5 Needs I Have Due to Lyme Disease That I Tell My Yoga Teacher About


I am still working on healing and have some special needs since Lyme disease. It’s funny how you make accommodations in your own life for when you are sick and in recovery, and over time you normalize things and forget that’s not the way everyone else does it. Then you get in a class or conference and you get a sharp reminder.

OK, I need to get over myself. It is prudent to share my needs and limits with my teachers. But just what they need to know – not my entire medical history. When I go to a meditation class I don’t need to share as much as when I go to a yoga training. After I share I try to forget about it and dig into learning.

 

Honoring My Needs Since Lyme Optimizes My Learning Opportunities

Before Lyme disease, I was a yoga teacher full-time who had a strong practice and sat on the floor every day. After Lyme is a different story. It is clear to me I am not yet fully recovered or mobile when I get with a bunch of yoga teachers or students. It a distinct reality check, but I need to remember to celebrate that I am able to engage with learning in person. I can drive to class and participate and enjoy.

I realize it is just honest for me to share the reason for some of my behaviors and how they help me learn. I try to stay away from oversharing; TMI can be a pain. But I want be sure my needs will not be disruptive to the teacher or the group as a whole.

When I started venturing out I brought my own chair so I knew I would be comfortable. I would only go to day training so I could manage my care.

Now I have done a couple of week-long trainings. I bring all the normal stuff plus extra pillows, medicines, a seat cushion and a back belt. That is all I need. Most times I can work with facility chairs and stay in any normal room. My yoga mat is set up by the wall for extra support. I always check in with the teacher before I sign up for the training and on the first day.

Five Needs I Have Since Lyme Disease That I Tell My Yoga Teacher

1. No high-risk tick habitats for me. No wading through meadows, sitting on grass, hugging trees or outdoor yoga.

2. I don’t sit on the floor. It is pretty standard in a yoga training to sit on a mat on the floor, so I still bring a tube chair to those. I explain that my low back stability does not tolerate sitting on the floor or ground. I get up and move around to keep comfortable. Once an hour I walk around so I don’t stiffen up.

3. I am less heat and cold tolerant than the average person. So I bring chill pal scarves and personal fans in the summer and extra layers and indoor use only slippers in the winter.

4. Plenty of sleep is a non-negotiable. I have a cut-off time of 9:30 p.m. most nights to be sure I wind down and get the sleep I need. Sometimes these trainings run from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. I cut out to hit the sack by 10:00 p.m.

5. My yoga practice is gentle. Generally I have to modify public classes that are part of teacher training. I protect myself and say I don’t want any assistance to deepen my expression of the pose.

For the most part, once I talk with my teacher, there is no problem. People in my community are wonderful and generous. The most important thing for me is to understand what I need to do to protect myself and keep healing. Bring what I need – cushion or slippers – so I can continue to learn, grow and expand my world.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via Ridofranz.

TOPICS
, Contributor list
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Lyme Disease

The writer with her PICC line out.

What I Really Meant When I Said I Was in 'Remission'

Remission. It’s a tricky term when it comes to chronic illness. The night that I learned I was getting my peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line removed, I rushed to post the news on Facebook. Unsure of how to communicate it in a way that was most clear to others, I settled on “remission.” I [...]

My Lyme Disease Does Not Define Me

Lyme does not define me. It took me a long time to accept this. When I was first diagnosed, my life revolved around Lyme disease. I couldn’t stop reading about it and worrying about it. Every question, answer and action of mine involved Lyme. When I thought about myself, the first thing that came to [...]
lonely man looking at fiery sunset sky with digital art style, illustration painting

Meeting the 'New You' After Illness Strips Away Your Old Identity

From a young age, society teaches us that we need to come up with a definition of who we are. We begin cultivating this identity from the minute we are born. Taking in suggestions from family, friends, and caretakers along the way. As a child, maybe you’re a soccer star or a star wars fan. [...]
weekly pill organizing

5 Photos I Didn't Share on Social Media of My Lyme Disease Treatment

Art is my world. It is equally tied with music. I love the two and cannot imagine life without them. Actually, I can, because for two years during treatment, music and even the light of the television was torture to me. I had extreme sound and light sensitivities and this made indulging in what I [...]