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Yoga for COVID-19 recovery: A suggested recovery plan

Are you currently recovering from COVID-19?

Are you worried about a loved one who has contracted the virus?


This has been my life for over a month now, just after Christmas my mother and aunty went into hospital with COVID-19 on the same day. Worried sick, I couldn’t focus, eat or get out of bed. My every waking thought was with them and all my strength went towards mentally willing them both to get better.



“… I would say to her, close your eyes and….”Go to your happy place”.”



I was fortunate enough to be able to speak to my mum on the phone every day, some days were better than others. I would remind my mum of breathing practices to help her keep her lungs active but also to help her with the stress and trauma of the oxygen therapy that she was receiving. The masks were uncomfortable and tight, and she was stuck in the paradox of not wanting the mask that made her feel like she was suffocating but was actually assisting her recovery. Every time, I would say to her, close your eyes and….”Go to your happy place”.


Recovering at home after COVID


Mum has been back home for 3 weeks, and I have been working with her on her recovery. At first she was very weak and breathless, and didn’t have as much mobility as she used to.



“She kept saying; “if this has taught me anything, it’s patience”.”



We started slow, simple breathing and meditation practices, and some gentle chair yoga for the first few days. These gentle practices left her feeling invigorated but sometimes frustrated. You see my mum has always been a very active and healthy person, her nervous system had the memory of how she used to move and react, and now everything was in slow motion. She kept saying; “if this has taught me anything, it’s patience”.


Towards the end of week 1, we tried a gentle yoga sequence that I created specifically for her. She was determined to make it through the full 15 minutes, I had to continuously remind her to be gentle, move slowly and use the support of the floor and wall to keep her stable…but she made it and I could see the joy on her face. She continued to practice the yoga sequence and every day she noticed her ability to move and breathe became a little bit easier.





The morning yoga routine


Towards the end of week 1, she started to practice the following morning routine:


· Breathwork – deep belly breathing – 10 minutes

· Yoga for COVID recovery - Episode 28.0 – 15 minutes

· Meditation for peace and calm (Happy place meditation) – 10 minutes


This is when I really started seeing rapid improvement, she was a lot more mobile, had more energy, and her breathlessness was a lot more subtle.



“Her energy levels dipped, she slept a lot, but she still wanted to move.”


At the end of week 2 she finished her steroids, and this came with it’s own challenges. Now she had built up her strength and got herself into a routine of moving, but the steroids were giving her fabricated energy. Her energy levels dipped, she slept a lot, but she still wanted to move. She continued with the breath work and meditation, and I did some gentle yin yoga with her to keep her mobile without any strain on her body. The lounge was filled with pillows and blankets, the heating was cranked up and the fairy lights made it so cozy and nurturing. I found that this really helped her to feel like she was still getting her movement in without it depleting her.


In time she managed to build a bit more of her natural strength and started to alternate between the gentle yoga sequence and yin yoga, depending on her mood, energy and abilities on that day.


Now in week 3, she is back to the week one routine and is able to do a full hour Yin Yoga class with me. She is no longer breathless and I can’t stop her from cleaning and tidying everything she can get her hands on…haha!



Me and Mum xx


The recovery schedule


I would like to make it very clear that the schedule that I will share with you below is not a medically approved schedule, it is a suggested recovery plan that my mum practiced and it worked for her. I am sharing it with you today in the hopes that it or at least elements of it helps you with your recovery in some way. This is not a guaranteed program but rather one that might help you to improve breathlessness, weakness and lack of mobility.



“…you are your own best teacher, if anything doesn’t feel right for you, move in a way that does feel right.”


Always seek advice from a medical professional if you are unsure of anything and practice to suit your current needs and abilities, as we are all different and this is not a one size fits all solution.


Lastly, remember that you are your own best teacher, if anything doesn’t feel right for you, move in a way that does feel right. If you get breathless at any point in the practice, pause the video, lay on you belly in downward facing fallen tree, and if and when you feel up for it, carry on moving or stop. Tomorrow is another day.


Notice subtle differences in the body, mind and breath as you progress. Be patient. Be gentle.


This is a rough guide for you based on my mums recovery plan. You can alter the days and practices to suit your lifestyle and energy levels and feel free to take an extra rest day whenever you feel that you might need it. As a general guidline, if you are feeling:


· Breathlessness, do the breathing practice, and use fallen tree as a restorative pose

· Weakness, do yin yoga practice, meditatation or breathing

· Lack of mobility, do gentle sequence Ep 28.0, Ep 29.0 and Ep 30.0


4 week COVID-19 recovery plan


I hope that this inspires and motivates you and helps you to feel more in control of your recovery.



Simply press play...


Breathwork - Breath with E - Diaphragmatic breathing



Happy Place Meditation - Episode 30.0



Yoga for COVID Recovery - Yoga in 10 - Episode 28.0



Yoga for COVID Recovery - Yoga in 10 - Episode 29.0



Yoga Nidra for Patience - Episode 31.0


Breathwork - Breath with E - Yogic breathing (when your breathlessness is gone)


Yoga for COVID Recovery - Yoga in 10 - Episode 30.0 (to be release in the week of 15 February 2021)

Feel free to direct any questions or concerns to me via email at elumiyoga@gmail.com


Feeling worried or anxious?


As for my aunty, she is unfortunately still in the hospital, currently in a coma, and in critical condition, we are all very hopeful that she will pull through, she is strong and has a big support structure in us as a family.


“…we cannot go and see her in the hospital to give her a hug and let her know that everything is going to be ok…”


With that said this has been hard on us, as we feel that we don’t have any control over her recovery, we cannot go and see her in the hospital to give her a hug and let her know that everything is going to be ok and that she is doing such a great job. For now, I share this mantra by Joanna Fuchs for my aunty:


May you be well


May you be well.

May you be cleansed and purified of all that isn’t health.

May every cell in your body wake up and fight.

May the powerful light of healing move into every part of you.

May you return to being purely you.

May you be well


Me, Aunty Helen and Kevin xxx


I know that our family is not alone in this struggle and I would like to talk now to those of you are:


· experiencing worry

· grieving the loss of a loved one

· unable to sleep due to the stress

· feeling anxious about what the future holds


“… your emotions might be fluctuating…"


I don’t have a magical solution that will make all of these emotions disappear, but I do have some tools that have helped my family and me during this challenging time. The best advice I can give you is to do your best to stay grounded; this virus is so volatile that patients can swing from good to critical in a matter of hours and your emotions might be fluctuating along with all the updates that you get from the doctors and nurses.


I am not saying, force yourself to be positive; I don’t believe that this is a healthy way to deal with any situation. Rather allow yourself to stay centered and grounded, this will enable you to cope with the consistent fluctuations in circumstance, allow you to feel whatever you need to feel at the time and deal with everything without it taking too much of a toll on your mind and body. Looking after yourself ensure that you are able to look after others.


How to support yourself whilst a loved one is sick with COVID-19


The one consistent thing that helped me during this time was talking to my cousin, who was going through exactly the same experience as me at the time. We leaned on each other so much, we cried together and laughed together and allowed each other to say and feel whatever we needed at the time. She has been my rock throughout this and I am so grateful for her. Do your best to speak to someone who is on the same vibration as you, they don’t necessarily have to understand what you are going through, but they should understand you.



Me and my cousin, Della xxx



If you are feeling worried or anxious, try the following practices:

Peace and Calm meditation



Yoga Nidra for Patience



Belly breathing – this really helped me to calm my mind and body.


These practices will assist you in bringing your body and mind out of fight or flight mode for a while, allowing for a bit of relief and allowing your body to take time to restore itself.



If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, first of all I am so sorry for your loss. The grieving process is a tough one, but in our current climate, it is even tougher.


Try out the following practices to ease the heaviness in your heart or if you feel overwhelmed with emotions and just want to give the body and mind a break:


3 part yogic breathing


Grounding meditation - to help ground your energy and calm the mind




If you are unable to sleep I would recommend:


Yoga for COVID recovery – Episode 29.0


followed by Yoga Nidra for Patience



The combination of these 2 practices will lower the energy levels in the body, help to feel calmer and aid a good nights sleep.


Kings College Hospital and their amazing team


The staff at Kings College Hospital worked tirelessly to attend to my mum’s needs, she consistently talks about how amazing everyone was, from the cleaners, to the nurses and doctors and even the kitchen team.


They are still giving my aunt the best care whilst she is in ICU and we are so grateful for their kind, compassionate and patient energy. My cousin is fundraising for Kings College Hospital Charity in an effort to show appreciation for how amazing the team has been.


Here is her JustGiving page, if you would like to read more about the story and donate.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/helpingheros?utm_source=whatsapp&utm_medium=fundraising&utm_content=helpingheros&utm_campaign=pfp-whatsapp&utm_term=4e64aeaec2a141208e6b89acba67c466



“…tell the people you love, that you love them…”


No matter where you are in this time, just know that we are all in this together, even if we are not physically together.


So today I leave you with this quote as a reminder to tell the people you love, that you love them, to care for all living beings and continue to practice compassion towards yourself and others.


“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Leo Buscaglia


Love and Light

Eliza

xxxx

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