Yoga is not only a preventative practice for healthy individuals. Yoga can be a valuable rehabilitation tool. Depending on the injury or the treatment of the condition, a skilled therapist can modify yoga poses to meet the patient’s musculoskeletal needs and goals. The practice can tone and gently stretch the muscles improving balance, coordination, flexibility and strength. Don’t forget to breathe—breathing is a major component of yoga, and can reduce pain by deepened muscle relaxation.
The patient experiences active stretching while flowing through yoga poses. Active stretching can increase range of motion and blood flow to all of the muscle groups. As the patient’s practice continues, his or her core becomes stronger. Increased core strength can relieve neck, shoulder and back pain. Improved posture is another result of continual yoga practice.
Beyond muscle strengthening and lengthening, the yoga sequences can improve coordination. The patient has to control his or her breath as well as move his or her body in a specific sequence. Breathing deeply allows more oxygen into the body, providing energy and also an element of relaxation. In addition, yoga strongly emphasizes a sense of well-being, and the practice of maintaining a peaceful mindset. Combining strength, flexibility, and wellness, modified yoga could be an agent for quicker recovery.