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Girl in wheelchair practicing yoga

Yoga is a holistic practice that combines physical postures, breathing techniques, meditation and mindfulness to promote overall wellbeing and harmony between the body and mind. While yoga is not a specific treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS), it can be a beneficial complementary approach for individuals living with MS.

More About Yoga in relation to MS:

Flexibility and Balance: Yoga postures, known as asanas, can help improve flexibility, range of motion and balance. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with MS, as it can help counteract muscle stiffness, reduce the risk of falls and enhance overall mobility.

Stress Reduction and Relaxation: Yoga incorporates breathing exercises and meditation practices that promote relaxation, stress reduction and emotional wellbeing. This can be valuable for individuals with MS, as they may experience increased stress, anxiety and mood disturbances. Yoga’s focus on mindfulness and being present in the moment can help individuals cultivate a positive mindset and cope with the challenges of MS.

Body Awareness and Mind-Body Connection: Yoga encourages body awareness, mindfulness and the connection between the body and mind. It promotes a deepening understanding of one’s physical sensations, limitations and abilities. This increased body awareness can be valuable for individuals with MS who may experience sensory disturbances or changes in proprioception (kinesthesia).

Breathing Techniques: Yoga incorporates various breathing techniques, known as pranayama, which can help individuals with MS manage their breath and increase oxygenation. Deep, diaphragmatic breathing can promote relaxation, improve lung capacity and enhance overall wellbeing.

Adaptability and Modification: Yoga can be adapted and modified to accommodate different levels of strength, flexibility and mobility. Various props, such as blocks and straps, can be used to assist individuals with certain limitations. Yoga classes specifically designed for individuals with MS or led by instructors experienced in working with MS can provide appropriate modifications and guidance.

Community and Support: Participating in yoga classes or joining yoga communities can provide individuals with MS a sense of belonging, support and connection with others who share similar experiences. It can be an opportunity to meet others, share insights and create a supportive network.

Individuals with MS should consult with their healthcare professionals, including neurologists or rehabilitation specialists, before starting a yoga practice. They can provide personalised guidance, taking into account individual abilities, limitations and overall health status.

While yoga can offer numerous benefits for individuals with MS, it is important to practice with awareness and listen to your body. Modifying or avoiding certain postures or practices that may exacerbate symptoms or pose a risk is crucial. With proper guidance and a mindful approach, yoga can be a valuable tool to support overall wellbeing and complement the comprehensive management of MS.

Contact from individuals or healthcare professionals welcomed.