The massive growth in the popularity of yoga as a form of exercise and as a method of maintaining whole-body wellness has led to thousands of published research studies confirming what yoga practitioners already know: Yoga relieves stress, improves mental and emotional health, enhances sleep, relieves low back pain and neck pain, promotes weight loss, and even enables smoking cessation. Further study has proven that yoga helps individuals with disabilities improve their functional activities of daily living, recover from injuries, gain mobility, experience less pain, and manage anxiety and depressive symptoms.
Adaptive Yoga takes these studies out of the research labs and onto the yoga mat to empower individuals with disabilities or chronic health conditions to create an effective and safe yoga practice. If you work with these special populations as a yoga teacher or rehabilitative therapist, you will find guidance and recommended poses for some of the most common conditions and disabilities, including these:
Low back pain
Hip, knee, and rheumatoid arthritis
Spinal cord injury
Lower limb amputation
Each pose is presented in detail so you fully understand how it helps the student improve functionality. The text instructs the reader on how to enter, hold, and exit the pose safely, as well as why the pose is beneficial for that condition. When appropriate, contraindications are presented so the yoga practice can be tailored to address any additional conditions or limitations. Challenge variations and restorative modifications for many poses make further individualization possible.
In Adaptive Yoga, authors Ingrid Yang, MD, and Kyle Fahey, DPT, have combined their extensive backgrounds in yoga, medicine, and physical therapy with their unique insights and passion for movement and rehabilitation to present an essential guide for helping those with chronic conditions experience the countless physical and mental benefits of yoga practice.
Part I. Principles of Adapting Yoga Chapter 1. Yoga as Rehabilitation Chapter 2. How the Body Moves
Part II. Adapting Yoga for Specific Disabilities Chapter 3. Low Back Pain Chapter 4. Osteoarthritis of the Hip and Knee Chapter 5. Rheumatoid Arthritis Chapter 6. Lower Limb Amputation Chapter 7. Spinal Cord Injury Chapter 8. Parkinson’s Disease Chapter 9. Stroke Chapter 10. Multiple Sclerosis Chapter 11. Cerebral Palsy
Ingrid Yang, MD, JD, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT, is a deeply knowledgeable, creative, and inspiring yoga therapist, teacher, and physician. She earned her doctorate of medicine from Rush Medical College in Chicago, Illinois. She then received postgraduate residency training at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, where she specialized in physical medicine and rehabilitation, completing a year of inpatient rehabilitation medicine training. Dr. Yang subsequently completed an internal medicine residency at Scripps Green Hospital in San Diego, California. She was awarded her juris doctorate at Duke University School of Law and received her bachelor of arts in economics at Barnard College in New York City. Her first book, Hatha Yoga Asanas: A Pocket Guide to Personal Practice, was published by Human Kinetics in 2011. Dr. Yang leads teacher trainings, workshops, and retreats all over the world. She seeks to integrate her background in allopathic medicine with the ancient teachings of the centuries-old yoga traditions. Her teaching is seeded deeply in dharmic philosophies and an expert grasp of movement kinesiology. Her special focus on the physiology of healing through breath work, meditation, and mind–body connection brings a unique and joyful perspective to the practice and study of yoga. Prior to her current work, Dr. Yang was an intellectual property attorney; founded and owned Blue Point Yoga Center in Durham, North Carolina; and entertained audiences as a jazz singer in Australia.
Kyle Fahey, DPT, PT, is a doctor of physical therapy and senior physical therapist at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago, Illinois, the world’s largest and top-ranked acute rehabilitation hospital. As a graduate of Northwestern University’s doctor of physical therapy program, Dr. Fahey is an expert in biomechanics and rehabilitation for those with severe disabilities in all levels of rehab. He develops programs for his patients to regain and preserve strength, endurance, and balance following debilitating injury or illness. In 2017, Dr. Fahey was made Shirley Ryan’s pain management physical therapy director and specialist. In this role, he formulates pain-specific interventions and consultations to individuals with a wide variety of medical diagnoses throughout the hospital. He is the founder and creator of a weekly wheelchair yoga program for the hospital and seamlessly integrates adaptive yoga into his treatments. Dr. Fahey is also the chairman of the Telehealth and Technology in Practice Committee of the Illinois Physical Therapy Association and serves as an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association. As a leader in the physical therapy telehealth initiative, he strives to improve access to physical therapy care and believes that everyone can benefit from rehab.
"Although the benefits of adaptive yoga for people with unique physical abilities are being increasingly recognized, there are no published guidelines for safe implementation. Dr. Yang's and Dr. Fahey's expertise in Adaptive Yoga fills a much-needed void. This will be a go-to guide—not only for people with disabilities but also for yoga instructors and for health care professionals hoping to integrate holistic interventions with their patients.” —Kelly Krese, DPT, NCS, Neurologic Physical Therapist at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
“In this important work, Dr. Yang and Dr. Fahey invite you to come back to the essence of yoga, illustrating in a clear and comprehensive way how the postures can (and should) be adapted to each person according to their specific needs. This guide is an essential contribution to the field of yoga therapy, outlining safe and effective practices to promote healing and optimal well-being.” —Rachel Krentzman PT, C-IAYT, Physical Therapist, Yoga Therapist, and Author of Yoga for a Happy Back and Scoliosis, Yoga Therapy, and the Art of Letting Go
“As a physical therapist and yoga and movement educator, I get goose bumps thinking about the power of this book's message and the overall work of Dr. Ingrid Yang. Ingrid is defying convention in her field to amplify and lead with a simple, noninvasive, nonpharmaceutical approach that could enhance the quality of life for those experiencing challenging and sometimes disabling conditions. This is a well-referenced guide to understanding how and why to apply yoga asana under a wide range of circumstances.” —Ariele Foster, DPT, PT, E-RYT 500, Founder of YogaAnatomyAcademy.com
“This detailed yet accessibly written book is a gift for curious students of yoga, a resource for yoga teachers, and a primer for rehabilitation professionals seeking to understand the use of yoga asana as a targeted means of increasing strength and flexibility. It is also, crucially, a welcome portal to further exploration: As Dr. Yang and Dr. Fahey remind readers, “The goal of adaptive yoga is not only to modify yoga poses but to use yoga as a tool to improve mobility, function, and quality of life.” —Laurie Hyland Robertson, Editor in Chief of Yoga Therapy Today
"This book is an amazing effort and accomplishment to help fill a void our health care system is not always able to fill." —Bijal Patel, MD, Nephrologist, Patient Advocate, and Physician Advocate
"Adaptive Yoga is a well-thought-out introduction to yoga posture variations to help both yoga professionals and health care providers serve wider audiences. The book is an important bridge that will allow many more individuals to safely access the important health benefits of yoga asana practice." —Matthew J. Taylor, PT, PhD, C-IAYT, National Yoga Safety Expert, Past President of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, and Board Member of Accessible Yoga