Yoga is known for its exercises that include body poses, meditation, breathing techniques, mental concentration, and a general relaxation of the body. If you are in a wheelchair, you should not be worried because yoga still has a place for you. In as much as there are technical poses that may be hard to perform in a wheelchair, you should not get discouraged since disability gives you a greater power to do more than people can imagine. The practice of yoga in a wheelchair has many health benefits; it gives your mind and body a connection bond that can only grow stronger with time.
Yoga proved to relieve stress, depression, anxiety and even manage your blood pressure, increase flexibility, improve your focus, among other benefits. Before you indulge in any yoga pose, you should ensure that your doctor gives permission to proceed so that you do not put your health on the line as you perform yoga. If you get the doctor’s approval, ask your family or friends to accompany you to yoga sessions.
The following poses are the best for you and you can execute them in a wheelchair:
This pose is very important for the muscles of your abdomen (oblique) and even the spine. As you perform this pose, try to be within limits of your comfort. Breathing during this pose is very important. Take one arm and lift it over your head and at the same time breathe in. Try to reach as far as your arm can and exhale. Hold on to this pose for a couple of seconds. When you have stretched one side of your arm, turn to the other side and do the same.
Twisting the body is very important during yoga practice. When you do this pose in a wheelchair, it helps to stretch the muscles of your back thereby reducing tension on your back all the way to the waist. Take your left hand and cross it to your right leg. Try to twist your trunk in the clockwise direction as you lift your head above the shoulders. Hold that pose for a few seconds as you take breaths. Repeat the same procedure on the opposite direction.
To execute this pose, sit upright as you take in air into your lungs. Lunge forward slowly as you exhale until your head comes right above your knee. If your head can reach your knee, go for it, if not, stay within your comfort zone. You can hold this position for a few seconds then move back to your initial position. You can repeat it until your back and hips feel relaxed. It also enhances blood circulation.
This pose improves the flexibility of the leg and makes it stronger. Since you spend many hours seated in a wheelchair, you need to let your leg stretch by retracting your leg towards your hip and holding it against your thighs. Hold that position for a few seconds and turn to the other leg with the same procedure. Ensure you breathe during each pose.
The eagle pose stretches the muscles of the shoulder and the back. Lift your arms and cross them at the elbow. Take a deep breath and hold this position for half a minute as you breathe continuously. Repeat it for as many times as you can.
Take your left leg, put it across the right leg, and take a breath. Lean forward towards the crossed leg as you exhale. Stay in that pose for say 5 seconds and repeat the same procedure for the other leg. The hip stretch just as the name suggest gives your hips a good stretch.
Hold your thighs/wheelchair with both hands and try to lift your head up towards the sky and your back arched as you take deep breaths. This pose stretches the back and neck.
The cat pose is a simple backstretch. Hold your thighs/wheelchair and try to lunge forward and exhale. Try to curve your spine as your chin drops towards the chest. You can stay in that pose as you take deep breaths.
Wheelchair yoga is possible as long as your doctor gives you the approval to perform yoga, the above poses can be very useful to your health.