5 therapeutic yoga poses to help people with MS

World Multiple Sclerosis Day is celebrated worldwide on May 30 every year. The main aim of the day is to raise awareness about multiple sclerosis and to bring those living with the condition together to share their stories to educate others about this chronic autoimmune disease. The theme for the year 2022 is ”I Connect, We Connect” (#MSConnections) and in fact it focuses on building community connection, self-connection and connections with quality assurance.

Also read: World Multiple Sclerosis Day 2020: 5 easy ways to help people with this neurodegenerative condition
World Multiple Sclerosis Day

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis, abbreviated as MS, is a neurological disorder that primarily affects the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord, causing a wide variety of symptoms. Although symptoms vary from person to person, the hallmark problems with balance, vision, speech, and muscle control that cause numbness or weakness in one or more limbs are electric shock-like sensations in the neck, tremor, lack of coordination, or unsteady gait.

Also Read: World Multiple Sclerosis Day: Make Diet Changes to Manage This Autoimmune Disease

The cause of MS is currently unknown, but environmental factors, genetic predisposition, low vitamin D levels, smoking and childhood obesity may be the possible causes. At present, there is no absolute cure for this inflammatory condition, but several ongoing scientific studies and studies are advancing by the minute in hopes of finding one soon. Treating this condition basically involves fighting the symptoms and improving overall immunity. Here comes yoga, your ultimate savior that not only helps manage symptoms and prevent them from worsening, but also improves overall immunity.

How does yoga help with MS?

According to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience, the timeless practice of yoga, including synchronized body movements and breathing techniques, may help manage symptoms of multiple sclerosis, including decreased depression, decreased fatigue, increased lung capacity, improved bladder function, improved strength and flexibility, reduced pain, lower stress, lower blood pressure, promote muscle relaxation and improve overall quality of life.

So, if you suffer from madam, don’t worry, these restorative yoga poses are sure to manage your symptoms and provide immediate relief.
Yogasanas for Multiple Sclerosis

Restorative Yogasanas for Multiple Sclerosis

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Stand up straight on the floor, heels touching and feet slightly apart. Keep the soles grounded and your hands straight on either side at all times. Face forward and hold this position for 5 minutes. Take a minute break and repeat 3-4 times.

Benefits:

Being one of the easiest yoga poses, it is extremely helpful in combating neurological problems such as depression, anxiety, disorientation and improving body balance and gut health. It also calms breathing, raises awareness, dispels tension and improves blood circulation. It not only increases stamina and energy, but also harmonizes body and mind.

Veerabhadrasana (warrior pose)

Stand up straight on the floor and look forward. Move your feet about 10 cm apart in the forward direction. Turn your left foot out 90 degrees and your right foot in about 15 degrees. Raise both arms sideways until they are even with the shoulders. Bend your left knee as you exhale. Slowly turn your head and look to the left. Continue to breathe and extend your hands further apart. Gently push your pelvis down and hold the stance with warrior determination. Repeat with the other side with the right foot forward. Do it 3-4 times with a minute in between for relaxation.

Benefits:

The warrior pose improves the balance of the whole body and increases stamina. It provides an amazing stretch to all the muscles and tendons of the body and is really effective in relieving osteoporosis, sciatica and infertility. It is also beneficial in managing the symptoms of MS and provides relief from stress and anxiety.

baby pose

Get on your knees and keep the spine straight. Now slowly bend forward so that both thighs touch the chest. Continue bending forward until your head is past the knee and touches the floor. Extend both arms back on either side of your legs with your palms facing down toward the floor. Stay in this position for 20-25 seconds, take a break for a few seconds and repeat 2-3 times.

Benefits:

The Baby Pose plays a vital role in stretching the entire body, including the hip joint and muscles. It easily helps to release tension from the spine, shoulders and hips. Regular exercise not only relieves stress and anxiety, but also maintains calm for a stress-free mind.

Viparita Karani (legs against the wall pose)

Initially, sit about 3 inches from an empty wall. Lie on your back and swing your legs up so that the back of the thigh rests against the wall. Rest your entire back, ie spine on the floor below, and relax the arms on either side of the body or abdomen. Hold the position for 10 minutes or as long as you can, then slowly pull your leg back to the starting position.

Benefits:

Considered one of the relaxing poses, Viparita Karani allows you to lie flat on the floor with your legs up without twisting much. This basic pose significantly helps calm the nervous system, reduce fatigue, increase energy, reduce fluid build-up in the joints, and treat conditions such as arthritis, sciatica, and lupus. In addition, it also calms anxiety, treats depression and insomnia, and effectively rejuvenates the body and mind.

Marjari Bitilasana (Cat/Cow Pose)

Get on all fours. Bend on your knees and keep your head straight. Inhale deeply and lift your chin while pushing your head back slightly. Keep your buttocks firm and hold the pose for 30 seconds or as long as comfortable, while taking a deep breath. Exhale and bend your spine up toward the sky. Relax your buttocks and bend the back as comfortably as possible. Hold for a while and repeat the pose 3 more times.

Benefits:

The Cat-Cow pose is like two sides of a coin. It’s essential in boosting blood flow and circulation, potentially helping to deliver more oxygen to the brain, relieving some of the pain associated with multiple sclerosis. It also helps to warm up the spine, create space between the vertebrae, and highlight the curvature of the upper and lower spine. In addition, it also induces a feeling of relaxation in the body and mind, relieving pain from all joints.