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Rise and Shine – with Yoga!
The Innovative Use of Yoga for Getting out of Bed with Safety and Confidence

By Kathy Glenn, Janet Hennard and Jayne Shale

(Page 2 of 3)
  1. Single knee to chest. Lying on your back, pull one knee at a time toward your chest. Hold for five seconds while breathing deeply. Repeat with the opposite leg. Work up to three times and hold each knee for up to 20 seconds.

  2. Trunk rotation. Lying on your back, bend your knees, keeping your feet on the bed at least hip-width apart. Gently roll the knees from side to side as far as possible without discomfort. Hold for 10 seconds, working up to 10 repetitions. Caution: Do not push through pain; you should feel only a gentle stretch in the spine.

  3. Ankle pumps. Lying on your back with legs down, flex your feet towards you, then point them away from you. Hold each position for up to 10 seconds, working up to 10 repetitions.

Coming to a Seated Position
This exercise helps you sit up while protecting your spine. While lying on your back, bend the knees, feet flat on the bed. Pull your belly button to your spine while continuing to breathe. Slowly roll to your side, keeping your shoulders in line with your hips. As you bring your legs off the bed, use your arms to push your torso into a seated position on the edge of the bed. Keep your belly button to your spine during the entire move. You may
use this same technique to lie down.


After coming to a seated position, use yoga breathing techniques to bring sufficient oxygen to the blood and the brain before standing.

  1. Come to the edge of the bed with your feet on the floor and your hands pressing gently against the sides of the bed for support.

  2. Breathe naturally through the nostrils and merely observe your breath for a few moments, without trying to correct or challenge your breath. Observe how the abdomen expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale.

  3. Begin to gently deepen the breath, observing its ability to lengthen on both the inhale and the exhale. Focus on bringing the breath to the abdomen rather than the chest.

  4. Repeat 15-20 rounds of inhaling and exhaling this way, focusing as much as possible on nothing but your breath.

Yoga Routine after Standing

Once you are standing, you can add movements to further strengthen key muscles.

  1. Mountain pose. Standing tall with the feet hip distance apart, press into the floor while you engage your abdominal muscles, bringing your belly button toward your spine. Gently roll your shoulders back, arms at your side. On each exhale, squeeze your belly button toward your spine. Repeat for 10 breaths, working up to 15. This helps strengthen abdominal muscles and balance.



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