From the inception of yoga, it is used for relaxation, body and mind, and other health benefits. Daily life can sometimes be exhilarating, and you will need to forget about how it went, yoga can be your last resort. Yoga helps to learn breath control, balancing of body posture, and meditation.
Elderly wheelchair users are not exempted from practicing yoga, and they quite have the chance of effectively practicing yoga to bring a connection between their mind and body. This practice truly and effectively helps them relieve stress and blood pressure.
Being in the wheelchair doesn’t prevent you from enjoying yoga poses and the goodies that it brings. All you need to do is to prepare your mind and body for the benefiting exercise. Also, need I remind you that yoga is an adaptable activity for all and sundry; don’t despair, even if in a wheelchair. Here are also some basic routine yoga for elderly beginners
Before I delve into the 6 yoga poses for the elderly in a wheelchair, let me quickly run you through the benefits of yoga and precautions before practicing:
- It helps you reduce stress, anxiety, and tension
- It gives more flexibility
- Gives a generally improved sense of wellbeing
- Alleviates the feeling of solitude
- Provides a greater lung capacity
- Relaxes and realigns the joints
- Soothes pains you might be feeling.
Here is also a great article I wrote on yoga benefits which you can have a look at.
- Take consideration of your limitations
- Don well to practice yoga postures in the company of friends, family, or even a trainer
- Always make sure you properly breathe as you practice the yoga poses
- As you practice, you should feel no pain, but the tension
- Stop the moment you feel hurt and contact your doctor.
Below are 6 yoga poses for the elderly in a wheelchair:
1. Cat Pose
The cat pose is one of the beneficial yoga for the elderly in a wheelchair. This pose helps to stretch and realign your spine. Follow the following guide to practice this pose:
- While you sit in your wheelchair, have a firm grip on it.
- Place your two palms on your thighs
- Round the upper body of yours to make the cat pose
- Exhale normally
- Make an arch shape with your spin and drop your chin towards your chest
- Hold still in this position for 1-3 minutes, then relax your body.
2. Cow Pose
This yoga pose is useful for opening and stretching the front of the body. It does an excellent job of helping you breathe properly, even when you are in an uncomfortable position like a wheelchair sometimes means. The following steps will efficiently walk you through this unique body-stretching pose:
- Start this pose with a firm grip on the wheelchair so that you don’t fall off while in position
- Place your palms on your thighs
- While you hold a firm grip on the wheelchair, gently lift your head up
- Inhale and push your chest out with your back carefully stretching out
- Hold this position for at least five breaths before you release your body.
3. Side Stretch
Side stretch is an active pose for strengthening your obliques. Before you proceed with this yoga pose, it is recommended to seek advice from your doctor or physician to know it will not be consequential. More so, do not overstretch, and if during this side stretch, you feel any pain, do well to quit and see your doctor. Try the pose out with the following timely steps:
- Once again, hold firm on the wheelchair
- Move your right arm over your head and to the other side while you rest your left arm on your thigh for support
- Gently exhale as you stretch your arm further, do not overstretch.
- Continue breathing normally
- Hold this position for 1-2 minutes
- Swap sides and repeat the whole process.
4. Twist Pose
Twist yoga pose helps to stretch and realigns your back. It so works by helping to reduce tension from your back. Being in a wheelchair is enough a situation to contend with, but you wouldn’t want to worry about backache, too. The cases of backache are the more reason why yoga specialists do recommend that twist pose be included in your daily yoga exercise routine, mainly when we consider your sedentary lifestyle. To practice, run through the steps below:
- Be well seated in your wheelchair
- Place your hands on your thighs
- Hold your right hand firmly on the crease of your left hip for support
- While you hold for support, turn gently to the left and hold the handle/arm of the wheelchair
- Stay in this position for 3-5 breaths
- Return to the original seated position, swap sides, and repeat this process.
5. Forward Bend
There are over 100 different types of yoga poses, with each having a specific effect on the trainee. The forward bend is typical for stretching the lower back, strengthening your hips, and making your hamstrings stronger. Being in a wheelchair means you are going to be in a sitting position all day, which, from experience and report, is not healthy. On this note, stretching the body every day is much-needed. This yoga pose is one of the ways you can relax your body, relieve stress, and body tension. Follow these steps to practice:
- Hold firm in your wheelchair
- Take a deep breath
- Sit tall by straightening your back
- Exhale and bend forward from your waist
- While you lean forward, hold on to your wheelchair for support, to prevent you from falling off.
- Hold this position for 1-2 minutes
- Return to your initial seated position.
6. Leg Stretch
To be confined in a wheelchair, you must not be able to walk out of your legs, but that still doesn’t mean those legs can’t serve a purpose. This leg stretch yoga pose works your hamstring more than it does to your legs. Follow the under-listed steps to perform this pose:
- Take a deep breath
- Sit up tall by straightening your back
- Slowly exhale while you wrap both hands around your right leg
- Raise your knee to a comfortable level
- Hold this position for 3-5 breaths
- Return to the original position and change to the left leg.
Yes, yoga is good for the elderly in a wheelchair. It is also recommended that you see a doctor for heads up before you include any of the listed yoga poses in your daily routine. Also, as earlier stated in this article, tension should be felt and not pain. At the first feel of pain, stop the program, and contact your doctor.
We hope this article can take your general health to a whole new height by providing you with the needed information to get you started with routine yoga poses for your wellbeing. If you have any questions, do well to contact us. Take precautions and practice appropriately.