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Yoga for Lymphoedema

Yoga for Lymphoedema

By now, most of us are aware that Yoga is good for us. The effects of stress on the body and on mental health cannot be denied. The need for some kind of physical activity is also a given and more and more of the population are turning their back on drink-culture and exploring the world of yoga and fitness.

So why is Yoga so good for us and how can Yoga impact the lives of those living with Lymphoedema?

Well let’s start with the Lymphatic System. In lay-mans terms, the lymphatic vessels are similar to the blood vessels, and in fact they run alongside the blood vessels, collecting any waste products discarded by the blood vessels or discarded by the body tissues (muscle fibres and so on) that the blood vessels have not been able to pick up. So in a sense, the lymphatic system is a clean-up system of the body. While the blood vessels have the heart to pump blood around the body, the lymphatic vessels don’t have this. So how does it work?

The lymphatic system relies on the contracting and relaxing of the muscles in the body to act as a pump, to help move lymphatic fluid, or lymph, where it needs to go. While the rhythmic pumping of blood through the blood vessels helps a little, we really need the stronger action of the muscles to get this fluid moving.

Deep breathing also acts as a pump for the lymphatic system. The diaphragm is a large sheet of muscle that basically cuts the body into two halves. Think of this sheet of muscle just under your rib cage. When at rest, the diaphragm takes on a dome-like shape, pushing up towards the lungs. When we inhale deeply and expand the lungs, while also expanding the belly, it’s actually the diaphragm doing this. It’s stretching out flat, creating space in the chest, pulling air in to fill the lungs up. When you relax and exhale again, the diaphragm returns to it’s resting place, pushing up towards the lungs again and expelling the air from the lungs. This expansion and collapse of the chest/lungs acts as a pump for the lymphatic system.

The lymphatic system has other very important functions too. The lymph nodes detect foreign invaders and instruct the body on how to respond to such threats. So you could say that the lymphatic system is the command centre of the immune system.

If the lymphatic system is running under par, then we are in trouble. The body’s ability to efficiently remove waste products and to detect and defend against infections is compromised. Fluid can build up and stagnate around the tissues causing all sorts of problems. We really don’t want this situation.

The lymphatic system can become compromised due to excess weight, illness, genetic factors and through surgery or other invasive events that damage or remove lymph vessels and lymph nodes. This can lead to oedema (swelling) in one or more areas of the body and this can have an impact on mobility, which in turn can lead to less exercise, which increases the pressure on the lymphatic system as we have no pump to help get things moving again. It’s a downward spiral!

And this is where yoga comes in…

Deep, diaphragmatic breathing is a fundamental part of yoga. And we’ve just seen how important deep breathing is for the lymphatic system. But in addition to this, the calming effects of yoga-breathing help to alleviate stress and promote a sense of wellbeing. And let’s be frank, if your body has been through the challenges of surgery, injury and/or unexplained oedema, you’re gonna need a bit of relaxation and calming of the nerves! The worry of the unexplained can take it’s toll, it’s no joke to go through all that stress. And Lymphedema often goes undiagnosed for years.

A yoga class involving gentle movements, designed for those with restricted mobility due to oedema or due to the use of compression garments, is ideal to help get the muscles working again and get the lymphatic fluid moving. Not all yoga postures and practices are going to feel safe, comfortable and, well, doable to those with restricted movement… And that’s why a class designed specifically for this purpose is ideal.

How about a yoga class taught by a professionally trained, qualified and insured MLD/Lymphoedema therapist, who is simultaneously certified and highly experienced as a yoga instructor? Someone who knows the challenges you face through direct experience in treating this condition? Well now you can…

Yoga for Lymphoedema will be coming to River Holistic in the new year. Contact me with any queries and to register your interest for classes starting in January.

Aideen Schweppe BA, MLD (Vodder), Dip. ITEC

Beautiful Life

Supporting and inspiring your to live your best life.

Ph: 085 1528969

E: aideen.schweppe@gmail.com

Smile, Breathe and Have Faith. Say hello to Kaye

Smile, Breathe and have Faith.

Say Hello to Kaye our newest member of the River Holistic Team.

My name is Kaye. I started my yoga journey in 2013 while I was going through depression and anxiety and I really connected with its healing principles. In 2016, I went through a very difficult time again. Grief… I didn’t know how to deal with it and I was at my lowest. Thank you to Ashling Hughes, (who has been an absolute inspiring yoga teacher and guide) for opening Jyoti Yoga Soul. It was perfect timing that she was starting a yoga teacher training course. I needed something to focus on while going through grief. I was accepted to do the teacher training and wow what a journey it has been.

Over the past few months I went through a spiritual awakening and got to know myself deeper.  I learned how to be kind to myself and to accept things how they are at the moment and let it be. I learned how to trust, trust that everything will fall into place at the right time. I allowed myself to feel EVERYTHING. I cried. I laughed out loud for hours. I learned how to love myself and how to show love.

As I start my teacher path I am VERY excited to share what yoga has brought to my life and how it changed me as a daughter, a sister, a friend as well as just being a stranger J . Yoga heals. Yoga can help us find our balance. Yoga is HAPPINESS.  Yoga is LOVE. Yoga is for EVERY BODY.

I will guide you through meditation to start the class and help you be aware of how to be mindful when transitioning from one pose to another, while allowing the body to feel freely. We will finish off the class with a calming relaxation and meditation. I teach all through the heart. No forcing, no pulling, but listening to how your body feels in every practice.

I look forward to seeing you on the mat!

Smile, Breathe & Have Faith!

Namaste

Mindful Yoga with Kaye

6 week term

10am – 11am

75eu

Every Tuesday

Starting 19th September

0838517915

Meet Gemma from Yoga Therapy Dublin

Meet Gemma from Yoga Therapy Dublin

 

My own experience

I took my first yoga class at 18 years old during my leaving Cert year, and I will never forget how light I felt going home. I was hooked! I took classes casually for a few years but at 21 I suffered chronic whiplash from a car crash and took yoga more seriously as it was the only thing I was able to do and it gave me such release, physically and emotionally in my recovery. Now at 33 and having had a baby, I have experienced yoga in many different forms and have a different appreciation of it. I have used it as rehabilitation, to reduce anxiety, to meditate and to nurture my body through pregnancy and motherhood.

Teaching

I have an advanced ashtanga practice myself, something which I am looking forward to getting back to soon. I keep my classes on the smaller side as I wish to give a more individualised instruction approach to my teaching. I focus strongly on correct alignment and giving students the appropriate instruction for their needs. My classes in general are challenging but not beyond people’s level of ability. I focus strongly on the present which brings a strong meditative quality to my classes and enables my students to practice mindfulness.

As requested I have scheduled a class dedicated to athletes to sequence asanas targeting hips, legs and core. However this class is of course suitable for everyone.

My pregnancy yoga class is dedicated to those amazing woman undertaking this powerful journey. This class will not just ease away those aches and pains, but will prepare your body for delivery. This class will also nurture you emotionally to prepare you for the type of delivery you will have and empower you to make informed choices. You will meet other Mums in the area which can be a great support not just now, but post partum.

My post natal yoga is to again nurture the body after delivery. In particular this class will focus on rehabilitating the pelvic floor. The body is an amazing thing and has been through so much. During pregnancy and delivery, the weight of your growing baby has put a lot of pressure on the pelvic floor as well as some organs. Hormones have further relaxed ligaments and muscles in this area. Not strengthening this area post natally can lead to serious problems now and down the road. This class will give you the opportunity to heal with the added bonus of being able to bring along your baby so no need to worry about feeding, changing etc., anything goes here 😉

 

You can book on www.yogatherapydublin.ie/timetable

 

Namaste <3

Gemma

 

New Hatha Yoga Class.

We are very excited to now be offering Hatha Yoga at the Centre.  This new class will be starting on the Monday the 27th of April and it may be just what you were looking for.

Hatha yoga refers to the joining and harmonising of the two main energies within us- the masculine or sun energy and the feminine or moon energy.  It is essential to understand and flow with these energies as we find a balance between doing (masculine) and allowing or receiving (feminine). Within this class we will draw upon the practice of asana (postures), pranayama (breath work) and shavasana (deep relaxation), whilst accessing the subtle energies of the chakra system.

This Hatha yoga class will focus on increasing flexibility and strength, whilst enabling the body to soften, open and relax.  The word yoga itself refers to the oneness or union of our being, and the practice in this class will focus upon creating a greater sense of harmony between the physical body, the emotions, thoughts and energetic layers of our being.

As we move through asana (postures) we invoke the power of the breath and activate the chakras to enable us to grow and evolve in our daily life, learning tools and techniques to bring us back into a deeper place of balance, both on and off the mat.

This class is appropriate for complete beginners to more advanced students, as modifications will be incorporated to enable each student to practice at their own unique level.

Places will be limited to 8 people, and must be pre-booked / pre-paid with either a deposit or full payment.

New 4 class term: Monday from 6 – 7.15pm (75 minutes) on the 24th of April, 8th, 15th & 22nd of May- 4 weeks (no class May 1st).

4 class term costs €55, or drop in classes are €16 (space dependent).

www.riverholistic.ie/classes 

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