web analytics

A fresh look at Yoga for the differently-abled

Welcome back!

This time around I have something different to offer the reader; I have a guest post from Jane, who is the Owner and Operator of a Community-level Care company called Hospital Helpers based in the city of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada. Jane says that she has recently begun to really immerse herself in the whole Yoga experience. Jane has involved herself in yoga on two different levels, as both a practitioner of it herself, and as an occasional assistant to someone who is teaching the benefits of yoga to those with varying levels of physical disabilities.  I’ll leave the rest to Jane.


Visualize: Breathing your air in through your right nostril, exhaling through the left. Put your head down on the bolster pillow. Now breath that air into and down your spine to your sits-bones, then do a Keegal muscle tighting. Exhale out and raise your head off the bolster. Repeat.


A lot of instructions but once you get the rhythm it makes sense. Like all yoga practice, it takes practice. Now while breathing, visualize the “OHM”, don’t say it, just visualize it in your mind. Wow, what a concept. I can do this defraging anywhere. As long as I “Ohm” in silence, in my head, I can Ohm as many times as needed until I’m relaxed. I wonder if this works in meetings or when the kids are whining and pining for new expenditures. Oh, there it goes again: I’m meditating and my mind has wandered and I have wondered.


 On this most sunny of September Vancouver days Yoga guru Mary Jo says, “your mind will wander, as sometimes it will, gently guide your thoughts back to the breath”. Funny how many times I catch myself having to reign-in my flighty- ADD- mind. Breathe in, breathe out make this sound, make that sound, not really knowing the clinical reasoning of the benefits of the vibrations of these breaths: ‘oh’, ‘zee’, ‘ohm’, ‘grr’. The vibration of the sound just seems to sooth me and I just concentrate on the ‘now-ness’ of the feeling. Mary-Jo’s voice so soothing and calm guides me in my new learnings of the second session at ICORD (International Collaboration Repair Discovery) gym in the Blusson Spinal Cord Centre in Vancouver.


So this concept of visualizing things in my body, talking to my body, thinking into my body, what’s that all about?

 I don’t know but it seems to bring me a sort of awareness that I’m really tight in my shoulders and my big toenail is digging into my shoe. So we stretch our necks, our shoulders, arms, and navel. We even did some nostril flexing exercises after our eye ball exercise. Oh what fun, I didn’t even know that I had nostril muscles. Inhale, exhale my horsey nose portals.


We push the long tables away and now everyone has their feet up on the cushioned bench. Some of us are more flexible than others and it takes a bit of tweeking to get into comfortable positions with more bolster pillows, blocks and straps. Now we’re all stretching our legs. One women takes off her braces and sighs, “wow, that feels amazing. I haven’t done this for a long time – the stretch feels so good.” Everyone smiles and we move back to the long tables and the end of the practice with deep breathing and relaxation. Mary-Jo has succeeded again in bringing us into what seems like a few minutes of Zen.

  Time flys when you are in her Yoga space. Another lovely Namaste.



I thought I would take the opportunity to share a recent experience through this blog. My friend Rick is a seasoned athelete who knows how to take care of himself right and keep in top shape. Rick eats healthy and keeps to a strict work out regimen and generaly seems to always have a positive attitude towards life in general. Recently however, Rick was injured in a serious car accident and as a result he suffered a badly broken leg that will take weeks or maybe even months to properly heal. Now until his leg has healed, Rick is facing a situation that he has never had to deal with before: life with a physical disability. All his life Rick has been one to push his limits and go the distance, now he cannot even make it up the staircase of his home without great difficulty. The problem of his reduced mobility is about to be lessened however, because Rick is following up on a suggestion I made to consider the temporary rental of a standing stair lift for his home. A standing stair lift is better suited for someone with little or no ability to bend their leg into a sitting positon – such as someone in a leg cast. Once this standing lift is installed, Rick will be able to get up and down his stairs with ease while in recovery and because it is only arental, there will be none of the higher stair lift costs to deal with that you would get when making a permanent purchase.

A wheelchair insurance Warning

Some companies are able to provide wheelchair insurance, among which are Medicare, Medigap and Secondary insurance, and yet there are some differences between all of these. Medicare is not federally regulated, while Medigap is, which means that for individuals getting wheelchair insurance from Medigap, benefits do not vary no matter what state they live in. There are some warnings with regards to getting wheelchair insurance. A disparity that many do not realize when it comes to Medicare and Medigap secondary insurances for wheelchairs is that the company Medicare has actually costs that are not adjustable, when it comes to specific kinds of equipment for mobility, like their power wheelchairs. However, with secondary insurance, these drawbacks may or may not exist. In the event that you find yourself in need of a power wheelchair that may cost you around $8,000 or possibly more, it may be better for you to get both Medicare and Medigap secondary insurances, instead of Medicare plus Medigap.


Wheelchair Insurance for Your Protection

There are plenty of individuals that find themselves unable to walk without assistance, and these individuals can best benefit from using a wheelchair. Wheelchairs are a necessity for some other individuals that are unable to walk entirely, and yet the truth is that not all individuals are able to easily afford a good wheelchair. Costs for a power wheelchair can easily run from a few thousand dollars to over $8,000, and this is why many individuals choose to get wheelchair insurance for reimbursement. Some companies allow for compensation, among which are Medicare, Medigap, both Medicare and Medigap (since Medicare is not federally regulated and Medigap is, it will be possible to secondary insurances with both), and for certain individuals, cost for reimbursement can even amount to 100% after deductible. While this option is not available to all, it is available to others, and these individuals are able to enjoy the full benefit of getting wheelchair insurance.

 Page 1 of 5  1  2  3  4  5 »