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Bed Yoga

If you have ever had surgery, a prolonged illness, or a sudden physical setback, you may know first hand how difficult it is to get back on your feet. Many of you have had the shocking experience of lying, exhausted and disoriented, in a hospital bed with someone standing next to you telling you, "It's time to go for a walk!" Somehow you do, thanks to a walker or a strong and steady arrm, but what happens when you get home, possibly alone, and you hear the vehement voice of the hospital staff saying, "Keep moving!"

I will shift to first person here. I recently underwent my first surgery at age 64, and was faced with the daunting task of setting a motionless body into motion.

First, listen to your body. Tune in to yourself, and let your inner being guide you. At the same time,

override your mind. Do what you can't possibly imagine! Such as walking to the bathroom.

Secondly, use balls! If you can't get out of bed, lie on any variety of balls that don't cause undue discomfort. Stretch muscles so they don't become taut from inactivity. Get energy moving where it may have been stuck, due to the surgical procedure. Relax muscles that are tensed up from fear even if not close to surgery site. If an area is too uncomfortable, don't stay there with ball pressure. I prefer reflexology balls with spikes. They are firm but with some give. And please, practice ball therapy more than once. How about daily?!

Bolsters are another way to relax into gravity, letting the props apply the pressure. This keeps your energy flow moving and relaxes muscles and the entire mind-body.

As with any recovery process, it is a good idea to get the okay from the medical personnel. We all have our own recoveries, issues and challenges. Equally important, see a qualified bodyworker/practitioner.

Acknowledge that your inner organs are experiencing major change. Your organs are re-settling and even re-setting, and this takes energy and time. Be kind to all parts of your body and being. In many cases what your doctor assures you will be a short recovery is a much longer recovery. Respect this. Give your body a chance to rest and recover before you move forward. Breathe! Breathe with your smallest movements, and breathe while you are still. And did I mention, breathe while you are moving! (Bed dancing....another blog!)

Ask for help and then let people (or animals!) help you! Small self-care techniques are invaluable for regaining trust and comfort in your body and being. Receive healing touch. See a gentle chiropractor if your ribs or vertabrae are revolting from surgery, or from the pre-surgery condition. Get some acupuncture! This will help your energy flow and all levels of healing. Perhaps you will will need some craniosacral adjustments to help you recover from the anasthesia, or pain meds. Our brains are part of our bodies!!! Get guidance regarding healing herbs from a qualified practitioner for your current body, and even for a body part that was surgically removed which may have lingering effects.

All of this work can help you while you are horizontal, and it can be dramatic healing. You are now practicing bed yoga, or for some, floor yoga! (Some people prefer chair yoga which is also amazingly effective with minimum motion. That is another blog..)

Gather more information from my book, Circles of Healing,

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