Yoga for rehabilitation : A new approach to restore your life !

The word rehabilitation comes from the Latin word meaning re- “again” and habitare- “make fit”. So yoga for rehabilitation suggests a program for restoring a person to good health through yoga.

Yoga was always considered an enlightening path for attaining the spiritual upliftment. But with its widespread acceptance into mainstream healing and restoring therapy, the scenario is changing rapidly. Yoga is now not confined to the particular section of the societal strata containing the monks, people living a holistic life, or pursuing a non-materialistic approach. It is now an integral part of every common individual’s daily fitness regime.

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Yoga is fundamentally considered as a preventative or curative approach for an ailment or malfunctioning system. But the healing properties of yoga transcends beyond only prevention and curation. A major part of yoga practitioners begins their practice as a remedial measure to some sort of physical or psychological problems they are facing or some health-conscious ones adopt the style for preventative purpose. But YOGA is – “Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent”. One must constantly pursue the higher upliftment of yogic practice to go beyond the concept of prevention and curation and attain the rehabilitationa new restored and rejuvenated life!

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Yoga’s role in the rehabilitation

Our body has an intrinsic way of healing itself after an injury. It produces the antibodies, repairs the cells, and regenerates the lost blood, produces the pain-relieving endorphins, and many more. Yoga supports these natural healing defenses of our body. It has a different approach than conventional medicine. Rather than treating the isolated part of the body suffering from injury, it helps to treat the injury by working with the body’s natural healing system and improving health on all levels.  

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Rehabilitation types and stages

Rehabilitation consists of different types such as, first- Physical, second- Psychological, third- Social. Yoga helps to return to a healthy life by helping in treating physical disorders such as cardiovascular diseases, stroke, Parkinson’s syndrome, muscular dystrophy, joint pain, and many more. In psychological rehabilitation, yoga helps to deal with posttraumatic stress, maintain the mental equilibrium and restore psychological functioning. As far as the social area is concerned yoga helps the people dealing with societal disadvantages, struggling with substance abuse, minors in remand homes, elders in old age homes, and the ones struggling with their addiction in rehab centers. A rehabilitation mainly consists of stages- rest and protect, recover your motion, recover your strength, and recover your functionality.

Physical Rehabilitation

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Cardiovascular disorders

Stress, poor eating habits, inadequate sleep, and no-exercise are the main factors contributing to this disease. Regular practice of the specifically designed and recommended yoga exercises significantly improves cardiac function by stimulating blood circulation and vitalizing the entire vascular system. Systematically designed breathing exercises enhances the oxygen absorption and eliminates the toxins and impurities from the body. Subsequently, the natural state of the oxygen level and cardiovascular health restore.

Stroke and nervous system disorders

Adding yoga to stroke rehabilitation therapy improves the speed and extent of the recovery. Having many benefits including improved balance and independency. The therapy program may include exercises to strengthen the muscles, increase coordination, and regain range of motion. Yoga also helps to recover the nerve damage. Various breathing and meditative exercises show improvement in neurological disorders.

Rheumatic pain

Poor posture, overeating, inflammation in muscle joints results in joint stiffness, and strong pain. Yoga not only cures the existing pain but also prevents the rheumatic changes in the joints. It relaxes the shortened muscles and strengthens the weakened ones. Yoga exercises allow the full movement of the joints as much as possible without causing pain. A great improvement in joint mobility and enhanced blood circulation to the joints is observed. Thereby, the body gradually regains its flexibility in a natural way.

Obesity and hormonal issues

Yoga not only burns calories but gives an edge of generating good eating habits in an individual. It regularizes the metabolic cycle and proper hormonal secretion. Yoga controls and balances some of the stress-related hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, restoring the blood pressure, heart rate, and maintains the BMI.

Respiratory and immune system

Conditions like Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease cause irreversible damage to the vital respiratory system. Yoga shows efficacy in increasing exercise capacity in the individual. Reports show improved lung functionality, increased diffusion capacity, and decreased dyspnea related distress. Overall, the tolerance, oxygen level, and strength of vital organs are improved building a healthy and powerful immunity.

Psychological rehabilitation

Children with special needs

Children with special need, care, and attention when encouraged to perform yoga and meditation, they show great signs of improvement. Children with Attention Deficiency Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) treated with yoga as an add-on therapy. A significant improvement in conventional motor training can be observed with an improvement in children’s behavior.

Psychological impacts of ageing

Though a person may not suffer from a particular symptomatic disorder due to aging, but the psychological impacts could be there of fatigue, loneliness, stress, insomnia, and many more. The regular practice of yoga helps in combating the psychological aspects of aging by improving the quality of sleep, reducing tiredness and depressive thoughts, improved cognitive functions and mobility. Yoga promotes healthy aging in older adults.

Substance abuse

Rehabilitation of the people with addictions, drug abuse is very difficult to achieve. It affects the mental-state and functioning. Yoga plays a vital role in overcoming drug addiction in both pre and post clinical therapy and reduces the drug dependency and other associated problems. Similarly, it shows positive social, psychological, and biochemical changes in alcoholics and tobacco addicts.  

Post Traumatic disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD,  has a very adverse effect on the psychological health of a person. Constant exposure to trauma cause a feeling of stress and fear eventually summing up to PTSD. Following the yoga practice, it shows reduced symptoms of distress, lower heart and breath rate, decreased stress. It forms an equilibrium in mental emotions further reducing anxiety and fear.

Social Rehabilitation

Confidence building

A person facing social discrimination, bullying, body shaming, constant derogation may cut off from the society. Yoga and breathing exercises boost strength and endurance, it increases confidence. The major advantage is yoga gives a positive outlook to every aspect of your life. A person becomes optimistic, shining with positive energy. Yoga not only boosts a person’s belief in himself/herself but also helps to remain unaffected by the negative external factors.

Jail and remand homes

Yoga can help people who are at disadvantages due to their social circumstances. These include the people in jail, children in a remand home, elders in community centers. Yoga removes the clutter of an outcast from these people, gives them the ability to think rationally, and deal with the destructive anger, controlling the violence. Yoga is beneficial for generating righteousness in them through mindfulness.

Thus, yoga is not all about the preventive, curative, therapeutic methodologies, it is a way of life. It heals you from within and restores the physical, psychological and social aspects you have lost in the process of living and sustaining life. It brings back the very same zeal, vigor, and courage you once possessed. So, yoga must always be seen as the way of life and not as a part of life, so that you can always have the option to restore your life anytime.

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