If you consider yourself to be someone that is disabled, or know a family member or friend that is disabled, it can be daunting to think about ways of keeping healthy.

This does not mean that you should give up hope, or give up on trying to keep active. In fact, there are many ways that you can bring your body and mind into calmness and peacefulness. Being sedentary for too long can be extremely harmful and stressful for the body, and one of the ways to combat this is through mindful practices and yoga. 

Now you may think, isn’t yoga only for people who are flexible and can move their body?

The answer is no! Yoga is accessible for anyone, and is simply about creating a connection between your body and mind. 

Wheelchair yoga is a growing trend that is becoming popular amongst elderly citizens. It is easy to learn and can be carried out at home or even better, with a group in a park. All you need is a wheelchair and willpower!

Here are 4 simple poses that you can follow for your first wheelchair yoga practice.

Twisting: Seated with a straight spine, take an inhale and exhale through your nose. On your next inhale, turn to look back over your left shoulder. Exhale. Inhale and bring your spine back to center. Exhale. Once you are comfortable with this simple twist, you can deepen the twist by grasping your palms on the handle of your chair.

Side Stretches: Begin with a long spine by sitting upright and gently moving the shoulder blades back. Inhale and raise both arms up. Exhale to drop the left arm down. Inhale and reach the right arm overhead. Exhale to come back to a neutral position. Switch sides. This is an amazing stretch for the sides of your body.

Forward Bend: Inhale and exhale to drop the arms down, bending forward over the legs. Allow the head to hang heavy and relax in this position while breathing gently. Stay here as long as you need before coming up to neutral.

Savasana: This is a simple yet very effective pose to help you calm your mind to guide you through the rest of the day. This pose is best done at the end of your practice. Sit with closed eyes and your palms resting gently in your lap. Breathe deeply through your nose. After a few moments, you may open your eyes and feel the relaxing effects of this pose.

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