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Thread: Yoga for non believers

  1. #1

    Yoga for non believers

    I've have seen several posts in the archives of CareCure talking about Yoga and its effects on paralysis.

    I am a high level paraplegic (T3-4).

    I've been practicing this form:

    for about 6 months, almost daily. 98% of this work is seated. I take what I consider "common sense" precautions. I don't do a full "hurdlers" stretch like I did in HS back in the early 80s, but rather I just put my foot to my thigh. I don't put the weight of my body on my ankles and knees, but rather I just flex my hips.

    I do all the meditations, but use whatever assistance I require from my hands or other supports to be safe.

    Results for me:

    1) Six months back my blood pressure averaged about 135. (40 something, 190, 6'1.) I took it three times in the last week. Now my blood pressure is about 120/80. 10 point drop.

    2) I can not sit on the edge of the front of my chair and raise my hands about my head, and make circles. Does it look stupid to an able bodied person? of know what? they are idiots anyway, a large part of them.

    Yoga may not fix my spine....honestly, I'm a beginner and I don't know yet. But the Kundalini form is potent, safe, and adaptable. A higher level injury can concentrate more on the meditative aspects and do stim ( or whatever you do now to keep yourself fit.) A lower level injury can intelligently adapt. Are you unsure of how your body will react?? Get a real Yoga teacher...somebody with 20 years of experience (not a trainer) to come over and ask them. Be careful, take it one step at a time. And trust what you feel, because often times, you are feeling more than the text books say you're feeling.

    Also, if Yoga can keep me off a blood pressure medication (and I can continue to get reflex erections) I'm happy with that. My boyfriend will appreciate it

  2. #2
    I have a great Yogi Bhajan story (I know, who doesn't, right?) There was a large group gathering of the Kundalini Yoga community held in NYC back in about 1984-85. I was a year or two into my injury. My ex-girlfriend's ex-husband, a physician, had taken vows into the Kundalini community (legally changed his name, etc.) and was at this convocation. During one of the breaks I was introduced to Yogi Bhajan, the group's founder and leader, and to discuss possible remedies for my paralysis. YB was an imposing man and walked with an elaborate cane. He took his cane and rapped it on the side of one of my wheels and said, "Move your legs." Good talk.

    I took many kundalini yoga classes prior to my injury and practiced on my own as well. It's very intense, especially those postures that combine difficult postures with the "breath of fire," a rapid inhalation/exhalation through the nose, which can leave you feeling lightheaded. I'm fascinated that someone with paralysis is attempting this (Jake, you and I share the same injury level).

    While the anecdote above would indicate that I'm not particularly drawn to the movement's culture, the physical prowess it takes to do the practice is impressive.

    Last edited by stephen212; 04-28-2012 at 11:20 AM.

  3. #3
    Your bf?
    Are you gay with an sci?

  4. #4
    This is excellent! Living with SCI (or any condition) is a lot easier when general health and well-being are maintained. Adaptive yoga is a great way to feel better and get stronger, often in ways that are too subtle to categorize - and sometimes the benefits are more obvious (your blood pressure going down, for example).

    Like you, I think it's important to have a good teacher initially, one who is trained in rehabilitative yoga techniques. For people who don't have access to teachers of that calibre, there are getting to be some good DVDs on the market by rehab-experienced instructors like Matt Sanford, Eric Small and Sam Dworkis.

    For years, I secretly hoped that yoga would restore some of my lost capacities - it didn't, as my condition is progressive. But it did make me more comfortable in my skin and help me to think differently and maintain myself in ways that might have slowed the progression of MS. One never knows. But it's important to stay fit, and yoga clearly works well for you and many of us here - a great find!

  5. #5
    I'm not sure if I'm gay...depends on the man I'm with
    Last edited by JakeHalsted; 05-03-2012 at 12:24 AM.

  6. #6
    Yoga is great, even if all you practice is the Breath.
    Get involved in politics as if your life depended on it, because it does. -- Justin Dart

    I shall not tolerate ignorance or hate speech on this site.

  7. #7
    I do tai chi. Got too beat up from wheelchair sports to exercise any other way. I've taught it to my 88 year old mother.and a few of her friends. Good stuff.

  8. #8
    I do limited yoga. The main thing for me is the flexibility. My hips get stiff, omg I'm 52 and busted. I do shoulder stands and downward facing dog for party tricks LOL. (Incomplete quad.) I was raised doing it, and I sure feel it when I don't.

    I went to a one-on-one session in Santa Fe. GREAT instructor. Just don't get competitive or you'll tear something.

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