Whether you’re doing it for weight loss, disease prevention or stress relief, the health benefits of yoga are plenty. It is particularly beneficial in providing relief from symptoms, promoting mobility and minimizing risks of complications in mutiple sclerosis (MS) patients.
Around 400, 000 Americans suffer from MS, an inflammatory disease in which the insulating covers of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord are damaged. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, yoga’s relaxing, breathing and stretching poses make it a good exercise for people suffering from the condition. A recent study carried out at Rutgers University found that women with moderate symptoms of multiple sclerosis experienced improvements in balance, walking, coordination, and quality of life after eight weeks of practicing yoga.
Here are four easy poses that will help ease the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. We advise you to speak to your doctor before you start practicing them. It’s better to do the easiest pose before attempting the more challenging ones.
1. Parvatasna, Or Mountain Pose
- Sit in sukhasana, or the happy pose.
- Raise your hands above your head and let the palms face each other.
- Hold the fist of one hand with the other and stretch them upwards, as if you’re raising your body. Your abdominal muscles will stretch in the process.
- Maintain the pose for 10-15 seconds and then relax.
- Repeat the asana 3 times.
2. Paschimottanasana, Or Seated Forward Bend
- Sit on the floor with your back erect.
- Stretch your legs in front of you as you inhale.
- Keep your knees firm and try not to bend them.
- Exhale, bend forward, hold your toes and try to touch your forehead to your knees.
- Maintain the pose for 10 seconds.
- Return to the starting position and relax. Repeat three times.
3. Virabhadrasana II, Or Warrior Pose II
- Stand with your legs apart and your left foot should be at 90 degrees (facing outward), so that your heel is facing the arch of the right foot.
- Extend your arm to the sides so that they are parallel to the ground.
- Bend your left knee so that your thigh is parallel to the ground. Hold for a few seconds, inhaling and exhaling several times.
- Switch your legs and follow the same steps.
4. Bhujangasana, Or Cobra Pose
- Lie on your stomach with legs pointing down and heels together.
- Place your palms on the floor at chest level.
- While inhaling, lift your upper body (head and shoulders) off the floor.
- Now, while exhaling, return to the starting position. Repeat three times
Tips To Remember
- You can do the seated version of these asanas as well, except the cobra pose, in your wheelchair or a firm chair with a solid back placed near a wall or on a yoga mat so there is no fear of sliding.
- Make use of props and supports like chairs, blankets, pillows and walls to complete your postures.
June 21 is International Yoga Day. To celebrate it with Z Living, click here.