This article is from Alicia Emmett, a chiropractor, health nut, and softball team captain
Yoga is more than a spiritual discipline, exercise, or relaxation technique. Yoga can serve as a method of rehabilitation while recovering from an injury. Not only can it help heal the body, it can help with the mental and emotional healing process as well. While dealing with the stress of a lawsuit, along with the aches and pains from your accident, hit the mat as one way to recoup and get your life back on track.
Mind + Body Rehabilitation
Recovering from a serious accident can come from natural mind-body healing, rather than pain-relieving medications or even surgery. Paul Mitchell Gold, an ashtanga yoga teacher, advocates yoga as a healing mechanism. He shares that the body naturally reacts to an injury by contracting or armouring. Yoga helps loosen and rehabilitate the afflicted area, even if you have to scale the movements, take breaks or move more slowly. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments and be in tune with your body. Muscle soreness is normal, but back off if you feel pain in the joints and modify your approach.
Yoga also helps achieve higher awareness and states of presence that can heal the body and mind. Since the two are interconnected, mitigating mental anguish aids with eliminating physical suffering. Start by engaging in yoga to replace stress with serenity. Yoga’s complementary union between postures and breathing restores vital energy and quiets the mind. With a calm head space, your body can work toward alleviating pain in a relaxed state.
Yoga as Physical Therapy
Along with daily meditation for the mind, treat the following types of injuries and pains with a dedicated yoga fitness program.
- Back pain: Relieve soreness with a yoga sequence that includes Downward-Facing Dog, Child’s Pose, Pigeon Pose, and Cat and Cow Pose. These four postures target large back muscles and elongate the spine. Pigeon Pose stretches the hip rotators and flexors that can agitate the lower back if tight. Cat and Cow Poses loosen back muscles and eases tension. Try these beginner poses by using the Everydayhealth.com guide.
- Muscle soreness: Repair an injured muscle back to health and restore balance by opening up the muscles. Opened-up muscles and proper breathing will increase blood flow, boost detoxification and increase elasticity. Relax muscle reflexes and contractions by sitting cross-legged and raising intermingled arms in the Sit Easy Pose. Open up the chest and strengthen the back and arms with Cobra Pose. Lie on your stomach and place forearms and palms flat on the floor. Raise your chest. Yoganonymous also recommends three yoga poses that can help relieve sore muscles and aches.
- Neck pain: Release neck tension and alleviate cervical spine-related pain with an 8-pose yoga sequence, including 8-Point Shoulder Opener, Cow Face Arms and Thread The Needle. Yoga instructor Heidi Kristoffer believes in the cure of yoga. Kristoffer shares in her Mind Body Green bio that lengthening and strengthening through yoga helped repair a herniated disc in her cervical spine and avoid surgery on two broken vertabrae in her lumbar spine. After being in a serious car accident, she was able to go to her yoga mat to alleviate pain and even eliminate herniations. Check out the Mind Green Body yoga posture slideshow recommended by Kristoffer for relieving pain and feeling more open.