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3 Yoga Poses for People with Chronic Illness

Yoga has many benefits for people with chronic illness. If you're interested in trying yoga to manage your chronic illness, here are a few poses you can start with.

Viparita Karani

Legs up the wall pose

How to do it:

Bring your hip as close to the wall as possible. Then roll yourself to the side and onto your back, swinging your legs up the wall. Scoot as close to the wall as you can get. Rest your hands at your side or on your stomach. If your hamstrings are tight, bend your knees. Hold for 5-10 slow, deep breaths.


Benefits:

Supports immune system. Calms the mind. Alleviates headaches.


Balasana

Supported child's pose

How to do it:

Sit on your knees on the mat with a bolster or pillow in front of you. Bring your knees wide toward the edges of the mat with your hips on your heels. Stretch your arms forward around your bolster/pillow and bring your forehead to rest on the bolster/pillow. Take 10-15 slow, deep breaths here.


Modifications: Have a blanket under your knees for extra cushion. Place two blocks on the ground under the bolster for more height.


Benefits:

Soothes anxiety. Stretches the spine.


Supta Baddha Konasana

Reclining bound angle pose (supported or not supported)

How to do it:

Supported: Have a bolster behind your back. You can elevate this with two blocks as well, one on the highest and one on the second highest side. While seated, bring the soles of your feet together and allow your knees to fall to the sides. Lower back onto your bolster. Extend your arms along the side of your body with your palms facing up. Hold for 5-10 slow, deep breaths.


Not supported: While laying flat on your back, bring the soles of your feet together with your knees falling to the sides. Extend your arms along the side of your body with your palms facing up. Hold for 5-10 slow, deep breaths.


Modifications: Use blocks or folded blankets under your knees for more support.


Benefits:

Creates space where many of us hold tension.


Watch all three of these poses be demonstrated in this video.

Do you want to take a class or private session focused on yoga for chronic illness? Get in touch to learn more.


Note: If you have recently had surgery or a medical procedure, are in an active flare up of your chronic illness or have specific concerns (ongoing injury or pain), please talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program or taking a yoga class.

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