by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief
Yoga is a powerful tool for recovery after brain injury. Contrary to some beliefs, everyone can do yoga — you don’t need to be super flexible, be able to balance, or even be able to stand up. The beauty of yoga is that every pose can be modified to accommodate almost anyone.
An important aspect of yoga is your breath. Connecting your breath to your body and getting oxygen flowing to your brain make yoga powerful for recovery. Yoga is also a time to quiet the mind and let anxiety and distracting thoughts drift away.
Butterfly Pose (Buddha Konasana) increases hip mobility by stretching the deepest part of the hip muscles, as well as the inner thighs. The pose helps with grounding and calming the body and mind and also improves posture and body awareness.
- While seated on your mat, bring the soles of your feet together, close to your pelvis. Allow your knees to fall out to the sides.
- Ground your sits bones and lengthen your spine.
- Hold onto the outside of your feet and press the soles of your feet towards each other.
- On an exhale, forward fold from the hips, keeping your spine long and your chest open.
- Hold this pose anywhere from 1-10 minutes.
- To come out of the pose, gently sit up straight, lift your knees, and straighten your legs.
- Sit up on a cushion or folded blanket to make your hips higher than your knees.
- In a chair: place a block on the tall end in front of you and place your feet (soles together) on the block. Gently push down your knees with your hands to stretch your hips. You can stay in this position or forward fold as above.
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