What is Adaptive Yoga?
Yoga is an art and science that connects the mind, body, and spirit through the practice of physical postures (asana), partnered with the breath (pranayama), and meditation practices. Adaptive Yoga modifies these postures for persons with Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, stroke, and other neuromuscular conditions.
Yoga is not a one-size fit’s all philosophy. Since every body is unique, and each individual’s practice in different, essentially all yoga is adaptive to some extent. With Adaptive Yoga, traditional poses are tailored to the physical body, rather than fitting and forcing the body into a particular pose and shape. Coupled with breathing, props such as blankets, chairs, yoga straps, and blocks to meet the unique needs of individuals with different abilities. Yoga poses can be adapted to be practiced in a chair, while standing, or on the earth.
With Multiple Sclerosis, the immune system attacks the Central Nervous System (CNS), and communication to and from the brain and body is compromised.
Damage to nerve fibers and the myelin sheath that protects the nerves leads to a myriad of symptoms. They include, but are not limited to, significant fatigue, muscle weakness, pain, numbness and tingling, spasticity, and challenges to balance, walking, vision, bladder, bowel, speech, swallowing, hearing, and sexual functioning. These same symptoms often manifest in other neuromuscular conditions.
We have seen how hundreds of Yoga Moves students, with varying ranges of physical and cognitive ability, and persons with similar neuromuscular symptoms can reap the rewards from adaptive yoga. Though the majority of our students have MS, others with similar neuromuscular conditions also have benefited when we apply the same principles.
WHy Do Yoga?
Yoga has the potential to lessen several physical symptoms of MS and other similar neuromuscular conditions. While it is not a cure, the multiplicity of benefits individuals may experience from a given pose are extraordinary: improved strength, flexibility, posture, balance, focus, circulation, digestion, elimination, pelvic floor health and decreased tension, fatigue, spasticity and other aches and pains and overall coping skills to contend with symptoms.
With breathing and posture practice, energy flows more freely through the body. A strong mind body connection results in a deeper sense of inner awareness and expression of peace, which translates to great healing. Rather than defined by a condition or disease, Yoga Moves MS students feel more at ease, whole, and in touch with their minds and bodies.
A common misconception is that you have to be flexible before beginning yoga. Yoga Moves MS seeks to empower any body, whether flexible or stiff, short or tall, muscular or lean, able to ambulate with or without a cane, walker or wheelchair, to heal through the power and play of yoga.
Support and Care you Can Rely On
Knowledgeable and highly experienced instructors facilitate your yoga practice. Our students, care partners, instructors, and volunteers are viewed as vital members of the Adaptive Yoga Moves Any Body team. Each student is supported by those who share the desire to empower others; to help them help themselves. It is a place where you will experience compassion, acceptance, and genuine interest just as you are.
A change you can see and feel
The benefits of yoga are magnified when you practice with other like-minded souls.
- When you see and feel them make an effort, it elevates your energy and internal motivation.
- When you understand and hear similar concerns, you become more understanding and compassionate with yourself and with others.
- When you experience sadness or loss, we are present.
- When we witness our yoga buddies’ triumphs, it feeds our collective spirit as we celebrate together with smiles and cheers.
Students report improvement in many ways, including:
- Overall calmer nervous system
Benefits of Adaptive Yoga Moves any body classes
Practice safely with a supportive, compassionate, and accepting group
Learn from knowledgeable, highly experienced instructors
Move at your own pace
Calm your nervous system
Words really can’t express how I feel about Mindy and our yoga class. I enter class knowing that I am in a comfortable and peaceful place where people care about our well being. The yoga therapy has given me strength and flexibility I might not otherwise have. In spite of my frequent yawns, I always leave class refreshed and ready to meet the challenges of the remainder of the day. This class is awesome. It really keeps us going physically and mentally.
Adaptive Yoga gives me a way to communicate with my mind, body, and soul.
Yoga Moves MS has enriched my body mentally and physically. It continues to improve my strength, balance, and decreases my anxiety.
I am looking forward to the next classes – my doctor in Berlin already noted improvement last week. I’m really hopeful and so grateful to all of you!
When I was first diagnosed, I felt extremely lonely and isolated. When my doctor suggested Yoga Moves MS, I thought, why not? In this class I found an amazing group of individuals who are so supportive and helpful. I began this class with significant neck and shoulder pain. After a few weeks, I have learned important relaxation techniques I can practice at home with increasing success.
Why Wait Any Longer?
Sign up for an upcoming Adaptive Yoga Moves Any Body small group class. Fill out the Waiver Form below to get started!