It might seem counter intuitive, but Yoga should be an essential part of your rehabilitation effort if you are an amputee. We all know that Yoga promotes balance. If you are an amputee, there is an inherent imbalance in your body, especially in the weight distribution between the left and the right halves. Every pone has imbalances in theirbodoes, no one is perfect. However, in the case of amputees, the imbalance is more pronounced, is more visible. With yoga you can do postures to counter this imbalance and stop is from generating any chronic unwanted long term consequences.
Moreover, Yoga helps in easing the nervous system, provides better circulation of oxygen and blood to your cells, thereby lowering the phantom pain or residual limb pain.
I love the Sun Salutation sequence. Here is a video of me, a left fore arm amputee, doing the sun salutation at the World Amputee Fitness Festival.
Start with Tadasana. Ground yourself. Take a full breath – inhale & exhale.
Raise your arms over your head as you inhale and come into Urdhva hastasana or the upward tree pose. As you exhale, bend the knees, coming into utkatasana. You should try and go down as low as possible, possibly making a 90 degree angle at the knees.
Inhale and come back up, and as you exhale, fold forward, bringing your stomach on your things and chest on your knees, resting your palms on the ground, coming into Uttanasana. Feel free to bend you knees as much as you need to. Now inhale, raise your torso half way, legs straight, straighten the knee joint if it was bent and arch your back, coming into Ardhauttanasana.
The next pose is Chaturanga dandasana. However to do that pose, we need to move into a Dandasana, aka plank. As you exhale move into a plank. You can also move into Ashwa sanchalasana – equestrian pose. Exhale and move one leg back, and as you inhale raise your arms and stretch up.
Make sure you keep the back foot flat on the floor as shown. So, you are using the core to keep the spine straight, balancing on the back knee and shins, rather than the foot.As you can see side by side, you can move to the plank either directly, without the equestrian pose or include one half of the equestrian pose along the way. the other half will be covered on the way back.
From here you come into Chaturanga Dandasana, followed by Urdhva Mukha svanasana i.e upward facing dog, followed by Adho mukha svanasana i.e. downward facing dog. The breathing sequence is exhale for chaturanga dandasana, inhale for Urdhva Mukha svanasana i.e upward facing dog, exhale for Adho mukha svanasana i.e. downward facing dog.
To come out, now we move into the other side of the Ashwa sanchalasana – equestrian pose. Inhale while stretching yur arms up. Here again, you can help your partner get a little extra stretch. Exhale and come on both of your feet, bring you other leg forward to come into Ardha uttanasana, followed by Uttanasana. On you way out we go again into Utkatasana, followed by Urdhvahastasana.
Finish it off with a little back bend & a namaskar, coming into samastithi. Thanks for watching. See you at the world amputee fitness festival where we have free yoga classes for all amputees..