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Pulmonary Rehab: Yoga

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Welcome back 🙂 I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe it’s April already. This year is just flying by. If you haven’t checked out the other two Pulmonary Rehab posts, you can do so here and here.

This week I wanted to talk about something else I do to keep myself functioning decently…Yoga.

Yoga may not be what you usually think of when it comes to Pulmonary Rehab, but it has it’s benefits–breathing techniques, relaxation, meditation, getting the tweaks and kinks out of those tight muscles…all of that. It helps more that you might realize, especially for people like me who have several ailments happening all at once.

Black yoga mats in a brown wooden box Stock Photo

So, what’s so great about yoga?

Great question. Here’s an article from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health that can answer a lot of your questions.

The gist of it is that:

Research suggests that yoga may help:

  • Improve general wellness by relieving stress, supporting good health habits, and improving mental/emotional health, sleep, and balance.
  • Relieve neck pain, migraine or tension-type headaches, and pain associated with knee
  • With weight loss
  • People quit smoking.
  • Manage anxiety symptoms or depression.
  • Relieve menopause symptoms.
  • Be a helpful addition to treatment programs for substance use disorders.
  • People with chronic diseases manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/yoga-what-you-need-to-know

My experience

As you can tell from that list above, a lot of my issues can be helped by yoga. I have been practicing for several years and can say with certainty it’s helped with my chronic pain, increased my strength and endurance, and improved my mood overall. All of that leads to more adventures and energy to conserve so we can do the things.

Throughout the years, I have tried a few different types of yoga. ranging from home videos and YouTube to in-person classes. The one that stuck the most was the in-person restorative class. The teacher switches things up each session, which I like because the body gets used to doing the same thing over and over (like the videos). Overall, the theme is the same though. We do poses, movement, rolling, etc. to get the wiggles out and prepare our bodies for savasana (aka corpse pose) to go through a guided meditation. We don’t pretzel in this class and that works for me.

Yoga isn’t as easy as you’d think it is, but it’s definitely worth a shot. My only advice is to get instruction from someone who knows what they’re doing. Injuring yourself is possible (I’ve done it).

Tips and Tricks

  • Invest in a squishy mat. I like at least 5mm, but more would be great. It’s easier on the knees. A standard 3mm mat will work if it’s your preference or all you can find. That’s where I started. If you’re doing it on a carpeted surface, it works just fine.
  • Don’t force things. In life, we don’t force relationships, perfect ponytails, or yoga poses. When you hit your stopping point, stop.
  • Hydrate or diedrate. We’ve talked about this so many times…just do it.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself. I know I have said this in the last two PR blogs, but a gentle reminder never hurts. Especially when living in bodies like we do. Remember that you’re doing your best and don’t be too hard on yourself on those days when you can’t do much more than walk into the living room. This isn’t easy to live with and you’ll have to grant yourself grace on more than one occasion. It sucks, it’s frustrating as all get out, but beating yourself up won’t get you up and moving the next day or week. Do you’re best and forget the rest.

And as always…Be safe out there! Seeyalaterbye <3

Also, if you feel called to help a sista out with her travels, check this out!

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