Adaptive Yoga with WheelPower

25 Mar 2020

Adaptive Yoga with WheelPower

Yoga is a safe and effective way to increase strength, flexibility and your balance that can lead to improvements in both your physical and mental wellbeing. At WheelPower we believe that lives can be transformed through sport and physical activity and today we are launching a series of Adaptive Yoga videos to encourage wheelchair users to exercise from the comfort of their homes.

Nina Boswell Brown, from sittingfityoga.com will be your instructor as she demonstrates, explains and guides you through a gentle warm up, before showing you how to complete the yoga poses in a safe and effective way.

These videos last approximately 30 minutes, so make sure it’s nice and quiet for relaxation.

Put on some comfortable clothing that allow for movement, find yourselves a small space within your home and away you go.

Adaptive Yoga with WheelPower - Class 1

The first video focuses on some gentle stretching for the neck, shoulders and arms for wheelchair users. These movements should help you to feel freed up in the upper body, which can get tight and inflexible from repetitive motions or misalignment in movement and posture. Nina will demonstrate how props can be used to modify a stretch or enhance posture when balance or movement is limited. And you’ll be guided on the use of breath during Yoga asanas and movement. Nina also discuss the importance of alignment of joints for good posture, reflected in the sequences of this video.

Adaptive Yoga with WheelPower - Class 2

The second video focuses on some movements for the spine. Our spine can move in five directions so you’ll be introduced to stretches to keep your spine flexible. Some people may have restrictions in their spine from injury and subsequent vulnerability or fixtures that limit the movements of the spine to some extent. In these cases, it is important to move very gently and not over-extend. Flexion of the spine (bending forward) should be avoided for those with slipped or herniated discs for example. This video also shows an example of warm-up movements you can do before stretching and finishes off with Sun Salutations which is a sequence of movements, incorporating some of those you have been introduced to.

Adaptive Yoga with WheelPower - Class 3

This video demonstrates yoga practised out of the wheelchair and mainly incorporates stretches for the lower body with the addition of some movement for the upper body and trunk. It is very easy for tightness to develop in the lower body when using a wheelchair long-term so maintaining range of movement is important. These stretches can be practised on a bed and you will need a pillow or two plus a strap if you have one available (a thin towel could be used instead).

The Benefits

As a wheelchair user the benefits of Yoga can be seen in your mind, body and spirit. Some of these benefits include:

  • Increased flexibility & coordination
  • Improving muscle strength, tone and balance.
  • Minimises the chance of injury.
  • Reduces stress
  • Feel healthier and more energised.

Please remember: Always seek advice from your GP, Physio or a trained exercise professional regarding the type and amount of physical activity and exercise you should be doing. We hope these videos demonstrate that being healthy and feeling fitter doesn’t always have to mean taking part in sport or going to the gym, and that regular low impact exercise such as Adaptive Yoga can be hugely beneficial for your mental and physical wellbeing.

Find out more about Adaptive Yoga

Below are some key links to help you to find out about classes in your local area:

NHS Guide to Yoga

Find a Class at the British Wheel of Yoga

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