NAF Wheelchair Yoga Podcast
March 28, 2008 · Print This Article
This weekend was the 51st annual Ataxia Conference for the National Ataxia Foundation (NAF) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ralph and Jennifer Miller presented a segment on wheelchair yoga. The audio for this segment can be found at the end of this post.
Hightlights of the 2008 National Ataxia Foundation Wheelchair Yoga Session
- When starting your practice of wheelchair Yoga, choose one Yoga pose and do it daily. Add on new poses as time and interest allows
- Yoga is a celebration of the expression of the pose in your body in a completely unique way. No two poses will be the same. Do your best to express the pose uniquely and fully in your own body
- Stretch only to where you feel a mild discomfort. If you feel pain, ease up on the stretch or come out of it completely
- Take it easy, take it slow
- If you have rods along your spine, consult with a physician. In general, follow the natural movements of your body. I.e. if you do a movement normally as part of your everyday life, then you may do it, but be sure to be mindful of your range of motion.
Benefits of Wheelchair Yoga
- Wheelchair Yoga can be used to control pain by helping you to control your experience of pain
- Wheelchair Yoga can be used to help improve breathing, especially for those with asthma, and may reduce dependence on inhalers
- To see improvements, you need to have a daily practice of Yoga for several months
- The breath is your connection to your energy
- No matter what you’re body is doing, focus on your breath.
- Become centered in your breath
- Breathe into your low belly, the sides of your belly and your low back
- Practice lying down
- A steady breath means a steady mind
- Come back to an awareness of the breath whenever you can throughout your day
- Spine flexibility is connected to your health
- Three directions of flexibility for your spine
a. Forward and back