Filming MyMS Yoga in Boston with Baron Baptiste

Filming MyMS Yoga in Boston with Baron Baptiste

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Yoga for MS

Yoga for MS

Why did I find yoga? Why did yoga find me?

Sometimes I wonder that if I had never been diagnosed with MS, would I have ever set foot in a yoga studio? I'm pretty sure I never would have.... I'd still be running and cycling like crazy. BUT being diagnosed with MS forced me to look into other options to stay fit and maintain my strength. Little did I know that I was in for so much more than just a physical "workout".

I recently did an interview with's Strategy Room (link coming soon) on the benefits of yoga for MS patients including a panel of FOX NEWS hosts; Dr. Manny Alvarez, Dr. Cynara Coomer and Janice Dean (FOX meteorologist and MS Patient).

We discussed how yoga helps MS patients manage daily symptoms like muscle weakness, stiffness and spasticity. As an MS patient and yoga practitioner, yoga helps me build energy, increases my overall strength and stamina and I am able to focus my mind on my breath and just be "as I am" (Janice definitely agreed on this one). Whatever length of time you commit to yourself and your practice, you'll experience some benefit if even just lying on your belly and breathing full complete yoga breaths. The breathing alone elicits the relaxation response and engages the parasympathetic nervous system.

There's a deep sense of peace, power and relaxation that you feel when you are flowing through poses and moving in sync with your breath.

If you are not able to get to a studio or a yoga class for MS patients, visit MyMS Yoga to order your free dvd:

Monday, February 22, 2010

Drug and Yoga Therapy - All in One Morning

Amidst the large snow fall this morning, I managed to make it to 6am Ashtanga yoga. The primary series of Ashtanga yoga is known as "yoga chikitsa" or yoga therapy. It's almost the same set of poses every morning with some variance between postures and intensity. I felt really strong this morning and had a great practice. I was able to kick up into handstand 5 times! Maybe my strength was coming from the fact that in only an hour after class, I knew I would be receiving my 46th infusion of Tysabri.

Whenever infusion time roles around each month, it makes me reflect upon how far I have come on this journey of living with MS. From barely being able to walk in September of 2006 (4.5 on the EDSS scale), I'm now able to practice yoga everyday. Do I still have a hard time balancing on my left side? Of course! Is boat pose more challenging when my legs are tired and hard to hold up(due to to poor nerve communication)? YES! (something I talked about with a fellow yogini and Tysabri patient who knew exactly what I was talking about)

But the fact that I feel physically and mentally strong brings me great humbleness and gratitude for both Tysabri and this ancient practice of yoga. At times back in 2006, I thought I would never walk again or be able to feel my feet or even write or hold a fork. Fortunately, I have found an incredible drug therapy that works for me. And I've found a form of mental, spiritual and physical exercise that allows me to live with this disease using a strong focus towards healing from the inside out.

Thank goodness for both drug and yoga therapy! Feeling truly blessed this morning.