Woman practising yoga on a beachMEMBERS

Yoga & OI

“Yoga is a light, which once lit will never dim.
The better your practice, the brighter the flame.”

B.K.S. Iyengar (Yoga Guru)


What exactly does yoga mean? Can anyone with OI practice yoga, no matter how limited their movement is? And how can yoga help in everyday life? Archana, the President of OIFE’s member association in India, is affected by OI herself and has been practicing yoga for a long time. In the following report, she gives insights into the topic and talks about her positive experiences. She also has helpful tips for anyone who would like to practice yoga themselves.

Introduction to Yoga

Archana Ravindra Palahalli, OIFE Delegate India
Archana Ravindra Palahalli

Yoga is a holistic approach in bringing the body and mind to work in unison. It is both a science as well as an art of healthy and sound living. For instance, yoga is effective to bring self-awareness, improve breathing and relaxing the mind through relaxation techniques. This can be achieved through regular practice of various pranayamas (breathing techniques), yoga asanas (yoga postures and stretches) and yoga nidra (deep relaxation) and meditation.

The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’, signifying, to unite to bring a perfect harmony between the mind and body, man and nature. Yoga originated in ancient India over 5,000 years ago. Patanjali, known as the father of yoga; 2000 years ago, authored several Sanskrit texts and systematised the practise of yoga. His documented work is called ‘Yoga Sutras’ allows us to follow his work with ease.

My experience with Yoga

I have OI type 4 and I’ve been practicing yoga for six years. Practicing Yoga helps me to handle my daily physical and mental stress along with keeping my body flexible to handle the challenges of OI. Yoga has enabled me to be mindful of my inner bodily sensations such as pain, discomfort and ease. Furthermore, yoga brings awareness to your breathing, thoughts, anxiety, and concerns so you can work towards calmness.

Do you offer it to the members of IOIF?Woman with OI practising yoga

We gently suggest Yoga practice to our members after consulting with their doctors. In the near future, we plan to conduct online gentle yoga sessions for those interested.

Which are the challenges?

OI affects individuals at different levels of severity. It is important to develop yoga practices modifying asanas to enable all OIers to practice at their comfort levels after consulting with their doctor. It is also very important to practice with the guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable yoga therapist who understands the limitations of your condition.

How do you solve this?

The best and most beneficial way to introduce yoga to the OI community is through pranayamas, relaxation practices, or meditation.

Man with OI practising yogaWhat effects can yoga have?

Along with a relaxed, balanced state of mind, the psychological equilibrium is necessary for everyone in all different environments and situations. Yoga is one of the most gentle ways of developing awareness and calmness not just at the physical level, but also psychologically as well. The inner strength gives the innate capacity to handle pain better.

The different breathing exercises (Pranayama Yoga) helps with developing efficient use of abdominal and diaphragmatic muscles and improve the respiratory system. Good health equates to a better quality of life. The different yoga techniques aide in stimulating one’s psychological state and research has indicated that yoga and meditation have helped adults with reducing depression, stress, anxiety levels and posttraumatic disorders.

Any other important aspects?

Regular practice develops into better control and channeling of your thoughts. Strong discipline with yoga practice leads to better success to reach goals.

The article was written by Archana Ravindra Palahalli, President of the IOIF and was first published in OIFE Magazine 1-2022. 

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