Becky completing her morning postures even in the absence of her mother. Notice how she is truly in a zen place. Soft eyes, soft mouth, gentle kitty.
Yoga: Anyone can do yoga. Kids can do yoga. Older people can do yoga. Cats can do yoga. Post-transplant patients with 40 lbs of fluid retention who can't live their own legs off the bed can do yoga. The thing about yoga is that a big component is muscle isolation, being able to stretch and use individual muscles, no matter how small the stretch or use, to keep the muscles warm, flexible, and pain free/ pain-less. The past few weeks, I have been practicing what I think I might have invented: Bed yoga. This is yoga you do in the bed, in case you get so tired that you have to go to bed immediately - voila - you are already there! Or, if you have so much equipment that doing yoga out of the bed is not safe (was true for me even 2 days ago). SO- the way you do bed yoga is:
a) pay attention to your doctor about what muscles you're not supposed to be stretching and DO NOT stretch them. For example, my sternum is healing. There is NO stretching off right and left of center. No no no.
b) get lots of pillows for your bed including one hard neck/ lower back pillow.
c) start by isolating muscles from your toes on up to your head. Do simple stretches, or, in my case, attempts to lift/move/manipulate each muscle to a reasonable degree of stretch BUT NOT PAIN. Hold for 5-10 seconds while practicing good yoga breathing (which I had no idea was SO VERY GOOD until recently!! Yoga breathing on 40-20% lungs as the years went by is nothing compared to these bad boys I have now!!)
d) complete simple stretches if you can like drawing your knees toward your chest, attempting to sit "indian style," straightening and bending knees.
e) This is also a good time to massage the muscles and check out any sore spots or pains you may have.
f) ignore your whole abdominal area because it's all traumatized and you can't really help it now and so there.
g) you should be working toward a fuller range of movement in your arms and shoulders now that you have new lungs! Practice rolling shoulders forward and back, forward and back, slowly. Always end with them back, of course! Practice making the Y from the YMCA dance. Practice holding it for 10 seconds and breathing deep into your new lower lobes. It's super!!
h) This is a good time to put your hands on your upper chest and feel how much air you are moving when you breath slowly and deeply. Similarly, on your middle back.
i) no comment on neck situation yet, as I've had a line or 2 in my neck this whole month and haven't really wanted to do much in that area.
j) if you do yoga in real life, you can try some modified poses while laying down, making sure that none of them are weight-bearing. Go ahead, think of like one pose and think of how/if you could do it or any part of it, I dare you.
j) end by laying down- you're in bed! do some more yoga breathing and maybe it's time for a nap!!!
THANK YOU FOR READING POST-TRANSPLANT BED-YOGA BY CYSTIC GAL.