Story by: Tami Combs, yoga instructor on March 2, 2016
The practice of letting go
You know you should. Everybody says it’ll help you feel better. The hardest part is walking or rolling into the room that first time. The expectations, the ideas — let them go. Ignore the voices that say you must have a certain something or be a certain way and bring it all. Inflexibility. Strength. Balance. Pain. Boredom. Fear. Falling. Bring it all — bring everything about you. Weakness. Imbalance. Anxiety. Depression. Stress. Fatigue. Bring it all. Good energy. Bad energy. Bring it all. And don’t forget your sense of humor, too. We’ll start with what we have, finding then that life improves as we learn the art of letting go.
After a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (or anything, for that matter), life goes on. Cars still break down and babies are born. Life doesn’t slow down for your symptoms. And yoga helps us to let it go.
The tightness. The tension. The should have’s and what if’s. Let it go. Be here. Now. Present. Aware.
Yoga means to yoke, to unite. The physical practice of yoga is asana, or posture. In the physical practice, yoga not only helps manage MS symptoms but also offers a way to increase strength, balance and flexibility.
Call (502) 559-3230 to learn about exercise and therapeutic classes offered through the Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center.
Practicing yoga postures releases tightness and spasticity in the muscles and connective tissues. Practicing (and it’s always a practice) leads to a heightened sense of awareness of the body. Through this heightened awareness, practitioners become more attuned to the onset of symptoms.
Many experience an improvement in posture. Poor posture contributes to muscle tightness and pain, and constricts the breath. Through yoga, pain diminishes. Breathing improves.
Breathing techniques (pranayama) relax, energize, cool or warm the body and regulate the heart rate. Clarity of mind and comfort improves.
Yoga is a natural anti-inflammatory, and inflammation is a major cause of pain. Practicing yoga may lessen the need for pain relievers. As pain diminishes, a sense of wellbeing improves.
Certain yoga postures stimulate the digestive track and help with constipation and elimination. Incontinence improves as muscles contract in some postures. Sex life can improve.
Attending yoga class creates a sense of community (we need you!), providing an opportunity to interact in a positive and playful manner with others. Confidence and self-esteem improves.
Effective at combating stress, depression and enhancing life during and between flare-ups, yoga practice cultivates faith and optimism. Mood and outlook improves.
Let go of the fatigue. Let go of the tightness. Let go of the stress. Let go of the excuses and start today. See your life improve.
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