Working with people with MS, the IYT approach modifies Yoga postures working with props like chairs to make is easier and safe for the proper physical movement. We also introduce other complementary yoga practices (mentioned above) that help us address the unique needs of those with MS and bring about the holistic healing that goes beyond the body to the full body-mind-energy connection.
Some of the physical and mental benefits of IYT for those with MS include:
- Relieving stress through mind control to reduce excess tension in the muscles
- Revitalizing the nerves through stretch to make them work more effectively in communicating with the mind
- Building muscle strength for better posture, balance, and mobility
- Stimulating the movement and balance of healing energy throughout the body to counter fatigue and weaknesses in the extremities (legs, arms, hands and feet)
- Increasing core movement and massaging internal organs to enhance digestion and elimination
- And providing social support and individual practices for day-to-day self-management of symptoms to sustain hope and motivation.
IYT for MS patients can be offered through one-on-one or a group experience. Even in the group experience, the class sizes are small to allow for individual attention and support. A typical class is offered in and hour to an hour and a half session including these segments:
- A centering to begin to bring our mental awareness to our body using simple techniques such as attention to the breath
- Then a few warm-ups that begin to prepare the body for certain kinds of movements and to deepen the breath; depending on the level of MS symptoms, props such as chairs may be used to give safe and effective support
- Students are guided through a few carefully designed postures that are adapted to address the limitation of MS patients while at the same time focusing on the areas of vulnerability and weakness
- All of this leads us into a deep relaxation where all the benefits of the movements, breathing and mental awareness are given an opportunity to become absorbed in strengthening the body-mind connection that leads to a heightened sense of well-being.