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In this blog post I review an online yoga course that is designed for people with chronic illness. I give my honest views and thoughts on the course and how I found it helped or affected my chronic pain.
The course was given to me free of charge through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network in return for my honest review. The opinions expressed in this post are completely my own based on my own experiences.
Chronically Kind Yoga is a 6 week online yoga and meditation course by Kayla at Aroga Yoga. Kayla says “It gives you the tools to manage your pain and fatigue so you can live a fuller life. It’s about realising your body is not your enemy, it’s your best friend, and it needs to be treated lovingly”.
Kayla knows what it is like to suffer from chronic illness – she was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) when she was just 12 years old.
Kayla studied as a yoga teacher, runs yoga courses and workshops, and is on a mission to help others living with a chronic illness. There are other courses available at Aroga Yoga, so are sure you check those out too.
Taken from the Aroga Yoga website:
Yoga and meditation have been helping people manage illnesses for thousands of years. Modern Yoga is based on an ancient system of spiritual beliefs, and religious, moral and ethical codes. Today, the benefits of Yoga as a health management system has spread yoga all over the world. Yoga is a series of poses, linked together by breath and flowing movements. The aim of yoga is to stretch and strengthen the body while bringing peace to the mind. In my yoga courses, I personally adapt each pose and sequence to target the needs of students suffering from chronic illnesses.
What are the Benefits of Yoga:
People who practice Yoga may experience:
- Increased energy
- Improved sleep (both falling asleep and staying asleep)
- Increased strength, flexibility, and balance
- A decrease in daily stress
- Regulation of your immune system
- Building psychological resiliency
Students of yoga (Kayla included!) have reported help in managing chronic illnesses such as CFS/M.E, Fibromyalgia, insomnia and more.
What’s included in the Chronically Kind Yoga course
You will get:
- Unlimited access to 6 x 1 hour yoga videos, meditation, and breathing exercises
- 6 weeks of daily emails – inspiring and supporting you
- 1 10 to 15 minute yoga practice video each week
- Unlimited email support from Kayla throughout the duration of the course
The course runs once a year and the next one is planned to run in January 2020 so make sure you join the waiting list for the next session! You’ll get lifetime access to all the above once the course starts.
What I liked about this yoga course
Kayla gave a good introductory video of what equipment you needed, and the type of mat and why. I’m the sort of person that likes to understand the reason behind things as it gets me on board more, so this grabbed me straight away.
As well as the weekly yoga video emails, with different options to choose from, Kayla also sent other information about why you are doing what you are doing each week and some background to what yoga is all about. There were also some quotes and inspiration emails which help keep you motivated.
“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” – B.K.S IyengarTaken from the Aroga Yoga website
There was lots of breath work on the course, and I found this to be a good thing. This is something I struggle with when doing yoga, but Kayla explains it very well. I can’t say I mastered it by the end of the course, but it just means I need to do more practice.
Although I didn’t take up the offer, Kayla explains in an email that you can ask questions throughout doing the course, so this makes you feel like you have your very own coach by your side.
I also liked the fact that Kayla references the animals in one of the videos. As soon as I started the week 1 video, my dogs joined me on my yoga mat! I found it quite funny.
I also liked the backgrounds in the videos – it helped create the right environment and mood. And there are simple explanations throughout the videos – such as whether to keep your eyes open or not, and how one side of your body might feel different to the other.
I liked that in the week 2 video, Kayla was wearing a coat. I’ve always been put off from doing yoga as I’ve felt I’ve had to have the right gear.
What I didn’t like about this yoga course
The main thing that I didn’t like about the course was that in some of the videos Kayla seemed quite small in comparison to the background. I couldn’t quite see some of the stuff she was doing, but the good verbal explanation in the audio really helped.
I also found the sessions quite long. My chronic pain meant that I couldn’t always do the full hour, and I could feel my pain getting worse. There is no harm in breaking the course up in to bite-sized chunks though, and making it work for you. I’m pretty sure Kayla even advises splitting up the sequences if you need to.
How much does all this cost?
The course costs $150 USD (£116 GBP at the time I wrote this review), which sounds quite a lot. But don’t forget, you get lifetime access to the course and during the 6 weeks, you can contact Kayla for any support you may need or to ask any questions.
There’s also a money back guarantee – so if you’re not satisfied with the course within the first 2 weeks, Kayla will gladly refund your full payment.
Overall I highly recommend this course for anyone with chronic pain or a chronic illness, especially if you are a beginner. Kayla’s empathy really shone through and this made you feel really supported and understood.
I couldn’t manage all the moves and sequences, as my pain wouldn’t allow it. But this course has given me a great foundation of knowledge about different movements that I can build on and hopefully do more over time, which will hopefully help me manage my chronic pain better.
Thank you Kayla for this opportunity and for teaching me the basics of yoga!
Do you do yoga for chronic pain?
What do you struggle with and why?
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