Are you suffering from multiple sclerosis? Strike these yoga poses

Are you suffering from multiple sclerosis? Strike these yoga poses

While a new targeted therapy may soon make the life of multiple sclerosis patients a lot easier, yoga can also be an effective way of managing the condition.

Written by Juhi Kumari |Published : March 7, 2019 9:20 PM IST

The news of renowned Hollywood actress Selma Blair suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS) shocked us all a few months back. The 46-year-old Blair candidly shared in an interview how her life completely changed after this auto-immune disease (this is a condition where your body's immune cells attack themselves). Multiple sclerosis is a progressive inflammatory disease of the brain and spinal cord leading to symptoms loss of balance and vision, poor muscle control speech problems and difficulty in other body functions. Though experts in the field haven't been able to pinpoint the causes behind MS, environmental triggers, genetic predisposition, low vitamin D levels, smoking and childhood obesity may be the possible causes.

Currently, multiple sclerosis has no proven cure. The approach towards managing the condition now is based on targeting the malfunctioning immune cells. But in the process, the normal healthy cells are also destroyed, making MS patients more susceptible to infections. But there's good news for everyone suffering from this condition. Scientists have developed a novel and safe treatment option for multiple sclerosis, reports a recent study published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering. This new approach is a targeted therapy which attacks only the malfunctioning cells and the normal healthy cells are not affected. Targeted therapy makes the dose requirement lesser and it also brings down the cost of treatment. As the whole body s immunity is not affected during a targeted therapy, the patient doesn t become susceptible to other immunity related diseases ,says Dr. Jayant Mishra, Neurologist, Vidyasagar Institute of Mental Health, Neuro & Allied Sciences, Delhi.

Yoga for multiple sclerosis

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While the new targeted therapy is expected to help MS patients deal their condition better, there are other ways of managing the condition successfully. Practising yoga is considered to be an effective way of tackling this neurological disorder. According to a research published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience, yoga can potentially help manage symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Agrees Dr. Mishra, "Yoga improves the immunity of your body. So, indirectly it may help in reducing the symptoms of multiple sclerosis." This mind-body technique is also known to improve your daily function by working on your nerves and muscles. Multiple sclerosis affects a patient s muscle control and basic body functions. Yoga poses help improve your strength, balance, and posture. Moreover, yoga improves your breathing capacity which ensures better blood circulation through the body. This will also help in increasing the functional efficiency of a person suffering from multiple sclerosis," says Delhi-based yoga instructor Priyanka Devi Gupta. Here are the yoga poses you can practise if you are suffering from multiple sclerosis.


[caption id="attachment_654455" align="alignnone" width="655"]tadasana-THS Tadasana provides strength and mobility to the feet, legs and hips. Shutterstock[/caption]

Also known as Palm Tree Pose or Mountain Pose, Tadasana is considered good for the nerves. It improves balance and concentration as well as increase alertness. Also, Tadasana provides strength and mobility to the feet, legs and hips. It can improve your blood circulation and relieve tension, aches, and pains throughout the body.

How to do it:

  1. Firstly, stand with your toes touching each other and heels slightly apart.
  2. Inhale and raise both your arms.
  3. Now, keep your arms upward by interlocking your fingers.
  4. Raise your heels and come on your toes.
  5. Maintain this position as long as you can.
  6. To come to the original position, exhale.


[caption id="attachment_654457" align="alignnone" width="655"]Virabhadrasana-I Virabhadrasana helps to thoroughly stretch the chest, lungs, groins, and shoulders. Shutterstock[/caption]

Also known as the Warrior pose, Virabhadrasana increases your stamina, strengthens the legs and ankles. It also improves digestion and stimulates the abdominal organs. Moreover, Virabhadrasana helps to thoroughly stretch the chest, lungs, groins, and shoulders. You can perform this asana to relieve osteoporosis, sciatica, and infertility as well.

How to do it:

  1. To start, stand straight with your legs 3 to 4 feet apart.
  2. Now, put your right foot outward by about 90 degrees and left foot inward by approximately 15 degrees. Lift your arm sideways.
  3. Inhale and exhale. While you exhale, bend your right knee.
  4. Turning your head, look to your right. Put your pelvis down.
  5. To come out of the pose, inhale and drop your arms.


[caption id="attachment_654458" align="alignnone" width="655"]Bhujangasana-Cobra-Pose It helps in strengthening the spinal column. Shutterstock[/caption]

Also known as the Cobra Pose, Bhujangasana can reduce your anxiety, stress and can ease asthma by opening the chest cavity. It gives your spine a good stretch and helps in strengthening the spinal column. You can also perform this asana to reduce your backache and minimize injury.

How to do it:

  1. Lie flat on your stomach keeping hands at the shoulder level, close to the chest, palms facing the ground.
  2. Now, place your body weight on your palms and slowly raise your head and trunk.
  3. Press hips, thigh and feet on the floor.
  4. Breathe normally and hold the position for 10 seconds.
  5. To release slowly come down and rest forehead on the ground.

Supta Matsyendrasana

[caption id="attachment_654459" align="alignnone" width="655"]Supta-matsyendrasana Perform this yoga asana to relieve pain in your spine, hips, and lower back. Shutterstock[/caption]

This asana is also called the Supine Twist. It gives your spine and vertebrae enough movement helping it become more flexible. Supine Twist also tones and stimulates your internal organs. Perform this yoga asana to detox your internal organs and ensure better digestion. It helps relieve pain in your spine, hips, and lower back. Moreover, Supta Matsyendrasana releases stress and anxiety.

How to do it:

  1. Lie flat on your back. Contract your abdominal muscles and inhale.
  2. Now bend your knees as you lift your feet off the floor.
  3. Exhale and stretch your arms out.
  4. Inhale and lift your feet a little higher than your knees.
  5. Exhale and lower your legs to the left of the floor.
  6. Now, gently turns your head to your right and breath slowly while doing that.
  7. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds.
  8. Repeat the twist on the other side.