When Yoga Calls: Gentle Poses for Every (Dis)Ability Level
Non-yogis tend to see yoga as a soft exercise. A boring combination of stretching and breathing. You know – not a work out.
And it can be among the gentler types of exercise. Yogic philosophy stresses honoring the body, and types of yoga vary from restorative, which involves pillows, props, and lots of support, to vigorous and challenging asanas (poses), flows, and sequences.
But ever since my autoimmune system’s overrun my body, I have found that even gentle classes can be painful. On tough days, even standards like Adho Mukha Vṛkṣāsana (downward-facing dog) and Marjaryasana (cat pose) hurt my wrists and knees.
Luckily, there are resources that provide lists of poses for people of all levels of (dis)ability. The poses are hand-picked because they are easy on the joints and require entry-level balance and stamina.
Don’t be put off by labels. Yoga resources for people with disabilities are simply normal yoga poses that happen to be accessible to beginners and people with physical challenges. You’ll run into these poses during more strenuous practices, too.
Here’s the resource I’m using today:
Yoga Positions for People with Disabilities – WhatDisability.com, It lists poses that look easy on my ankles, knees, wrists, and hands, and I’ve done enough yoga to be able to follow along with written directions.
If you prefer to see someone model or lead you through gentle yoga poses, follow this video, which goes through 3 Hatha yoga poses that can be done by almost everyone. If you stay tuned after the initial video, you’ll find other yoga poses meant to help with specific problem areas & issues. Shout out to instructor Amy Newman for such a great resource.