Stay active while in isolation with Yoga

Published: 27/03/2020

Yoga is an ancient system of personal development which includes physical postures, breathing practices, relaxation and meditation techniques.

Yoga for people with limited mobility....

Yoga is an ancient system of personal development which includes physical postures, breathing practices, relaxation and meditation techniques as well as ethical codes and philosophy for living soulfully. So there really is something for everyone – I know a teacher who used to say 'If you can breathe you can do Yoga'.

Surround your body with light and breathe....

This can be done sitting in a wheelchair or sitting on a firm chair.

The first sequence is good for anyone, carer or customer.

Start by sitting on a chair with your palms together at your heart centre.

Breathing in push your palms together as you take your hands up above your head.

Breathing out as you bring your hands down the sides of your body.

And bring your hands back to your heart centre, palms together.

Continue flowing with this simple practice for as long as it feels right for you .... Breathing in hands up // breathing out hands down.

Imagine you are surrounding your body with light and breath. Choose what ever colour light you need today, and imagine your whole body surrounded with light and breath.

This can be a soothing practice and can be helpful if you feel anxious or stressed.

Hamstring stretch ….

Muscle enjoy a stretch from time to time – it increases flexibility / increases blood flow to your muscles – keeping them healthy / helps maintain or increase your range of movement / helps release stress and tension stored in your muscles / reduces any stiffness or pain you might have /improves posture.

Sit on a firm chair (can also be done in a wheelchair). Put one foot flat on the floor. Sit up straight with your shoulder relaxed and down. Lift the other leg and put the belt around the foot. Hold the posture and breathe for 3 to 5 breaths, see if you can relax your back of your leg as you breathe out.

This is suitable for most people, can be done on a chair or laying on a firm bed or the floor. Also can be done in the office in the middle of a busy day. Not suitable if you have hyper mobile joints.

Joint rotation....

A simple nourishing practice that can be done by most people …. if mobility is very limited, then you can imagine your body doing this practice. Imagination is a very powerful tool.

Start by rotating your wrists in any direction, rotate for a while and than change the direction. The thing that makes this extra nourishing is to focus your attention on the part of your body that is rotating, so focus your attention on your wrists, imagine the kind of joint that you have in your wrists. Then bring in your breath, breathe in as the wrist goes up and breathe out as the wrist goes down and round. Bringing the breathe in tends to slow the movement down a bit.

Try rotating wrists, shoulder, hips, ankles with awareness and breath..... see how it makes you feel.

This is good for joint health and good for releasing any tension.

Sitting Twist

Sit up straight, with your shoulder down your back and your head resting gently on your neck. Place your feet firmly on the floor.

Hold right side of chair with right hand. Breath in get a bit taller, breath out turn to the right, each time you breath in lengthen up a little bit, each time you breath out rotate to the right a little bit. Turn your head to the right as well and do not strain.

Repeat on the other side.

Twists are good for the spinal health, good for digestion, and good for your immune system and relaxation. Let the practice be enjoyable.

Laying Yoga …..

Laying Yoga can be done on the floor or on a firm bed (with cushions under your knees).

Lay with your legs up on a chair, with a soft pillow under your head, Let your head relax back into the softness of the pillow. Put your hands on your belly and breathe in and out smoothly for a few moments. As you breath in you can feel your hands move up and as you breath out you can feel your hand move down towards your back bone. This can be relaxing and also helps the lower back to release any tension.

There are a few movements you can do from this starting position.

Starting position – resting with your hands on your belly.

Then open your arms wide and breath in – then bring your hands back to your belly. Repeat 3 to 5 times.

Then bring one knee onto your chest and give your knee a hug – breath for 3 to 5 breaths. Repeat with the other knee.

And then do the hamstring stretch from the floor, hold for 3 to 5 breaths and see if you can soften on the out breath. Using a belt helps you to not strain your shoulders or your back. Repeat with the other leg.

Come back to the starting point – resting with your hands on your belly for a few moments and notice how you feel.

Breathing practices can be used to relax or energise...

There are many different Relaxation Techniques that can suit all different personalities and preferences, including Guided Visualisations, Taking the Breath around the Body and Tense and Release relaxations.

One of the very core values of Yoga is to not strain or harm the body …. so don't push or strain as you practice Yoga … be mindful, working kindly with focused attention on what you are doing .

Written by Frances Lewis