Yoga Nidra: Yoga Accessible to All

by Camile Araujo

Before becoming a T-4 complete para, I was an avid long-distance runner. Running was not only a daily must for me, but it was when I spent time with my inner self. After my paralysis, however, it became a challenge to have alone time. In the beginning, I was faced with numerous complications that accompanied my spinal cord injury. It wasn’t long before I was emotionally and mentally drained. I needed 24-hour care to deal with the complications and could not find a way to disconnect from the world and connect within. For two years, I dealt with the physical, as well as mental, challenges. 

I researched relentlessly how to again have some "me" time, while practicing some type of exercise/meditation and achieving the same results running provided. In 2009, I found my solution. I wanted to try yoga, but knew that I could not adapt myself to traditional yoga classes; so instead I needed to find a different form of it to bring my mind to peace. I searched for private, flexible instructors, who would be willing to work with someone in a wheelchair with limited mobility. Many people were not too comfortable with the idea. Perhaps they felt as if the responsibility was too great. I also had no luck finding an inexpensive private instructor. I was determined to find anything that resembled a yoga practice and that worked the mind as well--especially the mind. Unexpectedly, one day, I came across a CD online.