Yoga can benefit anybody with any body. I trained in adaptive yoga with Matthew Sanford, an eminent Iyengar teacher who was paralyzed in a car accident at age 13, who awoke me to the tremendous power and resilience of the human body and spirit. Matthew has taught me to see how the mind and whole body are still fundamentally interconnected, even when the signals between them are impeded (perhaps due to injury) or functioning abnormally (as in many congenital and degenerative diseases).
Adaptive students may have disabilities, but they can still experience all types of yoga postures and enjoy the benefits of an embodied yoga practice. Yoga may improve your sense of balance or strength, increase your range of motion, relieve spasms or pain, or help you function in the physical world with more ease. Yoga may also support a greater sense of equanimity and contentedness, in the face of the extraordinary daily challenges adaptive students face. For students coping with progressive loss of physical ability, yoga can provide a feeling of spaciousness and grounding through continued connection and awareness of the subtle aspects of the body.
Please note that adaptive yoga is never intended to be or replace physical or occupational therapy. To learn more about adaptive yoga or read blog posts by Matthew and his adaptive students, visit Mind Body Solutions or contact me with your questions.