Yoga is an exercise discipline that offers many different health benefits. The act of stretching in different ways can help tone muscles, improve circulation and lubricate joints more effectively throughout the body. Yoga, when combined with meditation, has also been shown to reduce anxiety and improve overall mood.
There are many different types of yoga. The most common one practiced in western countries is called Hatha Yoga. Hatha is a type of yoga that focuses on gentle stretching to improve the limberness of the body. This style of yoga is easy to start and can be practiced by anyone at any fitness level. It is also a great type of yoga for beginners if you have a disability or chronic condition.
Adapting Yoga for a Disability
Yoga moves, or asanas, can be adapted to accommodate disabilities or chronic conditions. Many of the stretching movements can be adjusted to do from a chair or a wheelchair. Some of the yoga moves are simple breathing techniques that are easy to learn and can be done by anyone regardless of physical condition. All of these yoga moves, regardless of adaptation, are beneficial to your health.
Deep breathing techniques can help a person relax and help manage anxiety. Specific breathing techniques can also help a person improve their diaphragm muscles and increase oxygen flow to all organs. Certain breathing techniques have also been associated with improved blood pressure readings.
Stretching in any form will improve coordination, even if you are in a wheelchair. Yoga can improve joint lubrication and help reduce inflammation throughout the body. Stretching improves range of motion in all areas of the body. Stretching also helps toxins move from the body into the regions where they can be eliminated from the body.
Yoga Is Beneficial, Even in Small Doses
Physical limitations should not keep you from enjoying the many benefits of yoga. The act of stretching itself, if only for five minutes a day, will provide health benefits. Over time, even with chronic conditions or limitations, you will build your stamina and be able to do a little more each time. A if you cannot increase your yoga time or stretches, you will still benefit from a few minutes a day.
Yoga is more of a lifestyle choice than a real physical exercise. It is about devoting a little bit of time each day to care for your body and mind. It is about giving your body some relief by stretching it and working muscles in a way that feels good and provides health benefits. It is about taking a little time to quiet your mind and allow your entire body to heal and be at rest. Yoga is about creating space in your body.
Yoga can become an essential part of each day. As you begin to experience the health improvements, you will find yourself looking forward to your yoga time each day. For those with limitations and physical disabilities, this may be one of the best things you can do to help your body stay fit and healthy without causing harm from high-impact exercising or having no exercise at all.