Yoga continues to be a must for continued progress in regaining more stability. Because without proprioception and balance just standing is difficult. Each day continues to bring challenges whether it is high pain, increased spasticity, or both. Yoga helps with reducing spasticity through stretching while reducing pain through breathing and relaxation. There are times on high pain days where all I can do is rest, but whenever possible taking time to do at least 30m mins. of yoga seems to help me to continue to progress.
When I first started I could barely lift my leg/legs and had to hold on with both hands. My body is gradually regaining more balance and proprioception allowing me to tell where my leg/legs are in space. This is crucial for walking.
Being able to balance and lift my leg behind while holding for 3 full breaths is such an improvement. I can feel my leg and ankle adjusting while I hold the position. This is also being done without engaging the breaks on my walker making use my core.
As you can see, I can elevate one leg high than the other. Because of the loss of proprioception and balance on the left side of my body it is much more difficult to engage fully.
Yoga continues to be a must for continued progress in regaining more stability. Because without proprioception and balance just standing is difficult. Each day continues to bring challenges whether it is high pain, increased spasticity, or both. Yoga helps with reducing spasticity through stretching while reducing pain through breathing and relaxation. There are times on high pain days where all I can do is rest, but whenever possible taking time to do at least 30m mins. of yoga seems to help me to continue to progress. I am so thankful for all God has brought me through over the past few years. All glory belongs to Him!
Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles.
Psalm 119:50 (NLT)
Some days are great and it easy to feel the energy and build on it. Those day are when we do things like get outside and do a little gardening or step up our workouts. Yet on the days when our body hurts and feels sluggish it becomes difficult to see the positives. But God’s promise to walk with us, to love us and to get us through brings life and hope back to us even when our pain is at an 7+ and our legs feel like they have weights on them as we walk through mud. Regardless of what is going on His promise remains unchanging.
Lately, I have had some tough days where all I can do is take my meds and rest. I have always been an active person who would much rather be outside doing something rather than to be a couch/bed potato. But I have had to learn that with an Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury and Chiari Malformation that it is okay to take time to let my body rest and heal. So, on those day I read, draw or binge watch something on Netflix or Hulu. Often it is a combination of all those things. All the while remembering that God is with me and not let the negative thoughts creep in.
Once the negative thoughts start running through it makes it much harder to remain hopeful. Then the pain becomes overwhelming and causes many of us to fall into the “what if” stage. For example, what if there is a major earthquake, how am I going to get out, or what if this time I do not improve, and my symptoms just keep getting worse? Silly thoughts that the enemy loves to put into our head. Of course, we have a choice, we can keep going down this negative and dark path or we can STOP, say a prayer and ask God to help us control our thoughts and then begin thinking about all the good things that tomorrow will bring. Now, there are times when tomorrow repeats the same pain, but if we keep looking forward and stay hopeful most of the time the pain gets better and we are off to our next project or adventure.
If we stay hopeful, we will keep moving forward even if we take little steps. In time we will look back and realize how far we have really come. God’s promise gives us comfort in those times of difficulty and gives us hope to hold on and let Him carry us through. Stay strong and allow the good thoughts power you instead of letting the bad ones drain you. God will never break His promise. He will always comfort us and bring us through.
About a month and a half ago I found a yoga instructor that gives private instruction which was a must for me. I had been wanting to try yoga but knew I could not join a traditional class because of my deficits plus I wanted to make sure that I was being watched carefully to make sure I am performing the moves/poses correctly to prevent any injury. I currently practice yoga with my instructor twice a week and I incorporate many of the stretches into my daily exercise routine (I only perform the ones I know I can do safely on my own).
Warrior pose-It was scary the first time I let go, but over time I have taught my body that I have legs that can hold me. Loosing proprioception has been extremely difficult to deal. I have to reteach my body to know where my lower limbs are in space even when I am not looking at them.
This exercise continues to be a challenge. Not being able to see my legs is difficult. Because I practice and work at it my proprioception has improved over the last 2 1/2 yrs since my injury.
Working to eventually do this without any devices and lift my knee higher. But not bad for only doing this for a little over a month.
This my first time attempting to do this core exercise. I have since been able to do this for about 20 seconds. This was an exercise that was fairly easy for me prior to the injury. Now it takes total concentration. I will conquer this!
During this time of uncertainty, it is important to find a way to relax and destress. Why not try something new such as yoga? If yoga is not your thing then find something that you enjoy doing. Start slow and in no time, you will find that you are doing things you never thought you could. God has blessed us all with special talents/gifts maybe now is the time to discover them.