Consistently doing yoga will bring about many health benefits along the way. Improvements to back pain, arthritis pain, stress relief, and balance strengthening are just a few examples of how yoga can improve your life.
Anyone can do yoga in various ways, and one of these ways is through wheelchair yoga. This means that people who use a wheelchair can exercise the same as everyone else and receive the same health benefits.
Here is a brief introduction to wheelchair yoga and a few examples of poses that one can practice day-to-day:
Hip & Leg Stretch
When seated in a sitting position for long periods of time, it is normal for the hip and legs to become tight and sore. To help with this, consider stretching them out.
Lift one leg to cross it over the other and lean forward if possible. Take a few deep breaths in this position, and then release. Repeat on the other side.
Another great exercise is a leg stretch. To do this, inhale and sit up tall and while exhaling, fold in half, grab the back of your leg and lift to a comfortable position. Hold this for about 30 seconds if possible. Do this again on the other side, and repeat as many times as you’d like.
The Cat Pose
Another area of the body that can tighten easily is the lower back. To help with this, consider trying the cat pose.
Sitting up straight with your arms on your lap or holding the sides of your chair, take a deep breath, tuck your chin and arch your back. Hold this pose for a few deep breaths and then return to an elongated spine pose. Repeat this exercise as you feel it is best for you.
Another great stretch to relieve lower back pain or tension is a back twist. To do this exercise:
- Inhale and cross one arm over to the opposite side of the chair, and gently hold on.
- Exhale and then hold for a few more breaths.
- Repeat this on the other side of the body so that your back is evenly stretched out.
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