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Emma O’Toole on Type 1 Diabetes Control, Disease v Condition, and Yoga for the Mind & Body! EP054

March 30, 2018

Hi all,

Welcome to the show.  It’s was my pleasure to talk with Emma O’Toole for this episode.

Emma runs her own successful Yoga studio/business in Dublin, cunningly titled Yoga with Emma (www.yogawithemma.ie), and I was introduced to her through Samantha Kelly, who I interviewed near the end of Season 1. During my conversation with Samantha, the subject of Type 1 Diabetes came up as Samantha’s daughter has the condition. As I also am a Type1 Diabetic, I was interested to focus more on it in a future episode. Thanks to Samantha, Emma and I were able to make it happen.

Why did I want to share this story?

Since my own diagnosis, I have been learning so much about it over the last 5 years. In general, I feel it’s not a well understood condition and also can be a stigma attached to it. Education around it and the signs that it might be developing can help with an early diagnosis. Also, making others aware that someone has the condition is key too.

I would guess that someone you know has type 1 Diabetes. And more are getting diagnosed with it now than ever. I was 35 before the condition kicked in. It was an adjustment for sure. It might be something you’re aware of but don’t know a lot about. So, I was keen to talk with someone that has been not only living with it but thriving. Emma fits that description. She has been successfully managing Type 1 for over 28 years.

During the conversation, we cover a lot of topics that provide a great insight into management of the Type1 Diabetes condition and how wellness, fitness and yoga can help. Of course, Yoga is not just a treatment to help with Diabetes but with every aspect of your life – mind & body!

It’s definitely worth having a listen to Emma’s story and our exchanges on how we manage it, identify triggers, always have jellies or sweets nearby and all other aspects of living a life with Diabetes.

Some of the topics covered:

  • The weeks leading up to her diagnosis in 1990
  • Getting wrongly diagnosed initially
  • Failing into a Diabetic Coma for 3 days due to record high blood sugar levels
  • Being very lucky that there was no organ damage after coming out of the coma
  • How her whole life changed once she was diagnosed as a Type1
  • Going into denial in the weeks and months after the diagnosis
  • Learning how to deal with the condition as a teenager
  • How far technology has come in the management of diabetes in the last 28 years
  • Developing systems for managing diabetes over the years
  • Never trying to hide the fact she was a diabetic and incorporate it into her lifestyle
  • Being discrete with administering insulin in public
  • The stigma around injections in her early years with the condition
  • Always calling Diabetes a Condition not a Disease!
  • The Mindset that Emma has – She controls it, not the other way around
  • How Diabetes has lead Emma towards a career in fitness and diet
  • She found Yoga as an outlet for her to really get a full workout.
  • Yoga made Emma very aware of her skeleton, muscles and organs and how she needed to manage every part of her body!
  • Finding out the cause and effect and how the mind can affect the body and, in her case, the diabetes control
  • Starting to teach Yoga and then, in 2012, setting up her own Business
  • Discussion on different types of Yoga and the benefits including:
    • Bikram Yoga
    • Yin Yoga
    • Hot Yoga
    • Asthanga Yoga
  • The battle of the Ego during Yoga practices
  • Meditation and Yoga
  • Sleep and Hypos and how the body and mind can wake you up!
  • The difference between Hypoglycaemic aware and unaware
  • The use of two types of insulin – short acting and long acting
  • Never be complacent with the condition – always be on the watch!
  • It’s not about winning against it, it’s about controlling it.

1% Better tips around managing Diabetes & Yoga practice:

  • Using meditation triggers like the red/stop light in traffic to bring you to the now!
  • Meditation as a tool to help with anxiety
  • Using Apps like ‘calm’ to help with meditation
  • Moving Meditation as the best form that work with Emma
  • Yoga postures that are good for back pain issues and disc challenges
  • Recommended frequency for Yoga sessions for runners
  • Yoga poses that can help runners stride and pace

Connect with Emma on the following:

  • Emma teaches Yoga to a broad spectrum and it’s clear she’s very passionate about it
  • For Emma, it’s about making it fun and enjoyable
  • Her approach is about finding out what her clients want to work on – being flexible to including these moves into the practices
  • Connect with Emma via:
  • Website: YogawithEmma.ie
  • Twitter: @Yoga_with_Emma
  • Instagram: Yogawithemma
  • Facebook: Yogawithemma
  • LinkedIn: Emma O’Toole

Just a quick note to say thanks for listening. There are a lot of podcasts to choose from and you picking this one means a lot to me. I know that sounds like a cheese-ball thing to say, but it’s true! I’m enjoying creating these shows, learning from them and I’m hoping that you are too.

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