IYT at St. Elizabeth’s

Are you an MS patient with mild to moderate gait impairment?
Then you may want to learn about a new yoga program designed with you in mind!

Saint Elizabeth’s MS Center is pleased to announce an Integrative Yoga Therapy Program for our MS patients.  This offering will address the needs of patients who can greatly benefit from the practice of yoga that is specifically adapted for people living with MS.  Our initial program is for those individuals who experience mild to moderate gait impairment with or without an assistive device.  In the near future, we will provide more offerings that will help those with more severe impairments.

How the Program is Designed

The sessions are one and a half hours in duration and a typical session will offer the following experiences:

  • Check-In & Centering – A chance to clear and focus your mind in working with your body while gaining benefit from the energy of the group
  • Warm-Up Exercises – A series of soft, flowing movements to prepare your body, especially your joints, for movement coordinated with breath
  • Yoga Postures & Breathing Exercises – A variety of yoga postures  that are specifically designed to address the physical issues associated with MS including fatigue, balance, gait and muscle weakness and spasticity;  You also learn how to deepen your breath through exercises known as pranayams and coordinate your breath with movement for greater healing
  • Relaxation & Meditation – Each session ends with a guided experience that allows the body and mind to absorb the natural, healing energy of your body, leading to a deeper physical and mental state of peacefulness and comfort.

In a series of eight sessions, you will not only experience yoga but increase your own awareness and knowledge of how to use it as part of your ongoing healing process.  During the program series, you will create a customized 15 minute personal practice to do on your own that will build your proficiency in the techniques and, most importantly, the ongoing healing benefits of this integrative approach through yoga.

How this Program Works for those with MS

This is a therapeutic approach that combines adaptive yoga movements, breath work, meditative and relaxation experiences to stimulate the natural, healing response of our body, mind and energy states.  As such, it is referred to as Integrative Yoga Therapy and is used as a complementary healing approach for a wide range of chronic health issues.  In recent years, it has gained popularity by providing great benefits to those living with MS in helping them live more positive, productive lives as they learn to build muscle strength, increase energy and manage their mental and emotional response toward healing.

Our program is offered through experienced yoga teachers who have been certified in applying adaptive yoga techniques and practices for deeper healing related to chronic diseases like multiple sclerosis.  Here are the biographies of our staff: