I recently received this email:
Hi Bernie-- I have a new adventure-- broke my fibula bone near the ankle -- slipped on some road ice-- had surgery last Fri-- plate and screws put in . So here I am adjusting to life on one leg. Can't do anything with broken leg bone but wiggle toes and bend my leg at the hip and knee. I see the doctor in nine days. I'm in no pain -- getting around on crutches and with a walker sometimes. I'm wondering what I could do to stretch etc. that wouldn't cause any issues for my leg healing? I'm sitting a lot -- not my way of doing things-- but it's the way it is. Namaste, Barb
It is the way it is - I am glad to hear that you are respecting the reality of your situation. Your intention to still do some sort of yoga to stay healthy while respecting the injury you have is a good one. Keep it in mind as you practice. It certainly should be possible to do lots of yoga without stressing the injured ankle/lower leg. Sitting poses with the legs straight or well supported with blankets and blocks should be accessible (which would allow you to work your spine): Caterpillar, Butterfly, Straddle all should be available to you. Make sure your legs are relaxed and there is no pain. Using the wall may also be nice now. You can check out this Wall Yin Yoga sequence, skipping the obviously not good ones like the Wall Eye-of-the-Needle. Sphinx and Seal should also be available for you, along with Reclining Twists and Banasanas. (As always, check out the Asana tab for details about these poses.) You may want to have a bolster under your cast to support the leg while in these poses.
While in the sitting postures, you may be able to add some Yin Yoga for the upper body. You can check out these suggestions and see if they are available to you.
Postures that are more challenging are ones where stress is placed on the lower legs and feet. It is unlikely you can sit on your feet right now, but can you build up some support under your feet and ankles with towels or blankets? If you can find a way to do Toe Squat with no pain, thanks to support under the feet, that may be a good stress for the feet. The big caveats here are - no pain! and check with your doctor to see if he thinks it is risk free for you.