Why Yoga?

I have found a new hobby that I absolutely love, and want to share with all of my readers! Yoga! As you’ve probably read in some of my previous articles, I fell in love with living a healthy lifestyle after giving birth to my son in 2015. I have found that eating clean, drinking more water, and incorporating exercise into my daily routine has drastically improved the way I feel every day. While I know my choice of healthy lifestyle isn’t for everyone, I do want to share with you, because it has helped me so much.

Yoga and MS

I have heard many wonderful things about using yoga to help with MS, so I decided to try it out for myself. I did my first yoga workout in January, and I loved it so much that I have been doing it weekly since. One of my favorite quotes by B.K.S. Lyengar, says, “Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” This really spoke to me. While my MS cannot currently be cured, yoga and other healthy changes to my life have helped me learn to better endure this disease. The word yoga means to yoke or join together-uniting the mind, body, and spirit. Let me start by saying, I used to think yoga was some crazy hippie practice, silly I know, but that’s what I believed until I tried it out. As I found out, after my first practice, the benefits of yoga can be felt in just a few minutes into it. Immediately I felt lighter and my body and tight muscles relaxed. The simple practice of breathing, and focusing on that alone, is extremely powerful when you become aware of how each breath can affect each part of your body. As you learn to become aware of your breathing, it’s amazing how your mind quickly becomes calmer, and your body more tranquil and even comfortable. I was afraid to try yoga for the longest time, because I didn’t think I would be flexible enough, and honestly I just doubted I would be any good at it. But, my favorite thing about yoga is that you don’t have to be a pro to attempt it. Each pose is designed to support the body’s muscles, joints, structure and function. Each and every pose can be modified to its simplest form and be practiced in a variety of positions. You can do yoga standing, sitting, or even lying in a bed! The places practice yoga are endless!

Yoga and symptom management

As we know with MS, our bodies are often uncomfortable or even painful, making even the easiest tasks difficult at times. Practicing yoga can help you manage things such as your balance and strength. Balance issues and weakness are no stranger with MS, and as I’ve continued practicing yoga I have found that both my balance and strength have greatly improved. It has also helped me manage my pain and even fatigue. The art of learning to control my breathing has also helped with my anxiety and depression. The physical poses of yoga beautifully prepare your body to sit still in meditation and be one with your thoughts. I love that learning how to breathe and meditate has taught me to literally breathe through painful moments and get through them with ease. This ancient practice has helped comfort many of my physical symptoms and improved my emotional outlook by simply breathing and stretching.The best part of yoga for me is finishing feeling re-energized, rejuvenated, and ready to go!

Like I mentioned earlier, I know practicing yoga may not be for everyone, but it’s done so much for my life that I couldn’t help but share with you all. If you’re looking to start I highly recommend Yoga with Adriene on YouTube! I hope yoga can help others the way it has helped me. Namaste.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (2)
  • Julie
    2 years ago

    I have been advised by Drs and physical therapists to give yoga a try. I probably need to look into it but I have my concerns. For instance, I have such bad spasms in my legs, I have trouble getting up from the floor. When I fall I have to hope someone is around to help me get up. What I need to find is something I can do from a sitting position or a standing position that won’t put me on the floor.

    I think it’s great that you have something that works for you. A good nutritious diet and movement can keep you healthy (or healthier). Good luck and good health!

  • Monk
    2 years ago

    Julie, I have balance and falling issues, too. There are many chair yoga videos on youtube. This one is a real gentle one to start with:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8BsLlPE1m4&t=91s

    I also like Peggy Cappy’s Yoga for the Rest of Us. The first 20 minutes are seated. The rest are standing but she shows you options holding a chair. Be careful with these as you can get off balance. You might be able to get the dvd at your library.

    And some community Senior Centers offer chair yoga.

    Hope this gives you some ideas. Good luck!

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