One of the most popular exercises for MS patients today is yoga, this gentle exercise is used not only to stretch the muscles and keep the body in shape but also to help keep the mind fit and relaxed. Exercise is very important to the multiple sclerosis patient, while it helps to keep the body fit it also can be used to teach the patient how to breathe properly and meditate to bring the mind back into focus.
There are many aspects of yoga that make it one of the perfect exercises for MS patients. Multiple sclerosis patients live in a world where stress is part of everyday; unfortunately this stress can bring on exacerbations and needs to be avoided. One of the premier concepts of yoga is to relax the mind before attempting to move the body, ultimately resulting in peace and harmony of both mind and body.
Meditation and breathing exercises for MS are the same as for any other person and will help the mind to relax allowing the patient to become more in tune with every aspect of their body. This will allow the patient to exert more control over their body. This is usually accomplished by teaching the patient to pay close attention to every breath they take in and let out until it is the focus of their thoughts, allowing the mind to enter a state of total relaxation.
The poses in traditional Hatha yoga are the ideal exercise for MS patients as they are designed to be low impact that can be modified to suit ambulatory and wheelchair bound patients. As a patient learns these poses and becomes more able to do each one as directed they will find that they have increased flexibility and range of motion. This can help reduce the effects of muscle spasms and other pains and stiffness that are part of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
While yoga may be considered one of the ideal exercises for MS you should always consult your doctor before you begin any exercise regimen to make sure that you are physically able to take part in it. A good practice of yoga can make it easier to cope with the symptoms of multiple sclerosis and increase overall energy levels significantly.