Suck it Fibro

For the last few months, I’ve had a lot of new things occurring or going to occur soon. Almost all of them are ultimately good but they are stressful. Stress leads to me not taking the best care of myself, usually through poor food choices. Poor food choices kicks my fibromyalgia into high gear. Once that starts, it’s a horrible downward spiral into major painville, population me. :-(

Yesterday was a really bad day. I had trouble walking to/from classes and if I had  a choice I would have curled into a fetal position and eaten potato chips or mac and cheese in bed all day. I’m sure that would have helped … Not!

Instead, I decided to take control of my health again. Here’s my list of go to self care tips…

  • Rest and recharging myself in specific positions/places
    • I curl up in a fetal position on the couch.
      • The bed doesn’t work for me like the couch does. It took me awhile to figure out why but I finally did. Even as a child when I’m in pain, I want someone to push against me. I used to ask my mother to push against my back when she would say goodnight to me. I think it has to do with my nerve endings being “on fire” from the fibro. I need to calm them down. The same principles that apply to my dog, Maisie, when she wears her thunder shirt.  I need to lie against the back of the couch and get the pressure. Lying in bed doesn’t cut it.
  • Quiet & dim lighting
    • I have difficulty going to malls, concerts, or anywhere I feel sensory overload. Fireworks freak me out.
  • Deep breathing
    • Thank goodness I know about deep breathing. Belly breathing calms your system. Something as simple as a few deep breaths can have incredible results.
  • Relaxing the jaw & the tongue thing
    • This is weird but folks with fibro tend to have swollen tongues and we clamp down on them often – not as in biting your tongue. Our jaws clench and the sides of our tongues get caught in our teeth. I often wake in the middle of the night because of the pain. I have to make an incredible concerted effort to relax my jaw and put my tongue in a different position. (I told you it was weird!)
  • Eating right & and not eating wrong
    • I can’t go too extreme quickly but I start adding in anti-inflammatory foods and get rid of the processed foods. I learned what foods I was allergic to and eliminated them too. It’s hard to stay away from beef, chicken, corn, soy, wheat, dairy, corn, cane sugar and chocolate but that’s what I have to do to be pain free.
  • Magnesium oil
    • Most of us are magnesium deficient due to today’s soils. Spray yourself and leave it on for at least 20 minutes. (You can leave it on for longer but it feels like salt water) It does tingle so don’t spray it anywhere sensitive. It relaxes me like nothing else. Some people spray their feet, put socks on and go to bed.
  • Epsom salt bath
    • I love baths in general. Water feels so good against my skin. I honestly don’t know if it’s just the bath or the epsom salt bath but it certainly doesn’t hurt so I do it.
  • Drink lots of water
    • I never drank “juice drinks” (I do make my own juices but when I’m not feeling well, I don’t have the energy). I no longer drink soda. I drink tea often but try to keep it decaf.  Drinking lots of water helps with cleaning out the bad stuff.
  • Ingesting Magnesium – Natural Calm
    • Pooping is really important and this helps!
  • Small glass of red wine
    • It may not work for everyone, but this relaxed me just enough.
  • No negative nellies
    • I’m too sensitive. My body tenses when I’m around people complaining. I cut them out when I’m having a flare up. (I probably should limit my time with them in general but …)
  • Gentle movement
    • When I can, however I can.
  • Forgiving myself when I don’t do EVERYTHING I think I *should*. (Grr, that word!)

So, this is my go to list. Did I miss anyone of your favorites?

 

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Office Yoga

Got Stress?  Tame That Tension!

Multi week series designed to give you basic and not so basic ways to cope with stress, tension, and workplace injuries

Learn

  • proper sitting posture
  • simple movements to ease “office pain”
  • breathing styles to decrease stress
  • basic mediation techniques to increase concentration, facilitate ease and promote overall wellness 

 

Laura Peskoe, MSW, E-RYT has been practicing yoga for 20+ years and teaching since 2001. Diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1999, Laura understands how pain and stress can impact your body and life. Referred to as a Body Wizard by her clients, Laura has spent years researching the body and how to best promote good health and overall wellbeing. Other yogis, personal trainers, physical therapists, and even orthopedic surgeons refer their clients to her because of her innate understanding of the body and ability to work with issues, large and small.

No yoga experience required. All levels of fitness and experience welcome!

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Tame the Tension

Tame your Tension!

Yoga Tune Up® Therapy BallsMelt Muscular Pain with the Use of Therapy Balls 

 

Sunday, July 27, 9:00-10:30 am

Cost: $40 (includes a set of Yoga Tune Up® therapy balls)

Limited Space – RSVP to laura@yoga-tonic.com

 

Learn specific techniques to instantly roll out tension, break dysfunctional movement patterns, and provide valuable insight into your own anatomical architecture with the Yoga Tune Up® Therapy Balls.

These easy and effective self-massage techniques will provide you with tools to reduce and/or eliminate pain and prevent injuries from the top of your head to the bottom of your baby toe.

A regular self-care practice helps to keep you in the game – whatever that may be, and augments your yoga and other movement practices.

Plan to leave this workshop feeling revitalized and happier!

Taming the Trapezius Tension

Taming the Trapezius Tension

Join Laura Peskoe, MSW, E-RYT as you uncover your Body’s Blind Spots – areas that have gone underused, overused, misused or just downright abused, and take your pain into your own hands. Laura has been practicing yoga since the early 1990′s and teaching since 2001. Diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1999, she understands how pain can impact your life.

No yoga experience required. All levels of fitness and experience welcome!

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Balls to the Wall!

Balls to the Wall! 

Melt Muscular Pain with the Use of Therapy Balls

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Saturday, March 29

1:00-2:30 pm

Cost: $35 (includes a set of Yoga Tune Up® therapy balls)

Limited Space – RSVP to laura@yoga-tonic.com .

 

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Targeted self-massage penetrates through layers of skin and muscle to massage deeply into your high tension areas

Free up body congestion, increase circulation, and unbind unnecessary knots

Reduce or altogether eradicate pain and stiffness due to chronic tension, injury, or other traumas

Beginner friendly!

Plan to leave this workshop feeling revitalized and happier!

Laura Peskoe, MSW, E-RYT has been practicing yoga since the early 1990′s and teaching since 2001. Diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1999, she understands how pain can impact your life. Drawing on the many schools of yoga and movement she has studied, Laura helps you find your individual way to living with as little pain as possible.

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Self Care Workshops

Self-Care for Athletes

Saturday, 9/7 

12:30-2:30

&

Self-Care for Pain Management *

Saturday, 9/28

12:00-2:30

These workshops combine Yoga, Biomechanics,

Balls!

Ortho-Bionomy, and Yoga Tune-Up® therapy balls.

Learn a practical approach to working with your body, instead of against it and take care of YOU!

The techniques taught in this class create balance and flexibility in the body, while relieving painful injuries, improving coordination, and reducing stress. You’ll be amazed at how good your body will feel!

Cost: $75, including a set of Yoga Tune Up® massage balls.

To reserve your space, e-mail us. Both workshops are limited in size to ensure individual attention.

What do people have to say about Laura?

  • Laura at Yoga Tonic is amazing. I come from a competitive Figure skating background (of 10 years) and have been an avid skier all my life. This has led to 4 ACL reconstruction surgeries. Needless to say, I have not been kind to my body. Up until about a year and a half ago I only did yoga as a supplement for my skating and always enjoyed it, but it was never my primary form of exercise. Then 18 months ago, I tore my ACL skiing, so I started doing yoga for the low-impact and stability benefits. Then, after I moved to Chicago last September (2010), I started practicing with Laura knowing full well I was going to have to take on my 4th and 5th surgeries. In January (2011) I found out I was also going to need a bone graft (to amend a prior reconstruction) and Laura graciously took me under her wing to help me prep and recover. Through consistent practice she was able to help me fully recover from that surgery (keep in mind I still didn’t have an ACL at this point) and develop my hamstring and quad strength for my actual ACL reconstruction. After 4 months of very dedicated practice with her, I went into my ACL reconstruction feeling very strong and stable. In the first few days of my post-op I could tell my body was handling the trauma quite well, given the experiences of my prior surgeries. I believe this was due to the dedicated practice and tailored approach Laura brings to each yoga class. I am waiting in eager anticipation to get the go-ahead from my doctor to start practicing again, as I know that I will be able to, through working with Laura, regain full functionality of my knee post-acl reconstruction and meniscus repair.       ~ Ashley
  • After a year in time, two orthopedic docs, and months and months spent at two different physical therapy locations…I was slowly (too slowly) doing “better” from a dislocated knee injury. The result was that the area around my knee was very strong, but also very tight. I couldn’t bend it more than 90 degrees. Just when I thought I was stuck like that forever, I met Laura. After countless squats and lunges endured at the encouragement of physical therapists to strengthen the muscles around the kneecap, Laura guided me through the process of stretching that area in a way that was safe and effective. I had full range of motion back after several months in Laura’s class and I directly credit that to this yoga practice. Now that I am healed, I have found that yoga continues to be an essential part of my body’s recovery process from the hours I spend running and swimming. ~ Sally
  • I’m of the older age group but you’re only as old as you feel. I have been an active person all my life and wish to stay that way. My later years have been invaded by osteoarthritis. At this time, arthritis and scoliosis invade my back, muscles and joints. I’ve had 2 knee replacements and 1 hip replacement. I’m also a breast cancer survivor.

I had never done Yoga and am now in Laura’s functional class. I feel very fortunate that, Lisa, a Physical Therapist recommended Laura. Class began May, 2010. My goals were to be free of back pain, deal with stiffness and walk without a cane.
At this time, I am free of back pain and walk part time without the cane. I hope to walk without the cane in the fall. This stormy weather isn’t good for me.
Laura is an excellent teacher, the most patient and warm person. She knows how the body works. Yoga by Laura has made my life easier. You will end up doing things that you never did before. ~ Doris

Self-Care for Pain Management will include a discussion about foods and their relationship to inflammation.

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Summer Weekend Yoga Retreat

I hope you’ll join us for a wonderful weekend of

Yoga on the lake at Williams Bay.

Click on the photo for more information or send us an e-mail.

Summer Yoga Retreat - Alec

Join us for a wonderful weekend of Yoga 

May 31-June 2

at the Lake in William’s Bay, WI!

4 Classes in 3 Days

Yoga, Beautiful Setting & Great Company

 

I want to go but I have some questions.

(The weekend schedule is below)

Should I go even though…

  • I haven’t practiced in a while (or maybe it’s been more than a while)?
    •  This is a great way to get back to your yoga practice. 4 classes in 3 days will definitely get your yoga juices flowing again! Remember all classes will have yogis of different levels looking to accomplish different goals.  Practice at your own pace.
      • Wait, I have to have goals?!?
        • Don’t worry – you don’t have to do anything but have a great time. Type A’s, totally let me know what your goals are and we’ll make sure to focus on them!

 

  • I have an injury?
    •  I always focus on alignment so you’re in good hands. Plus, I have a new secret weapon – Yoga Tune Up therapy self-massage balls. That’s right, I have balls now and they are amazing! You will love them!

 

  • I want to bring my significant other but they don’t practice yoga.?
    • William’s Bay is beautiful and there will be plenty of non-yoga things to do this weekend. The price for a a person not doing yoga and sharing a room with someone paying for a single is $110 prior to May 15 and 135 after May 15. (I’m trying to convince my sweetie to join us even though I won’t let him take a yoga class with me.)
  • I’m still relatively new to yoga?
    •  This is a great opportunity to learn alignment and ask questions in a small group. Practice asana through posture all weekend.

And the biggie question – do I have to practice yoga on a paddleboard like in the photo?

  • Noooo, but you’re welcome to join me in heading out on the water in a kayak or on a Stand Up Paddleboard. Of course, you can also just watch and take bets on whether I fall into the water.

I can’t make it for the entire weekend. Is that ok?

  • While we’d love for you to join us for the entire weekend, you may have other commitments. Some yoga is always better than no yoga.  Reserve your space for the classes you can attend!

To reserve your space, e-mail us.

Retreat Schedule
Friday, May 31
 
  • Sign In for your room anytime after 4:00 pm
  • Opening Circle and Evening Yoga Class
    • Building Foundations and Self-Care
  • Bistro Cash Bar open for mingling after class
Saturday, June 1
  • Light Breakfast, Coffee and Tea
  • Meditative Walk followed by Energetic Yoga
    • Straight Lines – Creating Length and Space in Standing Poses and in Your Life
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon Yoga
    • When Lines Go Awry – How to go with the Flow
  • Dinner
  • Optional Sunset Kayak
  • Kirtan
  • Stargazing and Campfire
 
Sunday, June 2
 
  • Light Breakfast, Coffee and Tea
  • Energetic Yoga and Closing Ceremony
    • Flying – Letting go of What Keeps you Down and Getting off the Ground
  • Optional Lunch

 

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A Scoliosis Workshop

A Scoliosis Workshop

Unwinding the Mysteries of the Spine

Using Yoga, Orth-Bionomy and Self-Massage, we will explore how to

  • Breathe into the area of discomfort or the the area of the lungs or diaphragm that you have trouble reaching
  • Work with the body instead of fighting it
  • Lengthen the spine
  • Invert, defy gravity, and decrease back pain
  • Educate your body and re-align your posture

 

“The body with scoliosis has developed a highly sophisticated compensating ‘act’ and it can also learn a more refined symmetrical ‘act’ with proper instruction. By combining the yoga postures with breathing awareness, one can develop a structural alignment, creating a more normal symmetrical alignment. This is accomplished by stretching muscles that have tightened and strengthening muscles that have become weak from this asymmetrical imbalance. Thereby the body will create a more effortless posture using the bone structure, rather than over working the muscles to hold itself up. Through yoga, one can find that balance point that allows the scoliosis curve to coexist with gravity and activates the body’s natural plumb line. The result for most people with scoliosis is better posture and less pain.”

— Elise Miller, MA

 

Scoliosis

 

Testimonial: It has greatly helped my scoliosis. Since I started practicing yoga with you (Laura)  2 years ago, I no longer have any back pain (it used to be a 3-4 out of 10 on the pain scale).  I actually have less pain now doing yoga four times per week (for a total of around 5 hours) than when I was running track in college and working out 3 hours a day 6 days a week!  My increased flexibility, improved posture, and lengthening of my spine during yoga class has helped my back tremendously.  My husband also says that my curve is less noticeable.  I would recommend yoga to anyone suffering from scoliosis.  

All I can say is thank you for being such a wonderful and knowledgeable teacher and for impacting my health so significantly. 

 Alicia

 

When : Saturday, April 27, 2013 12:00-2:00 pm

Fee : $75, cost includes set of Yoga Tune Up therapy balls

Location : Yoga Tonic, inside The Trainer’s Gyn
401 W Ontario, 4th floor

View Larger Map

Workshop is limited to 10 students & pre-registration is required.
RSVP to laura@yoga-tonic.com.

 

INSTRUCTOR:

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Laura Peskoe, MSW, E-RYT has been practicing yoga since the early 1990′s and teaching since 2001. Diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1999, she understands how pain can impact your life. Drawing on the many schools of yoga and movement she has studied, Laura collaborates with Physical Therapists and Orthopedic Surgeons to help clients avoid surgery and become pain-free. 

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Why I practice Yoga…

I had a FB conversation with a guy I really admire.  He’s a Chirporactor and a Yogi so he knows a little somethin’ somethin’ about bodies.  We were talking about backbends and he bottom-lined it by saying that you “shouldn’t try to be Krischnamacharya when your body is clearly not conditioned to be”.  I couldn’t agree more!

We’re human though and sometimes we get caught up in our egos.  Photos of Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, and Krishnamarchya are a thing of beauty.   I love watching Kino practice her Ashtanga and Ana doing her Forrest gravity surfing.  They are awesome, inspiring, amazing and all of those other words.  But dig deeper and you might be suprised.

Ana started practicing yoga on a dare and credits Yoga with saving her.  I’m using my words here not hers – she found her power to heal herself, physically but also mentally, spiritually and emotionally, through Yoga.  Her practice shows that power.  I suspect we all have a “story” about our practice.

I started practicing Yoga with VHS tapes back in my early 20’s.  (Yes, I said VHS tapes.  The gyms were practicing high impact step aerobics and Yoga studios were rare.)  I don’t know why I stayed with it but I did.  In 2000, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  (Did you notice that I’ll capitalize Yoga because it’s that important but fibromyalgia?!  If there was something less than lowercase, I would use it with that word!)

I was practicing Ashtanga already but not hard core.  My practice was never hard core.  I tried, oh how I tried but I could never get hard core.  My body just didn’t react well to it.  I love the primary series but I’ve never been able to go at the typical pace of a led class.  I felt like a failure because I didn’t fully commit to Ashtanga.

I started practicing with Ana Forrest.  I loved that too.  I studied with Ana for years.  She is amazing and if you have the chance to practice with her, do it!  Again though, it wasn’t me.  Again, I felt like a dissapointment because I “bailed”.

Why am I telling you this?  Because I needed to find MY yoga.

There are days when I practice inversions, arm balances, standing poses.  Days when my ego is allowed to puff a bit.  I was smart growing up – I wasn’t strong, coordinated, or anything physical.  I am still thrilled and suprised when I go into arm balances and inversions.  I can’t believe that I can do this!  Even when they aren’t perfect, even when they “fail”, I am amazed that I can even attempt them!

There are days when my body feels like it’s been replaced by someone who has never set foot on a yoga mat though.  I practice supine poses, forward folds and breathing.  Maybe a few twists will help and eventually I may work into the “harder stuff”.  Sometimes the easy stuff is the hard stuff.  I hate those days because they start with such pain but I’m also grateful because those can be beautiful practices that come to mean the world to me.

I understand how my body mirrors my mind and my heart.  Sometimes I’m in pain and need comfort.  Sometimes I’m in pain and need to find my voice or my power.  My mat tends to let me know what I need.

That is when yoga becomes Yoga – a personal practice.  I am so grateful to the masters who have come before me and who have taught my teachers and through them, me, but I am not them.  I may never progress beyond the Primary Series.  I may never achieve Iyengar’s more advanced asanas.  I may never Gravity Surf for what seems like hours.

BUT I have poses that challenge me to grow, stretch, become stronger and more balanced.  I have Yoga and I am so happy with that!

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Back Tonic Workshop

BACK TONIC WORKSHOP

Back pain? Yoga can help! And yes, even YOU can do yoga pain-free!

Learn

  • specific poses to diminish and / or eliminate back pain
  • how to use props
  • how to adapt future yoga sessions to fit individual needs

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends exercise to reduce back pain.  The primary goal of an exercise program for the spine is to make the muscles of the back, stomach, hips and thighs strong and flexible.

The Back Tonic workshop will incorporate strength and flexibility training while educating clients about their bodies.  The class will include:

  • Stretches to lengthen the back
  • Core Work
  • Standing poses
  • Stretches for hamstrings and hips
  • Question/Answer period

November 17, 2:00-4:30 pm

Fee: $60

Location : Precision Human Performance
1335 West Lake Street


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Workshop is limited to 10 students & pre-registration is required.
RSVP to laura@yoga-tonic.com.

 

INSTRUCTOR:

Laura Peskoe, MSW, E-RYT has been practicing yoga since the early 1990′s and teaching since 2001. Diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1999, she understands how pain can impact your life. Drawing on the many schools she has studied, including Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Prajna, Forrest and Bikram, Yoga Tune-Up and even Biomechanics, Laura collaborates with Physical Therapists and Orthopedic Surgeons to help clients avoid surgery and become pain-free. She has extensive experience working with clients whose back issues range from congenital to herniated disks, spinal fusions, and back surgeries. 

Laura is very supportive in her teaching and takes alignment seriously but she also has a sense of humor and is often playful (possibly mischievous) in her teaching. It helps to laugh when you realize your foot is trying to go WHERE?! Laura’s goal in working with her clients is to help them to be smarter about their bodies, safer in how they use them and stronger than they thought possible!

 

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6 Habits of Happiness

 

How many do you practice daily?  Can you add another one today?  Can you add a different one tomorrow? Can you keep adding one until it becomes a pattern?

Don’t forget to drop grudges against yourself too!

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