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I am 22 years old and was diagnosed with CFS in March earlier in 2004, however I had a gradual onset of the illness, and symptoms developed very gradually over about a year before that. There was no obvious trigger for my CFS (though I suspect that the stressful event of a house–fire during my final university exams last May was very likely a key factor).

I used to practise yoga at a class before becoming ill, but to be honest I was probably as concerned with 'getting bendy' as being relaxed! However, since attending the remedial yoga classes in Sheffield over the last 4 months, I have become far more attuned to the therapeutic and meditative values of yoga, and I really feel that this has reduced my stress levels drastically. I always find I leave the classes feeling calmer and more in control of my illness and my emotions. Sometimes the yoga leaves me feeling noticeably more energised, too.

Like many of the members, I try to do some form of gentle yoga every day, although I would never push myself too much on a bad day; when I am often limited to breathing exercises, relaxation or meditation. It is a great comfort on a bad day just to be able to reap the benefit of deep relaxation, and it channels my thoughts in more positive directions.

I feel very at ease with the social environment of the classes, and the hall has become something of a peaceful sanctuary for me, away from the commotion and bustle of my busy home–setting. I'm always very thankful for the newsletters and find the articles interesting.

by a member

Sheffield Yoga for ME/CFS, September 2004

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