yin yoga and lupus

This discussion group is for questions about Yin Yoga and other body parts, such as shoulders, feet, wrists, etc.... Also, this is the place to discuss various conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, etc.
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Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:19 am

yin yoga and lupus

Post by alford »

Does anyone have experience with yin yoga and lupus? In theory, it seems that yin would be a very beneficial practice for someone with lupus, however I know someone who has taken yin a few times and each time it tigers the illness. This yogi has been practicing vinyasa for years, so I'm curious if there is something about a yin practice that could specifically trigger something? Since stress can be a big trigger for lupus, I have a thought that perhaps the longer holds/tension/compression are creating a real stress in the body. I'm also curious about this from an energetic meridian standpoint. Perhaps a yin practice needs to be very gentle and focus on specific meridians. Any thoughts or anyone have experience with this? I know lupus can be different for everyone and a doctor should okay any practice ahead of time, but I'm curious if you think yin could be beneficial?

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Yin Yoga and Lupus

Post by Bernie »

Your basic question is - can Yin Yoga be beneficial for someone with lupus?

Let's first look at what this condition is. The full term is Systemic Lupus Erythamatosus, and it is a malfunctioning of the immune system, leading the body to attack itself. This can manifest as problems in the organs, or in the joints, to the skin ... and many other places. Basically, the immune system starts to attack healthy tissues and inflammation results. The condition is far more common in women than men. Unfortunately there is no known cure for the disease, and treatment offered during flare ups target the inflammation. Flare ups can be triggered by stress, increase in ultraviolet light (too much sun), many different drugs, or even by the approaching menstrual cycle. Symptoms during a flare up include rash, fatigue, muscle soreness, low grade fever, loss of appetite and even hair loss. Eventually, arthritis can develop due to persistent lupus.

But what can we do about this? Because there are so many different presentations to the disease, Western Medicine will have the patient visit many different doctors, however in Traditional Chinese Medicine, lupus is felt to be a form of Liver or Kidney Yin Deficiency and/or Kidney Yang Deficiency syndrome. If so, this could indicate that a Yin Yoga practice that targets the Kidneys could be very good. (There are some Yin Yoga Kidney flows in my books but also in this web site here. Or a Liver practice may work as well.)

Your student has reported that Yin Yoga actually made her feel worse: let's look at that for a minute. If she is practicing during a flare up, then her body is already inflamed. This would mean that increasing stress in her tissues or to her joints may not be wise: the inflammation is already stressing her. Rest is the traditionally prescribed medicine during a flare up - consider restorative yoga then. When she is not suffering a flare up may be the best time for her to do Yin Yoga. During those non-flare up periods, maybe then target the Kidneys to help build Kidney Yin/Yang energy, which in turn will help all the other organs.

Scientists have also found that low-dose dietary supplementation with omega-3 fish oils could help patients with lupus by decreasing disease activity and possibly decreasing heart-disease risk. Certainly diet can play a big part in managing her disease, but she is probably already well aware of that. Another thing she could investigate that she may not be aware of is Earthing. I have written about Earthing before, and I would suggest you read this article. Earthing has been proven very effective at reducing chronic inflammation. Here is one testimonial describing the benefits of Earthing for someone with lupus.

I hope this helps.
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