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Stretch for Your Health: 5 Yoga Poses for Multiple Sclerosis

By Daryl H. Bryant (678 words)
Posted in Living with MS on March 12, 2014

There are (2) comments permalink

Stretch for Your Health: 5 Yoga Poses for Multiple Sclerosis

When it comes to managing your Multiple Sclerosis (MS) pain, exercising and stretching can help. If you have particular difficulty walking or experience physical pain in your muscles and limbs, introducing yoga to your workout plan can help alleviate some of those symptoms. Stretching your muscles is good for your health, and there are yoga poses for Multiple Sclerosis that focus on stretching muscles and reducing pain.

The Airplane Pose

As you stand upright, lift your hands over your head and inhale slowly. Slowly bend your upper body forward, exhaling as you do so. Stop halfway down, and bring your arms down and along your body with the palms facing the floor. Your shoulders should be pressed toward the spine. This pose is perfect for building back muscles and stretching your legs and hamstrings. If you experience back pain or difficulty walking, this pose can help stretch and relax those muscles causing you discomfort. It is also a great way to practice regaining your balance and coordination.

The Downward Dog Pose

This position is also ideal for relieving back pain. Standing up straight, lift your hands over your head and inhale slowly. Exhale and slowly lean forward until your palms are flat on the ground, keeping your torso and bottom in the air so as to stretch your spine. As you also place your body weight on your arms and shoulders in this position, you are building upper body strength and bone density. With your limbs in this position, your body is able to build and maintain bone density that is often lost in those with MS.

The Child’s Pose

This particular yoga position not only relieves pain but also reduces anxiety. Kneel on the floor and slowly open your knees so that they are wider than your hips. Inhale and slowly lay your torso onto your thighs, letting your forehead rest against the floor or yoga mat. Bring your arms around the sides of your body and relax. As you relax and hold this position, allow your thoughts to slow down. Focus on the stretch in your back and the coolness of the floor on your forehead. In this way, this position can relieve both the physical and emotional symptoms of MS.

Yoga and Balance

These positions, as well as many other yoga poses, can help you rebuild any loss in coordination and balance you may be experiencing. Standing poses like the Airplane help strengthen your legs and back, building up strength that will prevent you from losing feeling in your limbs. If you have trouble balancing while doing yoga, feel free to introduce an exercise ball or chair to any of these poses to help you. Twisting your torso and spine in-between each pose can also help with your balance as it moves the back in opposite directions.

Yoga and Breathing

It is important to breathe deeply in-between each time you change positions. Be sure to inhale through your nose, bringing the air into your chest and lungs, and exhale slowly again through your nose. These breathing techniques help your body to relax, relieving tension, and giving your muscles and limbs ample opportunity to stretch. Breathing like this will help connect your mind to your body, making you aware of sensations and help you counteract any physical symptoms that may discomfort you throughout the day.

These poses and many other yoga positions are a great way to strengthen muscles, combat troubles with balance and coordination, and improve flexibility. Introducing yoga to your workout or stretching regimens can help improve your health and reduce the impact of MS symptoms. Do not replace your existing exercise plans with yoga, and be sure to talk with your doctor before deciding on a workout plan. It is best to consider low-impact yoga for MS as it is less physically demanding and focuses more on stretching and balancing mind and body. Yoga poses and stretching for your health will help you relieve MS pain and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. 

Comments (2)

Linda L Halvorson posted on: March 12, 2014

There are also a wide variety of books and videos for this no longer standng.

Nathalie posted on: March 12, 2014

I'm visual I have to see the position to do it...

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