Yoga for CFS/ME & Lyme ~ Technique

This man was terribly knotted and stressed. You'll be glad to know that after 2 years of dedicated yoga practice he could stand up straight again.


This man was terribly knotted and stressed. You'll be glad to know that after 2 years of dedicated yoga practice he could stand up straight again.

What: Yoga literally means union. I like to see it as a practice that unites body and mind. It involves wearing comfortable clothes, going to some classes to learn the moves, bending, stretching, breathing, meeting interesting people and feeling good. However beneath the surface a whole lot more goes on, all of which lead to you being a more balanced and healthy individual.

Why: There’s a reason Yoga has been practiced for over 5000 years. The general idea is that it is beneficial to mind, body and soul. But on a purely physical level if practiced regularly and with care it can increase strength, blood flow, flexibilty, improves posture, mood and concentration. Plus in time it even makes certain Kama Sutra poses seem a little less impossible.

Specific Tips for CFS/ME

  • I’ve found any posture that causes blood to flow to my head to be very rejuvenating. These poses are called inversions and I find a supported shoulder stand to be best way to relieve a headache.
  • Simply choosing 3 very relaxing poses like the child’s pose, mountain pose and corpse pose is a great way to ease into body no matter how exhausted you feel.
  • Yogic breathing exercises are a great way to kickstart your naps or rests in the afternoon to ensure you don’t just spend the whole time worrying about things.
  • Be extra, super quadruply gentle with yourself. Build up very slowly and think about it as a relaxing practice to connect with the body and breath rather than exercise.

My Experience: Since starting my own Yoga practice 5 years ago it has become a central part of my life. I originally went to a class to address some lower back pain I was experiencing. It helped. Since then I have been to a range of different classes around the world experiencing yoga in its many shapes and sizes.

I see it as a foundation for good health and incorporate a Yoga session into my daily routine whenever I can, often combining it with electronic music and home made dance routines to stretch the different muscle groups. Yoga has taught me more than I could possibly imagine leading me deeply into meditation and spirituality. Often I don’t have enough energy for an intensive practice and have recently found a gentle class specifically designed for people recovering from illness to be very beneficial.

How Much: Aim to go to one class a week until eventually you feel confident to begin your own practice at home. The most important thing to remember is that a good session of yoga takes into account exactly where you are at. Don’t copy the human pretzel next to you, listen to your body, it will know exactly how far and how long to go for. No matter how tired you feel there is a yoga pose you can do that will help you relax and feel that little bit better.


Where to Next? Have you read the 7 Steps to Recovery? .

6 Responses to Yoga for CFS/ME & Lyme ~ Technique
  1. […] to next? Techniques ~ Starting a Yoga practice that will give you back your mornings. 1 Comment – Leave a comment! « Previous Post […]

  2. Gatita
    September 28, 2010 | 8:32 am

    Hi Joe!

    Practicing strength building Yoga leaves me feeling sick the next day. But I have had tremedous benefit from Yoga breathing exercises. Leaves me feeling refreshed and clear headed right away and has long term benefits as well. I plan to do more physical exercices as soon as I am a bit better.

    I am currently on GcMaf treatment and it is working :-)

    • Joe
      March 23, 2011 | 4:40 am

      Hiya Gatita,

      I hear you on the yoga front! I used to be spent after doing a class and it took me ages to learn to properly listen to my body and slow my yoga practice down. The breathing excercises where great for me as well, it really changes you on so many levels as well as giving a clearer stream of energy.

      Great to hear you found some benefit from GcMaf. How is going for you now? I’m considering giving it a shot myself.

  3. […] to Next? – Have you read the 7 Steps to Recovery? Why not throw a little Yoga into the mix? 0 Comments – Leave a comment! « Previous […]

  4. rachel
    May 24, 2014 | 8:06 pm

    Thanks Joe

    • Joe
      August 8, 2014 | 7:34 pm

      No worries Rachel :)

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Welcome! I'm Joe and my vision is to empower people with the knowledge they need to take control of their health. I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/ME) in 2003 and recently added Lyme disease to that diagnosis in 2012. I'm on a path to recovery and I invite you to join me..... P.S. It's best to never take anything I say too seriously. In fact I reckon it's best to never take anything too seriously!