Stretching is always helpful for the body. Yoga is a great way to calm your body, stretch your mucles. Even better, it’s accessible to people with disabilities.
Yoga Helps All Disabilities
The gentle stretching of Yoga and its centered-breathing discipline can benefit people who may have arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, or osteoporosis as well as those who have had a stroke. The “asanas,” or poses that make up a Yoga practice can also help with balance and strength while helping you find a calming emotional space that helps not only with healing, but also with the day-to-day challenges of life.
In addition, notes the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD), Yoga aids your:
• Digestive system, as the bending and stretching poses stimulate the digestive system
• Cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary systems (also known as your heart and lungs!), as the more active poses increase heart rate and lung capacity through aerobic activity
• Lymphatic system (essentially, the primary component of your immune system), which needs strong muscles and active interaction among the lungs, diaphragm, and thorax to stay strong
• Skeletal and muscular systems, which benefit from yoga’s focus on proper alignment, flexibility, and muscle-strengthening
Learning More About Yoga for People with Disabilities
One of the best free sources of information regarding yoga and its benefits is the NCPAD’s website section, “Yoga for Individuals with Disabilities.”
Included among its overviews, articles, videos, and online demonstrations are information about Yoga’s benefits,Yoga equipment, what to expect in a Yoga session, demonstrations of specific exercises, a resource list, a directory of Yoga organizations (definitely needs updating/expanding), and a relatively current (2005 is most recent publication date) list of books and articles about yoga for various conditions.
Although it would be great if this resource list could be updated, it is still nevertheless a great starting point to check out what’s been written about yoga and your specific condition.
Article by by Kim Donahue, Disaboom
FURTHER RESOURCES (added by IYM) Books, DVDs, Websites:
1. Two of Integral Yoga’s leading teachers’ books featured on The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability’s website (photo above)
2. Carol Dickman’s Seated Yoga
For 12 years, Carol Dickman, and her Yoga Enterprises, has developed instructional audio, video and DVD programs aimed at those who wish to live healthier lives despite impaired mobility. Carol Dickman’s Seated Yoga (DVD) and Bed Top Yoga (DVD)
3. Susan Ward’s Accessible Yoga for Every Body: Basic Series 2 (DVD)
4. Accessible Yoga Teacher Training Program (See Education tab on this website)