In the United Kingdom, yoga is now being offered through the national healthcare system. (Learn more here.) This initiative was in part prompted by those suffering from lingering, or new, symptoms post COVID-19 infection. These individuals have been termed COVID long haulers.
To help with recovery, long haulers were given therapeutic yoga breath work. This proved to be the key practice needed for these individuals to get to a point where basic rehabilitation could begin. Similar therapeutic yoga breathing practices were given to long haulers here in the United States. This article by the Atlantic provides a detailed account from Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York.
Yoga therapy is becoming the go to for long haulers, as well as others struggling with chronic illness. Why is this? It is because yoga therapy helps restore quality of life and helps with life style adaptations. Yoga therapy works with the individual as a whole and with all aspects of the being from the physical to the spiritual.
The starting point is gentle movement with breath and breathing practices. This helps to re-regulate the respiratory system which has an impact on all bodily systems as well as mental and emotional health. In addition mindfulness and pacing are essential practices to avoid setbacks. Individuals with chronic illness are guided to do less 10-50% less than what they can normally do in any given day to help rebuild their energy reserves.
Working in partnership with a yoga therapist helps long haulers, and chronic illness suffers, to gauge when and what to add as they work toward restoring quality of life. If you would like to experience how yoga therapy can help support you, email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment or for a free consultation.