10 Yoga Moves & Stretches Post-Surgery and General Self Care
After undergoing any sort of surgery, our bodies need to heal. But did you know both physical therapy rehab *and* prehab are also vital to the healing process--and can even lead to a faster recovery? Sign us up! Below are some tips and tricks to help you get moving again.*
*As always, please check with your doctor to see what prehab/rehab/PT program is best for you and your specific needs.
Prehab? That’s Fab!
Having gentle movement into your daily routine before the surgery can help set you up for an easier recovery. Depending on what your injury or medical condition is, you should be getting at most 30 minutes of movement a day. Try gentle yoga flow that incorporates chest openers to go into surgery feeling the best version of yourself that you can.
Change Your Mental State: Meditate!
Undergoing surgery of any kind can be oh-so-stressful. Meditation can help quiet your mind and nervous system both pre- and post-surgery. New to meditation? Try an app like Calm. Meditation can be done even if you are stuck in bed--it’s a perfect time to start a new, healthy habit. We love a silver lining!
It may seem so simple, but rolling your wrists and ankles is a gentle way to introduce movement back into your body. Wiggling your fingers and toes is a good way to get moving throughout the day, even if you’re in bed.
All the Way Up
One of the simplest and most restorative yoga poses, putting your legs up the wall reduces swelling, helps calm the nervous symptom, and can even help with insomnia. Scoot your hips a few inches from the wall (you can do this on the floor or even on the bed) and lift your legs straight up the wall, with your head and back laying flat on the floor. Stay in this relaxing pose for up to 10 minutes for maximum benefits.
Did you know that many yoga poses can be modified so that you can do them seated in a chair, or even on your bed? Keep reading for a few ways to get your Om on, even if you can’t make it to your mat.
From a seated position, clasp your hands behind your back. As you inhale, pull your hands away from your back to open your shoulders and chest. Simultaneously, gently arch your back and look up at the ceiling. Release your grip as you come through neutral spine. Circle your arms in front of you, clasping your hands with your arms extended in front of your chest. Tuck your chin and round your spine like a halloween cat as you exhale. Repeat the seated cat and cow 5x with your breath.
Keep it Neutral
If you ever had any kind of abdominal surgery, then your organs will need time to settle. Deep forward folds and closed twists can be a risk to the spine, so opt for poses that keep your body in neutral. If you need to get back on your mat then try downward dog or chair pose. Constructive rest is a great option to relieve lower back pain: lie down flat and bend your knees, placing the soles of your feet on the floor. Walk your feet out wide enough so your knees knock in towards one another. Place one hand on the belly, one on the heart.
Do the (Open) Twist
You can also explore gentle open twists like an Open Seated Spinal Twist: Starting in a seated position, stretch your right leg in front of you along the ground. Bend your left knee; the sole of your left foot is on the ground, the back of your heel close to the left sits bone. Instead of twisting towards your left knee (closed twist), place your left elbow on the inside of the left knee, twisting your upper body towards the right.
(Relieving) A Pain in the Neck
If you’ve been stuck in bed, chances are you’ve been looking down at a book or your phone--and your neck is paying the price. Sit up tall in a comfortable seated position. Gently look over your left shoulder as you exhale. Come back through center as you inhale, and exhale as you look over to the right. Repeat five times. Then, on the inhale, slowly look up at the ceiling, tipping your head back. Now, exhale, tuck your chin towards your chest. Repeat five times.
Walk It Out
Once you’re officially approved to do so, walk it out! If you’re able, take a stroll outside--the fresh air, in addition to the movement, will help as much with your mental state as it will your physical recovery.Emma Greenberg is our resident yogi. When she’s not running content for Reboundwear, you can find her at Yoga Shanti in Sag Harbor, NY, where she teaches a community class every Monday night at 7:30pm. For quick, easy (and free!) flows, check her out on Instagram @om_em_g.
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