Donna Owens has used yoga for many years to help her through ME and all the challenges it brings. Now, she’s keen to help others too.
- NAME: Donna Owens
- AGE: 39
- OCCUPATION: Wellbeing Mentor
- YOGA YEARS: 25+
Why did you start yoga
At just 14 I was diagnosed with ME (chronic fatigue syndrome). I was mainly housebound for nearly five years and could hardly walk or talk due to extreme exhaustion. I was forced to leave school because of my illness and I was told there was no treatment or cure. But I wasn’t going to let it take over my life so I decided I had to take healing into my own hands and I embarked on my yoga wellbeing journey.
How has yoga changed your life?
From the restorative yoga poses on bad ME days, stretching out bad muscle aches to visualisation meditations of healing and wellness, yoga helped me to find peace with my illness and to find ways to adapt my life for healing by living a yoga lifestyle. I went from being mainly housebound to successfully living and loving life despite my illness.
Favourite yoga haunts
Living with ME for most of my life means that travelling and sometimes even leaving my house can be a challenge, so I appreciate any time I can spend in nature to connect, heal, move, breathe and to be grateful in each moment.
Best yoga moment
Realising that yoga and my illness were part of my life purpose to help others, seeing how my story, my healing journey, my work and my words inspire and helps thousands of other ME warriors around the world.
Unfortunately, yoga can be misunderstood within the ME community and is seen only as a form of exercise. Exercise can make ME worse so their concerns and fears are understandable. However, I want to change how yoga is viewed within the community, to share how it is a lifestyle, and to share the many wonderful benefits it has for ME. om
Donna Owens is the creator of Yoga, My Bed & Me, a website full of resources for ME sufferers on all things yoga (yogamybedandme.com)
First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.