It Is Something I Have Always Been Interested In
I have always wanted to try yoga. It is something that I have always had an interest in but didn’t know much about. My aunt has been doing yoga for years. She recently starting going to a new yoga studio. It is less than 5 minutes up the street from my house.
Since I’m recovering from my accident, I have a lot more free time. Up until I got hurt I didn’t have time for things like taking yoga lessons. Now I have all the time in the world, so I decided there is no time like the present! Here are some reasons why I think you should consider yoga if you are aTBI Patient!
1. An Activity To Look Forward To
Since my accident, I don’t have as much to look forward to as usual. Prior to this, I was always riding my horse, taking my horse somewhere for a trail ride, swimming in the river, going hiking… I busy and had things to look forward to!
After getting hurt it seemed that all I had to look forward to were doctors appointments( which we don’t really look forward to) and PT lessons(oddly enough I love my PT, and even on my worst days I look forward to his glass half full optimism).
It was exciting to have something else to look forward to during the week!
2. I’m Capable Of Doing Things, Even New Things!
It feels good to know that despite my health problems at the moment. I’m in fact still capable of doing things! I’m even capable of learning a new skill that I did not have before I got hurt. To me, that is a pretty big deal.
Going to yoga lessons is a way that I can focus on what I can do, instead of dwell on what I can’t! It makes me feel so much more encouraged to think that even in my current stage of rehab, not only am I learning new things. But I’m learning new things that are helping my recovery.
3. I Have Found It Compliments PT
In PT lessons for me at this point, we are working on increasing my tolerance for things. Things like pushing through my vision issues and vertigo. As well as working on walking and getting strong and balanced enough to do it without the walker.
That being said in PT, when I start getting comfortable it is time to push harder so I can move on to the next step. PT to m,e is pushing me to get to the next level of my recovery. It sometimes hurts. Sometimes it makes me dizzy, or nauseous or instigates my migraines.
Yoga, on the other hand, is all about listening to your body. About being mindful and aware. As far as the different poses go. As you learn them you use props to help you until your body gets the flexibility it needs. It focuses on learning the poses slowly and correctly, never forcing anything.
When I leave my yoga classes I feel good, my muscles feel relaxed and my mind feels calm. The things I’m doing in yoga are complimenting PT activities, continuing to work on my balance.
The mindfulness part of yoga is a big benefit too. Practicing being in the moment and quieting your mind helps me in a lot of ways and I’m sure it would help you too.
I have learned how to let thoughts come and go in my mind and not dwell on them. The meditation and breathing exercises associated with yoga have taught me that I can in fact control what goes on in my mind. I can focus on stopping my thoughts from racing. In a tense situation, I feel like I can better take a deep breath and calm myself down.
Anxiety has always been an issue for me. I have been working hard on learning to deal with it. The things I learn in yoga are all things I can add to my arsenal of tools to help when my anxiety creeps up on me.
5. It Just Feels Good!
I have been walking with a walker for so long now that I have neck and shoulder pain from bracing my body forward on the walker. As my balance improves I’m bracing less and less. Though the back and neck, pain is still there.
Doing gentle stretches in yoga makes those aches and pains feel so much better. A lot of the stretches for my neck and shoulders are super simple. I can do them anytime at home when I start to feel things tighten up.
6. Standing Up Tall!
Continuing on from the fact that it just feels good. In yoga, I have been practicing standing up in mountain pose against the wall. With my walker in front of me of course. My goal is to just keep my hands sitting on top the walker so I feel supported, but not actually gripping the handles of the walker.
Opening my shoulders or “opening my front body” as my yoga teacher puts it is helping me to stand up straighter again while still feeling balanced. Working on mountain pose and tree pose against the wall is slowly building my confidence as I realize that I’m keeping my balance and I’m not clutching on to the walker anymore.
“Yoga Is Good For Everything!”
I read that somewhere or heard someone say that. Maybe it was a meme on Instagram I can’t remember. I will say that in my case yoga has really been good for me both mentally and physically. Is it good for everything? I’m not sure! I would guess it probably is. If you are a TBI patient at a point in your rehab that your doctors and PT think you are up for it, I definitely recommend giving yoga a try.