Yoga is a group of practices to stay naturally healthy, through physical, mental, as well as spiritual evolvement. Many studies and researches have shown the symbiotic relationship between the mind and body in determining self-healing powers and natural immunity. Following this, today, yoga is evolving as an area in Ayurveda or Naturopathy as a method for strengthening the body, as well as the mind through physical exercises along with breathing techniques and meditation. Focusing on natural healing, yoga is gaining popularity as one of the best rehabilitation therapies.
Any kind of physical trauma can be termed as an injury, which causes damage to our body through an external force, illnesses or hereditary abnormalities. The seriousness of various injuries will vary and can even cause disability or death. On hearing the term yoga, various asanas or poses come into our minds. You will even wonder how such asanas can help on the occasion of an injury. But, there are practices in yoga other than physical exercises which can provide relaxation and improve the body’s self-healing.
- Pranayama : Refers to breathing exercises in yoga. In the system of yoga, breath is seen as the ‘life force energy’ or ‘prana’, which controls our life. So, breathing exercises in yoga strengthens our life energy, accelerating self-healing.
- Yoga Nidra : A visualization technique in yoga. Here, practitioners will enter into a state of deep sleep through following audio instructions and self-visualizations, attaining complete relaxation of mind as well as body. Relaxation accelerates the body’s self-healing.
Let’s have a look at how these yoga techniques help in quick recovery from injuries such as fractures, sprain, muscle strain, various physical disabilities, etc.
Rehabilitation from fractures
Fracture is a broken bone creating temporary physical inability. Though it will be impossible to do various poses or asanas on the occasion of a fracture. Practices like pranayama and yoga nidra can relax our body increasing self-healing.
Rehabilitation from sprain
Sprain is the stretching or tearing of ligaments. Ligaments are fibrous tissues in our body that connect two bones in a joint. Mostly sprain occurs in ankles. Doctors generally advice rest as a common remedy for severe as well as a mild sprain. Yoga techniques like pranayama and yoga nidra will provide full relaxation accelerating body self-healing.
Suitable asanas as per the direction by an expert yoga instructor can be practised for rehabilitation from the sprain. This should be started for a few minutes and then make it a routine practice for a scheduled period. Poses like ‘urdhva hastasana’ (upward salute pose), ‘gomukhasana’ (cow face pose), ‘urdhva namskarasana’ (upward prayer pose), etc. can be done in conditions like an ankle sprain, to strengthen the body through toning ligament naturally.
Rehabilitation from muscle strain
Muscle strains are muscle injuries causing pain and tenderness. Usually, this happens after a physical activity that vigorously moves a muscle. This condition creates pain on movements and needs to be addressed slowly, in a step by step manner through yoga.
Other than accelerating self-healing through pranayama and yoga nidra, suitable asanas as per the condition of a muscle-strain victim can be practised under a yoga expert. Asanas or poses like ‘bhujangasana’ (cobra pose), ‘balasana’ (child pose), ‘utthita trikonasana’ (triangle pose), ‘marjarasana’ / ‘bitilasana’ (cat / cow pose) etc. This will enable muscles to regain its natural strength, energy and recover completely.
Rehabilitation from physical inabilities
Physical disabilities can occur due to accidents, abnormal lifestyles, illnesses like stroke, or due to birth defects. Along with regaining physical strength through treatments and exercises, it takes mental strength as well as self-motivation to overcome physical inabilities. This makes yoga a holistic remedy to overcome physical inabilities.
Asanas or physical exercises along with pranayama, meditation, as well as relaxation practices in yoga can help to overcome inabilities through regaining physical, mental, as well as emotional strength to tackle the situation. Making yoga a daily routine along with medical treatment is extremely effective for those who are facing serious physical inabilities. Anyone can start yoga with simple poses like:
- Tadasana (Mountain pose)
- Vrikasana (Tree pose)
- Trikonasana (Triangle pose)
- Kursiasana (Chair pose)
- Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
With modern practices like ‘chair yoga’, which is getting immensely popular due to the ease of doing it by sitting in a chair, yoga has been extensively used for regaining strength in any kind of physical inability. Being a therapy having different schools of thought like the ‘hata yoga’ (yoga of posters), ‘raja yoga’ (yoga of self-control), ‘kundalini yoga’ (yoga of energy), etc., yoga provides different ways of practices to accelerate recovery from grievous physical conditions, through accelerated mental, emotional, as well as physical strength.