why zen + bend?

In 2016, my foot was crushed by the tire of an SUV.

This did not bode well for my yoga career. 

I shed many tears over the permanent damage to the structure of my foot. 

I still have moments of mourning the flow with which I would walk, run + dance.  

I learnt the true suffering of chronic pain.  

After spending 22 hours per day with my feet elevated, I needed to learn how to move again.  

I wanted to remind myself that I still had 3 other intact limbs and a body full of muscles and organs and joints that were desperately craving some dedicated and intentional movement. 

 I created the zen + bend video series to assist in recovery and rehabilitation from broken bones, injury and trauma.

  take your time. breathe. be gentle with yourself.

The most important thing, for me, after I got out of my surgery-haze, was to breath softly + to gently move my body.

In those first few days, I was tired after 2-3 minutes of moving.

Work up to the full length of the videos.   

Take note: For some people, the breath can feel constricted after trauma. It's also common for exercise, breath work or fitness to bring up memories of a traumatic injury (During injury, we are in extreme hyperventilation or fight + flight mode. It's common, when breathing to heal, to experience flashbacks. Work on lengthening your breath, rather than deepening your breath). If at any point, breath, strengthening or yoga feels too intense, please stop. Slow down. You can start again tomorrow. 

As always, YOU are the best guide for your own body. Listen carefully. I am NOT a medical doctor. Any & all movements here, are meant to be integrated into your medically prescribed treatment protocols. I'm always happy to answer questions. Head on over to my contact page & send any notes my way!

Love Carla.

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel here: 


hips, glutes + hamstrings | broken foot & ankle workout | level 1.

strengthen your HIPS, GLUTES + HAMSTRINGS. 

bring fluid movement into your SPINE. 

zen + bend with me! This is a yoga and meditation video for the days and weeks after pain, trauma, injury or surgery. This workout can be done with a cast. 

SET:
 - Wind-Relieving: 30 seconds each side.
 - Threading-the-needle: 30 seconds each side.
 - Bridge: 2 sets. 10 seconds each.
 - Leg extension with strap: 45 seconds each side. 
 - Seated side stretch: 45 seconds each side.
 - Supine Twist: 30 seconds each side. 
 - Savasana & mindful breathing: Inhale for 5 & exhale for 6 seconds. 

IDEAL EQUIPMENT FOR THIS VIDEO:  

A yoga mat, a yoga block + a strap.

If you don’t have a block or strap, get creative with pillows + scarves! 

breathing notes: 

Remember that you can continue mindful breathing for as long as you like!  When we extend our exhales, so they are longer than our inhales, we send a message to our nervous system to slow down. We encourage our parasympathetic calming to kick in. Breathe slowly. Stretch your breath + enjoy!! xo 


biceps, triceps + shoulders | broken foot & ankle workout | level 2. 

Finally! CARDIO with a cast! Strengthen your BICEPS, TRICEPS + SHOULDERS. Focus on your ribs + DIAPHRAGM to BREATHE with EASE. 

These videos are designed for the weeks that follow a foot or ankle injury or surgery. This workout can be done with a cast! 

SET:
 - Stability ball cardio: 25 seconds
 - Stability ball cardio with shoulder  pull-down : 45 seconds
 - Crescent Moon side stretch with rubber thera-band. Alternate left & right: 45 seconds
 - Chest + tricep  pullback with rubber thera-band: 25 seconds
 - Bicep curls: 3-10lb weights: 8 reps  per side. Alternate for 2 sets.
 - Tricep curls (seated or supportive standing): 3-10lb weights:  8 reps  per side. Alternate for 2 sets.
 - Lateral dumbell raise for shoulders (deltoids) + trapezius: 3-10lb weights:  8 reps  per side. Alternate for 2 sets.
 - Mindful Breathing: Ujjayi Breath. Two minutes. 

IDEAL EQUIPMENT FOR THIS VIDEO:

 A stability ball, a 3 - 10 lb weight & a strap! 

breathing notes:

I LOVE doing Ujjayi breath! It's a dedicated combination of powerful + calming.

A Ujjayi breath is sometimes called a VICTORIOUS breath or an OCEAN breath.  Visualize YOUR most confident and balanced self. Go slow. This breath can be invigorating. If you feel yourself getting too energized, breath slowly. Think of extending your breath, rather than deepening your breath. Lengthen + calm your inhales and exhales. Observe what arises in YOUR experience. There is no ONE right way. Just YOUR way. xo 


upper body + abs | broken foot & ankle workout | level 3.

ABS, CHEST & SHOULDERS. 

If you have tight shoulders from being on crutches, follow this video to strengthen your arms, abs & lower back. 

Level 3 videos bring  more of a cardio + strength challenge, and are meant to inspire you to give your heart and muscles a workout. These strengthening exercises can be hard!! Go slow. Move with intention, and work up to doing more sets, at your own pace -- especially if you've been immobile on crutches for some amount of time. 

This video is filled with STABILITY BALL PUSH-UPS + ABS!

SET:
 - Stability ball push-ups: 2 sets of 8
 - Stability ball sit-ups: 2 sets of 8
~ Repeat up to 10 rounds of push-ups & sit-ups
 - Mindful Breathing: Inhale for a count of 4 & exhale for a count of 5. Two minutes. 

IDEAL EQUIPMENT FOR THIS VIDEO:

A yoga mat + a stability ball, or a small stable shelf to support your legs.   

breathing notes:

These level 3 videos are the ideal place to practice extending your breath! Start slowly, inhale for a count of 4, and exhale for a count of 5. When you feel comfortable with this pattern, you can increase in the following way:

 - Inhale for a count of 4 + exhale for a count of 6 (12 reps). 

 - Inhale for a count of 5 + exhale for a count of 7 (12 reps).

 - Inhale for a count of 6 + exhale for a count of 8 (12 reps).

(*) If you are increasing the length of your breath, always make sure, you also work your way back down: 

 - Inhale for a count of 5 +  exhale for a count of 7 (12 reps).

- Inhale for a count of 4 + exhale for a count of 6 (12 reps). 

Find a peaceful place to sit or lie down, away from outside noise & distraction. Take your time + visualize your belly rising up on your inhales, and softening down on your exhales. Breath by breath. xo