Yoga is a total mind and body exercise with multifold benefits. And the best part? It can be practiced by virtually anyone—including individuals with disabilities. This is possible by rejecting a one-size-fits-all mindset when it comes to yoga poses; instead, each pose is modified to each individual’s unique needs. This is called adaptive yoga or modified yoga. Read our blog post to learn more about the benefits of adaptive yoga.
Did you know that Covey offers yoga as a virtual Covey Connects class? If you’re interested in exploring the benefits of yoga, check out our Q&A with our program assistant, Beth, who facilitates our virtual yoga sessions.
How long have you been assisting Covey with their virtual yoga classes?
I have been assisting with Covey’s Virtual Yoga classes for almost a year! Even with Covid, it has been an enjoyable year being able to connect with our clients and help them engage in important activities like different forms of exercise (especially yoga)!
Is yoga especially important for adults with disabilities?
Yoga is important for everyone; however, I think adults with disabilities get a special benefit from participating! Not many adults with disabilities know about the mental and physical benefits of yoga and they don’t necessarily have the resources to get out there and find out. I’m happy to provide time for them, in the comfort of their own home, to truly relax, which I feel is very important, and is something that they might not normally have time for!
How does yoga help reduce stress and anxiety?
Yoga gives the body and mind time to truly look inward and reflect. You get to know your body and mind very well, which is very helpful for reducing stress and anxiety. You learn ways you can push your body and mind and when to respect their boundaries, which is an uplifting and rewarding process many can benefit from! They can absolutely benefit from the physical benefits as well. Improved mobility and ease of any physical pain are some of the benefits I’ve heard directly from Covey’s participants.
What kinds of individuals is yoga ideal for?
Yoga is ideal for all individuals, of all abilities and body types! People think that yoga is often forcing yourself into crazy poses and having the perfect form and stretching yourself uncomfortably, or that you need to be very strong to continue the poses; however, that couldn’t be less true! Even doing simple exercises like neck rolls, or sitting in a cross legged position with your body and mind engaged is yoga! It’s absolutely okay to start simple and work your way along as you start to notice your mobility and flexibility improve! In fact, it is what is recommended.
Why do you personally recommend Covey’s virtual yoga classes for individuals with disabilities?
Just hearing from our participants after a session how much better their bodies feel and how much more relaxed they feel is a wonderful reason for adults with disabilities to give yoga a try. It certainly is a self confidence booster as well! Plus, they are usually stuck in a routine and yoga gives them a chance to break away from that pattern and explore themselves in new ways they haven’t before.
How often do you recommend yoga for adults with disabilities and for how long?
I would recommend that adults with disabilities do a simple yoga/meditation every day. And if you can’t manage a daily practice, by simply doing yoga just a few times a week, people can truly start to notice a difference. I would recommend a 5-10 minute meditation session followed by a 20-minute yoga session.
What is your favorite thing about assisting with Covey’s virtual yoga classes?
I absolutely love seeing our clients’ confidence grow! I can tell they are in a better mood afterward because they took some time for themselves to relax and also because they feel better about themselves.