Yoga For Multiple Sclerosis

by Restorative Yoga Poses on July 25, 2011

Restorative Yoga For Multiple Sclerosis:

Restorative yoga is a particular variety of yoga that focusses on more gentle and relaxed movements. The aim is to provide relaxation through restful positions, and to achieve this, various props are used to support the body. This enables the poses to be held for longer, thus deepening the sense of relaxation. The most common props used are blocks, blankets, and pillows or bolsters, and the wall is used as well.

Restorative poses have been found to bring especial benefit to people with an illness or injury, or who are suffering from stress. One condition that seems to benefit particularly is multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease resulting from the immune system attacking the myelin sheaths which protect the nerve fibers in the spinal cord and brain. Major symptoms include intense fatigue, muscle weakness and tremors, so restorative poses are much more suitable than the more energetic types of yoga. The benefits that have been noted include mood enhancement, stress reduction, help in muscle relaxation and increase in flexibility and strength, which are just what are needed for dealing with the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. In fact, the American Yoga Association recommends 30 minutes a day of restorative yoga for those suffering from the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis.

Among the many restorative yoga poses, there are a number of basic ones which can be used by beginners and which bring almost instant benefit. The best known of these is the Viparita Karani or “legs up the wall” pose, in which the wall is used as a prop for supporting the legs. Another classic pose is the seated forward fold or Paschimottanasana, in which a bolster or blanket on top of the legs is used to support the forward bend from a seated position.

Yoga comes in many different forms and can work for people with all sorts of different needs. Some people prefer power yoga or other more active forms, but restorative yoga meets a need for many. Slowing down and tapping into the body’s own powers of restoration can help both the mind and body to renew and heal.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

regina March 14, 2013 at 7:28 pm

I have MS .. when i practice inversions i feel very dizzy, unbalanced, queazy afterwards, my yoga teacher who also has MS, has stopped inverting for the same reason. (other than legs up wall, and supported plow) wondering if anyone else experiences this .. it makes sense when you consider the zamboni theory of insufficient venous flow from the brain … thanks, regina

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