Breathe In, Breathe Out: Adaptive Yoga at Magee

Yoga is practiced by billions of people around the world for its physical, mental and emotional benefits.  The physical benefits of yoga include improved strength and flexibility, improved respiration, and protection from injury.   One of the best benefits of yoga is how it helps a person manage stress.  Stress can take a devastating toll on the body, particularly after experiencing a life-changing injury.

Have you considered yoga, but thought the positions were too difficult for you?  Yoga is being integrated more and more into traditional Western medicine.  Magee Riverfront’s Health and Wellness Center now offers an adaptive yoga class that is designed to bring the healing benefits of yoga to people of all abilities.  Led by certified yoga instructor Fatima Adamu, adaptive yoga utilizes props such as straps and blocks to make poses accessible in new ways.  After trauma, mobility is often compromised due to long periods spent lying in bed and the build-up of scar tissue at and around areas of injury.  Adaptive yoga focuses on the following:

  • Lengthening and relaxing neck and jaw muscles
  • Lengthening the muscles around the shoulder blade and rib cage
  • Strengthening core muscles with poses and breathing exercises
  • Strengthening arm muscle groups
  • Strengthening and lengthening leg muscles using straps (students with no movement in the lower body use the legs as a resistance-prop to build upper body strength
  • Relaxing body and mind, and balancing emotions through breathing exercises and meditation

Magee’s adaptive yoga instructor Fatima Adamu

Partner poses are also incorporated, giving people an opportunity to feel empowered by helping others achieve a deeper, more satisfying stretch as they breathe together.  Students in the class are encouraged to speak up for what they need; asking for more or less assistance in a pose helps the individual exercise their voice and fulfill the unique needs of their body.

If you would like to learn more about Magee’s adaptive yoga program, we encourage you to attend a free seminar on September 17 at 2:00 p.m. at Magee Riverfront, 1500 South Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19147.  Yoga classes are held at Magee Riverfront Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. in 4 week sessions.  The next session is scheduled to begin on Monday, September 30, 2013.

For more information on our instructor, Fatima Adamu, visit her website at

Share This Article!