There are so many ways that yoga can help while suffering from a disability – believe me I’ve just broken an arm and a leg! There are many tools that I have been taught in yoga that help me to stay sane and content while I’m out of action. For example, meditation calmed me down before the operation, and during the hospital stay it helped me to cope with the pain. Yoga breathing helped raise my waning oxygen levels and give me energy. Joint mobilisations kept the circulation moving, and chair yoga kept me flexible.
Having limited use of the legs means that one tends to spend a long time sitting or lying which can be so detrimental for the back. Keeping my back strong and flexible was of great importance to me, so I incorporated the bridge pose into my bedrest time. Of course, with one leg broken I had to modify the pose by using only one leg, but it was worth it. The humble bridge pose is such a wonderfully strengthening pose for the knees, pelvis and back, and helped me feel strong yet open through my spine.
Here is a routine that I started doing regularly until I got my normal mobility back. It’s a great series to prevent stagnation of the fluids, and releases and tones the muscles, keeping the joints moving freely.
While seated Feet and hands: ankle/wrist circles, extend and flex the ankles/wrists and toes/fingers. Legs and arms: extend and flex knees and elbows. Shoulders: shoulder circles, arm circles. Seated cat/cow: round the spine while breathing out and arch the spine while breathing in. Seated twists: keeping the knees and hips stable turn the upper body from one side to the other. Seated side bends: raise one arm inhale and exhale to bend to the other side.
While lying on back Leg and hip rotations, Leg raises to strengthen abs, Bridge pose
Any position Yoga breathing; Viloma to increase depth of breathing – 3 in and 3 out. Alternate nostril breathing – 5 minutes
Meditation – as much and as often as you can ????
How far ‘under the weather’ you are feeling, will of course influence how much exercise you can do. But even if all you can do is some yoga breathing and meditation, you can be sure you will be moving along on your road to recovery.
All the best,