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Discovering Holistic Rehabilitation through Adaptive Yoga 



A Personal Tapestry Woven with Challenges and Triumphs 


In 2014, Rebecca faced a life-altering brain injury compounded with neck and back injuries as well which set the stage for her transformative journey into adaptive yoga. While navigating newfound physical and cognitive hurdles, Rebecca embarked on a two-year personal exploration of adaptive yoga although she had a head start as meditation was already a part of her life. Rebecca discovered the therapeutic benefits of adaptive yoga within Parkwood Institute London programs and during this time kindled a deep passion for teaching. Rebecca’s journey, marked by resilience, continues to unfold against a backdrop of her personal healing and passion to share what she has learned with others.  


Key Principles and Nuanced Modifications 


Within the adaptive yoga realm, the principles of inclusivity reign supreme. Seated poses form the bedrock, offering a slower, more contemplative pace that caters to varying balances, abilities and skill levels. Rebecca highlighted how Parkwood's adaptive yoga program defies the conventional 'one-size-fits-all' approach that mainstream Yoga offers which is limiting to many individuals with varying needs and abilities. In Parkwood’s programing, a nuanced understanding of participants' unique challenges, takes center stage. The program uses a bidirectional approach in which the instructors and members have continuous communication, to ensuring each participant’s comfort and success. The program, with its tailored practices, serves as a lighthouse guiding individuals through the intricate maze of rehabilitating and adjusting to cognitive challenges. The heartbeat of adaptive yoga lies in the individualized attention each participant receives, fostering an environment where everyone feels seen and valued. Participants are able to communicate how the different movements make them feel and ask for further modifications as needed. 


The heartbeat of adaptive yoga lies in the individualized attention each participant receives, fostering an environment where everyone feels seen and valued. Participants are able to communicate how the different movements make them feel and ask for further modifications as needed. 


The Unbounded Horizons of Adaptive Yoga 


Adaptive yoga is not confined to physical disabilities alone; it extends to individuals grappling with  ADHD,  anxiety, sleep and bipolar disorders and more. Rebecca passionately dismantles misconceptions surrounding silent classes, branding them as ableist. Traditional classes may not cater to everyone. Being in a silent classroom with only the instructor leading the session and holding poses for longer periods can be challenging for individuals with physical disabilities, as the stances can increase pain. However, they can also be challenging for individuals with ADHD, who may instead benefit from the bidirectional communication approach and shorter yet frequent movements.  Rebecca feels that instructors who adapt their teaching styles will be a central pillar for inclusivity, debunking myths and broadening the horizons of adaptive yoga. Ensuring a safe space is paramount in adaptive yoga, especially for those navigating the labyrinth of brain injuries. Rebecca illuminates the path with alignment cues that guide participants through their practice where everyone finds solace under the umbrella of safety. 


Unlocking the Potency of Adaptive Yoga Techniques 


Fluid movement defines the core of adaptive yoga; a principal Rebecca exemplifies by discouraging prolonged poses. Through specific techniques like the inhale sweep and moving mindfulness, she orchestrates a symphony of conscious, accessible movement. The tapestry of adaptive yoga, as painted by Rebecca, is an ever-evolving masterpiece that adapts to the needs and comfort of each participant. 


Navigating the Transformative Currents of Adaptive Yoga 


The conversation with Rebecca, laid  the intimate details of her transformative journey within adaptive yoga. Beyond the tangible benefits of enhanced balance and proprioception, her narrative dives into uncharted waters—exploring the realms of central nervous system regulation.  Through participation in a neurofeedback study that shed light on the intricate relationship between mind and body, she discovered the healing currents of adaptive yoga. This method allows the body to relax, signaling the brain to disengage from a fight-or-flight mode and, therefore, enter a state of regulation almost immediately. 


Adaptive Yoga as a Cornerstone in Rehabilitation 


Rebecca's vision paints a future where adaptive yoga is not merely an additional practice but an integral cornerstone in rehabilitation. The holistic benefits of adaptive yoga, especially for individuals navigating the intricate landscape of accessibility needs, beckon a future where rehabilitation transcends physical boundaries and embraces the transformative potential of adaptive yoga in its entirety. 

In essence, Rebecca's narrative unfolds as a multifaceted tapestry, weaving together the threads of personal struggle, triumph, and advocacy within the realm of adaptive yoga. As her story reverberates, it becomes apparent that adaptive yoga is more than a practice—it is a profound journey of self-discovery, healing, and transformation. 


Navigating Resources for Adaptive Yoga 

In the era of digital connectivity, adaptive yoga has transcended physical boundaries. Rebecca unravels a trove of online resources—Parkwood Virtual Fitness Center, Keep Your Head Up Foundation, Wellspring, and All Ability Yoga. These platforms stand as beacons, offering free, adaptive, and accessible classes that echo the global potential of adaptive yoga, reaching individuals regardless of their geographical location. 


  1. Well Spring Virtual Yoga Programs: https://wellspring.ca/online-programs/ 

  2. Parkwood Virtual Fitness Center (PVFC) : https://www.sjhc.london.on.ca/areas-of-care/fitness-centre 

  3. Keep Your Head Up Foundation Online Mindfulness programs : https://www.keepyourheadup.ca/mindful-moments 

  4. All Ability Yoga:  https://www.allabilityoga.com 



 

Acknowledgement :  

Special thanks to Rebecca Todd for providing her expertise and personal experiences.  

 


 

 


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