Could restorative yoga assist your recovery after surgery?

1 November 2020  |  Admin

If you have recently undergone surgery, your instinct is likely to be to rest, instead of engaging in more strenuous activity. Indeed, even everyday tasks that would hardly have caused you to break into sweat prior to your operation, may feel overwhelming during the early stages of your recovery.

This is not to suggest, of course, that you should take a leisurely approach indefinitely, particularly as you seek to begin recovering your strength after your surgery. 

This is where yoga can play a powerful role. You don’t need to be a committed yogi in order to benefit from the practice in relation to both your physical health and mental wellness. After all, past research has indicated that the relaxation and meditation techniques used in yoga may help speed up wound healing and enhance recovery for those who have recently had an operation. 

What do the experts say about restorative yoga? 

In the words of mind-body coach and CNN Health contributor Dana Santas, who has direct experience of yoga for surgery recovery: “Whether you need to recover from a stressful day, a strenuous workout or even an injury or surgery, restorative yoga may be just the thing for you. In fact, if you’re recovering from surgery, it may be one of the only forms of exercise that’s safe and effective.” 

Another advocate of the discipline’s usefulness for recovery, yoga teacher Ciara Roberts, has previously stated for the Mail on Sunday that she sees “the restorative power of movement on almost a daily basis. People come to my classes in a fragile state, having undergone treatment for cancer, suffering from joint pain, or having had a major operation.” 

Roberts has outlined various moves that can be relevant to people recovering from different forms of surgery, including the likes of chin-to-chest and head-side-to-side exercises for neck recovery, mountain poses for those who have undergone knee surgery, and the ‘cat-cow’ pose for abdominal recovery. 

So, should you start a yoga routine? 

This is the stage at which we need to voice particular caution. The fact is, no given individual’s post-surgery recovery is likely to be quite the same as the next person’s, and we would always urge you to talk to your surgeon before launching into even the gentlest yoga routine. 

Indeed, your surgeon will be excellently placed to advise you on activities that will be safe, in addition to providing a realistic timeline setting out when you can expect to be capable of taking on more challenging levels of exercise. 

Nonetheless, with its combination of meditation and slow, supported movements, there is no question that restorative yoga has helped many people with their post-surgery recovery, including in relation to such potential issues as sleep troubles, digestion, and even depression and anxiety. 

All the while, it will be crucial to ensure you are suitably supported in your day-to-day recovery by compression garments that enhance comfort and safety. Here at RECOVA, we are proud to make available such items, manufactured by VOE to the highest standards with both men and women’s specific needs in mind. 



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