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Yoga after surgery Yoga after surgery

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Unread 08-19-2011, 06:37 PM
Yoga after surgery

Anyone here practice Yoga? When is it safe to start practicing again?
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Unread 08-19-2011, 06:47 PM
Re: Yoga after surgery

My doc told me to wait at least 2 weeks before starting yoga again.
Unread 08-19-2011, 06:49 PM
Re: Yoga after surgery

Wow! That is great news. My surgery is a few days after yours. Good luck and many healing prayers your way!
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Unread 08-19-2011, 06:52 PM
Re: Yoga after surgery

What type of Yoga do you practice? I love Prana Vinyasa Flow and Budokon
Unread 08-20-2011, 10:29 AM
Re: Yoga after surgery

Hi, my best advice to you is talk with your doctor he/she will know best. I was told NO exercising except walking until my 6 week appointment. You do not want to risk tearing the hundreds of stitches you will have it is just not worth it. Listen to your body it will let you know if you feel strong enough or good enough to embark on that and if you do start doing yoga and feel tired then stop, you only get one chance at recovering, if something tears,back you go to surgery. just do not push yourself, in time you will be back to normal and doing all the things you loved. Take care and I wish you the best. Ellie
Unread 08-20-2011, 05:26 PM
Re: Yoga after surgery

In the hospital. Nothing gets you outta there faster than a nurse seeing you doing tree pose while wearing an IV! While it's absolutely true that I did that after a surgery, I really don't recommend it!

Seriously, "yoga" means different things to different people. Even the physical practice of yoga can be anything from gentle to aggressive.

I used to teach yoga. My particular interest was working with people who had limitations due to age, weight, health issues. I also used a lot of Feldenkrais movements, because they emphasize slowness. (The slower you go the more information you get.) Post-surgery is the time to emphasize meditation and breath-work not asanas. There are many things that one can do even it bed.

My guess is that you are itching to do something more vigorous, but don't do it! You don't want to do anything that compresses or over-stretches the abdominal area. Also, be wary of any but the most gentle twists. Twists are good for the spine but they are designed to "massage" or "wring out" the internal organs, too. Not such a good idea after a hysterectomy!

Nothing should hurt, tingle, burn, pull, etc. You should feel like you are doing absolutely nothing at all at the time you're doing it. If there's any sense of effort, you're overdoing it. This is really hard because our culture pushes the ideas of competition, "no-pain-no-gain", and constant improvement. All of which are pretty much the opposite of yogic philosophy, by the way.

Here's where I'd suggest that you start.

1. Savasana (corpse pose) - probably on a bed rather than the floor

2. Tadasana (mountain pose)

3. Standing "cobra" - from tadasana bring hands behind back, draw shoulders down, gently lift and open through the chest rather that thinking of it as a backbend. If you have sufficient flexibility to do it without effort, the hands can be in the prayerful position in at your lower mid-back.

4. Modified Downward Facing Dog - Stand behind a chair, hold the back as arm's length, moving from the hips, bring the torso parallel to the floor - or as close as you can get to parallel without effort.

5. Side stretch - for now it's best done sitting in a chair with feet flat on the floor. The key here is to keep both sides lengthened and open rather than compressing and collapsing one side at the expense of the other. You won't go over anywhere near as far, but it's a much better stretch.

6. Twist - Sit in straight chair, feet flat on floor, arms dangling at your sides. (That's so you can't pull yourself deeper into the pose.) Thinking more up than over, sort of like a corkscrew, begin the twist at the pelvis and twist upwards very gently. Hold and breathe. Slow back to center. Breathe, check alignment and comfort. Repeat on other side.

7. Tree Pose with foot at ankle or knee only. One hand must be on a table or chair back at all times. If you lose your balance, you can really injury yourself.

8. Savasana

Don't be fooled by easy poses that are modified for rehab. They're a wonderful opportunity to work with the breath and meditation.

Unread 08-20-2011, 05:50 PM
Re: Yoga after surgery

I think I love you keepscats! You had me with Tree pose while wearing IV.

I have already consulted my Doctor, but I asked the question here, because I wanted to know what other people have experiences.

I teach Yoga as well, and my concern is exactly what you said. I did not want ot do anything my body isn't read for. My Doctor informed me I will be feeling better that I am, and I told him please give me directions and I will follow them.

As with all of us I want to heal correctly. I do plan on doing a lot of reading and study while recovering, but I also don't want to "lose it", so from what I understand, walking is the key.

In my opinion, asanas are a big part of yoga, but you don't have to do them to practice.

Thank you so much, your input is greatly appreciated!
Unread 08-21-2011, 02:36 PM
Re: Yoga after surgery

Yes, walking helped me more than anything! Even that could cause pain if I walked too fast or too much at one shot. I can't tell what kind of procedure they will do on you. If it's daVinci, the biggest risk is overdoing because you don't have the normal clues - like a large incision - to warn you to back off. Overdoing can happen in a flash, even if you're paying attention. I had some hip and lower back discomfort from walking. Part of that was because my only indoor option was a fairly tight circle through the downstairs of our house, but also from the normal guarded holding and realignment that comes after surgery. The twist I described helped a lot, but I was super careful to keep it gently and unbelievably shallow.

I'm careful what I suggest on a public forum to people I don't know. Since you teach yoga, the odds are that you have good awareness about alignment and decent flexibility. You might be able to do more than I listed, but be very careful anyway. For example, I can easily bend from my hips, so I had no problem bending long enough to scope the cat box. Staying bent over for any longer as one would do for most asanas was not an option. If your doctor says not to bend, then don't bend.

About that IV: It was long before yoga was popular. I had an emergency appendectomy a bit after midnight. I had been doing fine controlling the pain with pranayama, but they insisted on giving me morphine which it turned out I was allergic to. I'm more than a little phobic about hospitals anyway and that did it. I wanted OUT immediately - if not sooner. I did what I could in bed, but I knew that I needed good balance to walk to the bathroom, etc. When the nurse walked in and found me still hooked up to the IV and doing vrksasana, she looked at me like I'd sprouted blue ears. "W-w-what ..." I grinned broadly and said "tree pose! I'm going home this morning." She scooted out of the room. I had the distinct feeling that she might have thought that I was perhaps mentally unwell. Anyway, I was outta there by 11 a.m.!
Unread 08-21-2011, 02:58 PM
Re: Yoga after surgery

I've never done yoga but lift weights and sounds like we have a couple of ladies that know what they are talking about.

Don't know what kind of surgery you are having but I do know it will have a major affect on how fast you will be getting around.

I had TAH, vertical incision (roughly 7+ in incision) on the 15th, last Mon. I still feel soooooo freaking sore & tender. Even though I was mentally prepared for the pain, I thought since I lift weights and in great shape, I'd bonce back faster.

Right now, I'm just happy I can take a shower and accomplish getting out of bed without help. Honestly, I haven't even thought about working out or when I can start back and that was all I could think about before surgery. I'm just happy with accomplishing the very smallest tasks ATM.

Today was the first day I haven't had to take major narcotic for pain.

I'd hate to know how much worse I'd be feeling if I wasn't in good shape. geezzz

I'm not trying to scare anyone, just pointing out the difference with each individual's recovery/surgery.

It was still worth it.
Unread 08-21-2011, 03:17 PM
Re: Yoga after surgery

I am not sure what surgery I am having either. I was told supracervical laparoscopic hysterectomy keeping my ovaries. But it might be DaVinci because when I looked up my surgeon it was his big thing. I will find out at the end of this month.
I am sorry you are so sore Milena, I hope you feel better very soon. Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

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