Restorative Benefits of Yoga

In the west, we tend to think of yoga as something for spiritual, mental and physical balance; things like getting rid of stress and strengthening muscle groups.  But there is also a growing trend towards yoga becoming a part of physiotherapy after an injury or surgery in order to promote blood and oxygen flow, relieve pain, and slowly, steadily strengthen muscles again. What Happens When I Get Injured?

Let’s say you were out running and, OUCH! you tripped, fell and wrenched your knee. You are out of the running (ha!) for at least some time, and that means fitness goals will be stymied and you will grow increasingly frustrated, not to mention the fact that your knee hurts and looks like you stuck an apple under your skin!

Of course, all the sympathy is nice, but something to help you deal with the pain and help you knee heal faster would be even nicer!

When we get injured, our brains send a message to the heart to pump more blood to the affected area.  This is actually why we swell up, but it’s also a good thing.  The blood carries oxygen, endorphins and infection-fighting white blood cells to the injured site and gets to work.  The more blood you have moving to the affected area, the better and faster the injury will heal.  However, when we are confined to bed rest, we aren’t getting optimum blood flow to the affected region so it takes longer to heal.  Obviously, if you banged your knee, you’re not going to be running around.  What else can you do?

How Yoga Helps

So you’ve banged your knee and now you’re swearing and sweating over the fact that you won’t make that weekend run after all.  You’ve been told not to run for a while, but you also know that you have to do something to keep your body conditioned.  Enter yoga!

Yoga has been successfully used to help people recover from injuries and some forms of surgery.  There are three key things which yoga does:

  • Promotes oxygen and blood flow throughout the body to help injuries heal faster
  • Promotes pain management techniques, teaching you to move through the pain instead of just fighting it and letting you loosen up your muscles and ligaments so that there is no more tension creating more pain
  • Promotes listening to your body so that you can tell when you’re going too hard on yourself and when you can do more

Yoga is a fairly gentle form of exercise in many of its forms and you don’t have to worry about putting undue stress on injured parts of your body.  BUT, you should always make sure to find a qualified instructor who is not only skilled in yoga but also in physical  rehabilitation so that he or she will know best how to teach you with your injury.  Never push yourself  too hard or you’ll just undo all of your good work and then some.

So, you have a busted up knee, but don’t despair!  Yoga can help you recover quickly, and once you’re up and running, continued yoga can help you become more flexible, stable, and stronger.

Root Whole Body is dedicated to your health and wellbeing.  Our yoga practice is dedicated to you.  As well as a team of chiropractors, massage therapists, naturopaths and acupuncturists.  Make it a resolution to come in and start yoga classes with us today. We’d love to see you!

Photo By: Lululemon