There are tons of ways to take charge of your mental and emotional health, and one of the most well-known stress relieving practices out there is yoga. Yoga is a great way to combat stress, anxiety, and depression. But it can be a little hard to know where to start, especially if you have a chronic condition or mobility challenges. So for this week’s blog, I compiled a beginner’s guide to mobility-friendly yoga for mental health.
** Please have a talk with your doctor or physical therapist before starting yoga to see if it is a good idea for your healthcare plan. Your health is important, so caution is never a bad idea! **
The Benefits of Yoga
Yoga has many physical health benefits. Regular practice can increase flexibility, reduce inflammation, improve heart health, improve sleep quality, and much more. (I wont bore you with the statistics, but if you want to read about that you can click this link).
And yoga doesn’t have just physical benefits, but mental benefits as well! Yoga is able to decrease your body’s level of the stress hormone cortisol, and influences the levels of serotonin (a “happy hormone”) that your brain produces. So if you are feeling anxious or depressed, yoga is a great tool for convincing your body and mind that everything is okay.
Recommended Videos of Mobility-Friendly Yoga
Getting started with yoga can seem a little overwhelming at first, and that’s especially true if you need yoga tutorials with mobility challenges in mind. Not all of us can be like those people on Instagram doing crazy complicated handstands or folding our bodies in half like a piece of paper! Looking for mobility-friendly videos can be hard to find in the endless sea of YouTube videos. So, I compiled this list of yoga videos that were made to do in your wheelchair, a regular dining chair, or even in bed. Now you don’t have to go digging for them and you can get right to taking care of yourself! I hope you find these videos helpful for you in one way or another. Drop us a comment if you tried one out – we would love to hear how it went!
#1 – First off, here’s a great routine for starting the day out right!
I just recently discovered this channel, and I had to share this great bit that Ben at Adapt to Perform has on his About page: “15% of the worlds population is disabled! I believe everyone has the right to fitness. However we live in a world not designed for us. So I’ve taken it upon myself to change that.”
Every body is different, every body is beautiful, and every body deserves to feel great. So if you are looking for a great new yoga channel to follow, you should follow this one!
#2 – A gentle chair yoga routine to align the mind and body.
Yoga with Adriene is one of those channels I come back to a lot, and she is very in-tune with the community that watches her videos. Adriene made this video per a request from one of her friends, and we can all benefit from this exercise. Something I appreciate about her videos is that she explains the poses so you understand how to do it right and what you are getting out of it, which I personally love learning about.
#3 – Crazy day? Here’s a calming yoga routine for anxiety and stress.
Grace at Grace Yoga for You has such a calming voice as she talks you through her yoga videos that you almost don’t need to do the exercises to feel some stress relief! Of course, I recommend following along with her video, because it’s a nice way to decompress during moments of anxiety. This is a great video for if school or work has you feeling absolutely overwhelmed because you can do it while sitting at your office chair.
#4 – Practice mindfulness while getting some stretches in!
Here is one more recommendation from Grace Yoga for You, because she has so many mobility-friendly yoga videos that are also so very calming. This is a great one to do when you are wanting to practice mindfulness after a hectic day.
#5 – Finally, some mobility-friendly yoga for before bedtime.
Here is another channel that I only discovered recently. Doing yoga before bed is a great way to convince your brain and body that it’s time to wind down and get sleepy. But I’ve found that some bedtime yoga videos ask you to do some poses that aren’t necessarily mobility-friendly, even if they are in bed. This one by Flow and Go Yoga is an absolute gem because it’s relatively easy to do and is also super helpful for before bedtime. I also recommend drinking your favorite calming tea before this…. you’ll sleep like a baby!