Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis
Iyengar Yoga has proven to be extremely beneficial for patients living with Multiple Sclerosis. There are poses that help with challenges such as fatigue, constipation, problems with digestion, lack of mental clarity, or balance. Balance, for example, can be addressed with asanas such as Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Virabhadrasana I (Warrior Pose I) and Virabhadrasana II (Warrior Pose II), and Trikonasana (Triangle Pose). To counter limitations, such as fatigue and heat intolerance, students learn to master the breath and practice restorative postures. Both techniques cool the body and calm the nervous system. The simple breathing technique of lengthening the exhalation a little longer than the inhalation helps quiet the nervous system. It has been observed that heat, stress, and tension can cause temporary worsening of MS symptoms, so keep the pace of practice relaxed but focused keeping the body just shy of sweating is important.
MS can also result in a daily battle with numbness of the arms and legs, muscle spasms, and loss of coordination. The system of yoga emphasizes stretching and breathing, which can release tension and improve circulation and body awareness. Yoga can also facilitate harmony between the muscular and nervous systems of the body, possibly resulting in more fluid movement and relief from muscle tension.
Finally, in addition to evolving body awareness, yoga, tailored according to your needs, increases flexibility and balance. The poses increase the range of motion in the joints and improve muscle tone, and work of most of the body’s muscle groups.