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Adaptive Yoga taught by Ashley is classic Hatha Yoga blended with Function Exercise in a format designed for people with physical disabilities

Individuals with disabilities and organizations who provide for disabilities are supported by a widely available network of physiotherapists and occupational therapists but have very limited opportunity to incorporate adaptive yoga into their wellness programs. Adaptive yoga is unlike traditional yoga classes which people with disabilities may participate in – in a limited capacity. In an adaptive yoga class students are physically assisted through a series of exercises that are designed for their specific movement restrictions. Adaptive yoga provides people with disabilities the same mental and emotional benefits as non-adaptive yoga classes and an increased opportunity to benefit from the physical postures.

How can Adaptive Yoga benefit me as a person with a physical disability and how is it different from other forms of yoga?


People with disabilities face many challenges throughout their day in addition to the stresses and difficulties we all experience, causing physical, emotional and psychological stress. Like everyone, these stresses are stored in the body as tension. Many able-bodied people use physical activity to release this kind of tension; however, people with limited mobility often do not have the same opportunities to do this. In fact, tension may even advance the limitations of certain disabilities, making movement feel like an insurmountable or even frightening task. But with physical and emotional assistance, everyone can work with their limitations through yoga to access their inner abilities and release tension. Unlike traditional yoga classes, students of an adaptive yoga class are physically assisted through a series of exercises that are designed for their specic movement restrictions. Adaptive yoga provides the same mental and emotional benefits as non-adaptive yoga classes and an increased opportunity for people with disabilities to benet from the physical postures.

What does Adaptive Yoga look like?


A truly Adaptive Yoga program is best performed one on one with the instructor.Like other yoga classes intended for people with physical disabilities we will start with breathing and concentration exercises and continue with light stretching and unassisted movement. As the session progresses I assist clients through more advanced movements combining the use of breath and visual imagery. If the client is a wheelchair user the goal will be to spend enough time out of the chair (if the client uses one) during the session to touch upon the four elements of functional exercise. In some cases, I will use external stimulation of the muscles and light massage to help release tension stored in the body. The session will end with deep relaxation.

What is Functional Exercise?


Functional Exercise has its origins in rehabilitation designed to help patients return to their lives or jobs after an injury or surgery. Physical therapists have developed a form of exercise training that mimics movements that patients would normally do at home or work. There are four main elements of functional exercises:
* Range of Motion and Posture Correcting
* Balance and Core Strength
* Weight Bearing
* Strength Training

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