With Sadie Croshaw
Exercising with POTS is tricky. It’s necessary in order for your condition to improve but, starting an exercise routine is difficult for anyone and this is especially true when POTS or any other chronic illness has already made you de-conditioned. We chatted with Sadie Croshaw, a trauma trained yoga instructor, who has specifically studied yoga aimed at helping those with chronic conditions. She created a yoga for POTS tutorial to help one of her friends who suffers from this ailment.
After its success, decided that others with similar afflictions might also benefit from incorporating yoga into their daily routine. Sadie has made three wonderful instructional videos for us to share with you and has also answered some of our questions explaining why yoga is a great practice for those looking for gentle, healing exercise.
Minor in Yoga from Utah State University
Nine years of personal yoga practice
5-month study of Prenatal and Postpartum Yoga
20-hour Trauma-informed Training
Attendee of Trauma Camp Intro
Lots and lots of independent research
1. How does yoga for POTS differ than more traditional yoga?
Yoga for POTS and other chronic illnesses will simply take more subtle poses, especially at first, and use them to gently engage the body and also release the sore muscles that tend to act out when one suffers from a chronic illness.
2. What is the benefit of doing yoga for POTS?
There are SO many benefits! You can have a method of physical activity that is safe and gradual. You can clear your mind and feel the calming effects of simple breath work, which will engage the parasympathetic nervous system and let that sympathetic nervous system TAKE A BREAK.
3. What made you take an interest in modifying yoga for POTS patients?
I have a dear friend who suffers from POTS disease and knew I was a yoga instructor and like modifying it for certain circumstances, so she asked me to create some videos for her! So I went about researching the disease and what others have done for it and then found my own way about it!
4. If someone wants to go to a yoga class, what are some go to modifications they can make to accommodate their situation? For example, we worry about hyper extending due to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.
This is a great question! For anyone, I always suggest starting with a bent knee before going into the full expression of a pose that could strain tendons or muscles in the legs. It’s all about carefully experimenting and knowing the principles of safe placement (which I try to hammer into my students).
5. Is it important to tell the yoga instructor of a condition or limitation beforehand?
AB.SO.LUTELY. If you have gone to several classes before, you may already have a handle on how to modify, but just in case the instructor decided to come to you and offer a physical adjustment, they would need to be aware of any of those conditions or limitations.
6. How many times should someone aim to practice this per week?
It would be great to aim for three times per week, but you obviously want to listen to your doctor and your own body.
7. If someone hasn’t worked out in a while and is intimidated to start up again due to de-conditioning, what would you suggest for them?
Any of the videos/classes I offer would honestly be great! I clarify each pose so that you know how to execute it safely. These four videos I’ve created for chronic illness would be an excellent starting point, as most of the poses are very slow and gentle. Yoga can be about what you want it to be about. You don’t even have to use it for a form of exercise.
8. If someone is interested in learning more about your teachings and yoga for POTS, where can they follow you?
Follow me on Instagram at @yoga_with_sadie and/or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org