Wednesday Workout: Yoga Is Accessible


There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

The physical component of yoga is called “hatha yoga.” The word “hatha” is Sanskrit for physical. There are essentially 24 basic poses in yoga and many, many variations on them thus creating hundreds of poses all together. There are also ways to modify the basic poses so anyone can participate in some level of hatha yoga. This is where yoga therapy comes into play. All yoga is therapeutic in a sense because of the breathing, stretching and mental practices, but the physical acts of the poses, also called asanas, can be changed up slightly to make them accessible to some persons with disabilities.

Disclaimer alert: this article is not meant to replace the guidance of your health care practitioner. Always consult such persons before engaging in activity to be sure your condition warrants participation in an organized exercise regime of any kind.

That said, besides talking with your doctor first, here are three books to give you an idea of what might be available to you.

Recovery Yoga, A Practical Guide for Chronically Ill, Injured, and Post-Operative People, Sam Dworkis, Three Rivers Press, New York, 1997. This book covers breathing and movements in a variety of positions. Once you have understood any limitations your doctor recommends, you can choose exercises done sitting, standing, lying down, and on the floor. Dworkis is an Iyengar trained yoga teacher and the B.K.S. Iyengar tradition of hatha yoga originated the practice of modifying yoga poses through the use of props such as chairs and bolsters. His program is called Extension Yoga.

Yoga As Medicine, The Yogic Prescription For Health and Healing, Timothy McCall, M.D., Bantam, New York, 2007. McCall is a doctor and a yoga practitioner and the medical consultant for Yoga Journal Magazine. It includes practice routines and advice on using yoga to help with several conditions such as back pain, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis.

Yoga for Movement Disorders, Rebuilding Strength, Balance and Flexibility for Parkinson’s Disease and Dystonia, Renee Le Verrier, BS, RYT, Merit Publishing International, Florida, 2009. The author of this book suffers from Parkinson’s Disease and practices what she preaches. Every pose is prop assisted and the system is explained very clearly. The photos are very clear and the poses are adaptable to more than Parkinson’s. Highly recommended.

My book Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity includes chapters on yoga for writers. Basic poses like Triangle are shown modified in Writer Wellness for use by persons other than writers. Best wishes to you for continued health through movement. Have you found an interesting way to keep physically active?

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing,

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous. Bob Mayer Jenni Holbrook Kristen Lamb Inspiration for Writers, Inc. Natalie Markey

Be well, write well.