Yoga for Heart Surgery
From a reader in Rajasthan, India:
“Will you please suggest Yoga and Pranayam after Heart Bypass Surgery?” Following a discussion of family issues, he continues, “I am a retired Engineer and now working as a Yoga teacher, so to serve the society I am interested in Yoga Therapy…”
After heart and lung surgeries, it’s important to help the lungs to function properly so that infection, fluid accumulation, and small airway collapse don’t occur. The modern medicine version of pranayama uses an incentive spirometer, a plastic device that is designed to help you monitor how well you breathe. If there’s no access to this simple device, it’s okay. You can do the same pranayama without the monitoring tool. The instructions that have been proven effective are:
- Sit up straight and breathe in as slowly and deeply as possible.
- Hold the breath for five seconds (or, if unable to hold that long, then as long as possible)
- Breathe out slowly and then rest for a few seconds
- Repeat 10 times
- Then cough (while holding a pillow against the chest wall incision) to expel any loosened material
When it comes to Yoga for cardiac rehabilitation and heart disease prevention, there are some great training programs out there. If it’s something you are interested in pursuing, you might consider attending this one in India:
November 1-6, 2012
Cardiac Medical Yoga Teacher Training – Coimbatore, INDIA
6-day condensed program, non-residential
Contact: Mala Cunningham, Ph.D.
434-296-7100 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For Americans interested in Yoga Therapy for heart disease, Dr. Mala runs training programs primarily in the States.
Another favorite is Nischala Joy Devi’s Yoga of the Heart Therapy Certification. She will be teaching in Massachusetts and Austria this summer.