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Yoga for Fibromyalgia Melbourne“The Yoga for Fibromyalgia Simple Strategies Workshop is the workshop I needed ten years ago when initially diagnosed with fibromyalgia,” says Melbourne yoga teacher and fibromyalgia sufferer, Peggy Hailstone.

Peggy considers herself more fortunate than most fibromyalgia sufferers: she found yoga before she got sick. However, after a decade of trying to combat the condition she realised fighting the condition was counterintuitive. “You need to treat the condition with the utmost respect. Like a close dear friend who is trying to tell you something you need to hear. You treat fibromyalgia with yoga postures and practices that enable you to hear, listen, and respond to your physical and psychological needs. At first attempt they’re mere murmurs. With practice they become whispers. Over time they give voice to the needs of your soul. I know this from lived experience.”

I am delighted to announce that on Friday 24 October, Peggy and I will co-facilitate a Yoga for Fibromyalgia workshop in Melbourne. Whether you’ve had fibromyalgia for years, or are newly diagnosed, The Simple Strategies workshop will arm you with practical strategies, and useful tools and resources that can be applied and practiced safely at home.

The Canadian Institute for the Relief of Pain and Disability offers comprehensive webinars on chronic pain management.  In this session, Dr Ingrid Federoff explains that pain isn't all in your head, but that psychological factors do affect the likelihood of your recovery so are worth paying attention to.

Here are eight of Dr Federoff's key points to help you in your own care and when working with others:

When Melissa’s rheumatologist diagnosed her with Fibromyalgia it came as a relief. Two years of referrals to various specialists and five steroid injections into her spine and hip had made no difference to her chronic hip pain. After her diagnosis, Melissa wanted a form of exercise that would suit her current abilities and that would build flexibility, decrease her pain and provide relaxation time. Melissa’s rheumatologist proposed a management plan that included a low dose of Endep to provide pain relief. Melissa’s GP recommended that Melissa attend Yoga for Pain to improve her function which would make the most of the positive effects of the medication.

Yogic Education definitionThe University of Lille, France, offers the only University Diploma in Yogic Education in the world.  Rachael completed her studies in 2011 and this model for integrative, self-directed health care now allows us to help those experiencing persistent pain to uncover wellness in all areas of their life. Wellness is more than the absence of physical discomfort

Yoga-inspired float tank tips for FibromyalgiaAn hour alone in a capsule partially filled with water may not seem like your idea of relaxation, especially if you experience chronic pain. But learning to relax is an important part of pain management and a float tank session with Perth-based Beyond Rest can be the perfect opportunity. Here are five tips inspired by Yoga for Pain to help those with persistent pain get the most out of their salt-water solo time:

5 ways to reclaim your yoga practiceBecause of sickness, a sprained wrist and various other excuses my yoga practice dropped off over a couple of weeks. My brain wrestled over and over with the question of what yoga means to me. My brain helpfully suggested I sign up to a workshop in May, a retreat in October or some kind of intensive thing to re-understand my relationship with my practice. On Tuesday I unrolled my yoga mat and began to practice. I knew immediately why I practice.  Once I began to practice again I recognised intimately my relationship with yoga. You cannot analyse your relationship with yoga from the outside. 

“Life does not become easier, we become easier with life as it is.”

Bringing Yoga To Life (Hardback).jpg Donna Farhi uses story, metaphor and ancient Indian texts to show us how what we do on the yoga mat relates to how we are in the world. Rather than our dedicated asana and meditation practices yielding a blissed out state of rosy perfection, Farhi describes how our newfound clarity of mind actually helps us to become more adaptive to the natural and varied richness of life and, as a result, contribute more to the lives of everyone we care about.

Wiggy reminded me that a regular practice gradually and unsuspectingly takes you to places you might never have imagined possible.

Geraldton beach I spent a week of the festive season in Geraldton. Most people ask "Why Geraldton?" and if you haven't been there for some years you may be pleasantly surprised by how the city has changed: there are new cafes, a beautiful town beach with well-frequented sprinklers for the kids and an active community of social entrepreneurs.
There is also a yoga teacher called Wiggy who has been teaching Iyengar yoga for thirty years. Wiggy is a decade or two older than me and yet her strength and vigour far outpaces mine. We practiced together overlooking the Indian Ocean and I was inspired by her fluid bendbacks and perfect arm balances.