practice for everyone. They have a yearly conference that teaches people how to make yoga and yoga studios more accessible, and even have a digital version for those that can't attend.

• Dianne Bondy's Yogasteya: Yoga for All Shapes Sizes and Abilities is an online program that offers many free yoga videos, or you can join her program for $17 a month and get access to hundreds of videos, yoga for bigger bodies, e-courses, and more!

Body Positive Yoga by Amber Karnes focues on yoga that is both accessible and adaptive for "people with bodies of all shapes, sizes, and abilities."

• Dianne Bondy and Amber Karnes together teach Yoga For All, a program designed to teach more yoga instructors how to work with people of different sizes, shapes, and abilities.

• If you live in the Cincinnatti/Northern Kentucky area, you might want to check out the Spoonie Support Tribe. It's run by Kesse, the founder of Change.Yoga, an organization that is "is committed to fostering change within individuals & communities through yoga, mindfulness, & compassionate action."

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Spoonie Yoga Tips

• Never push yourself too far! If something hurts, stop. That is your body's way of telling you that you've gone to far.

• Ease yourself into it. Even people that aren't chronically can't go from zero to 60. It takes time to build up strength and that's okay!

• Take a break if you need to. There's no shame if you need to pause a YouTube video and pause for a moment. No one will know and it isn't like it will reflect badly on you!

• If you're having a flareup of your illness, it's okay to take time off. You have to put your health first!