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Dear All,
A while back, I mentioned I was doing a one-day yoga workshop in early July with Garth McLean, a certified Iyengar teacher. In 1996, Garth was diagnosed with MS. This led him to yoga which, he believes, has helped him stabilise his condition and keep his MS in remission. (He's had his fair share of symptoms etc). I really enjoyed the day and later I emailed him asking if he recommended any particular poses for those with MS.
His reply:

"As regards any particular poses, as I mentioned over the course of the
workshop, I like to think more in terms of principles...asanas (poses) that
bring a sense of quiet and calm to the immune and nervous systems, while at
the same time practising other poses that offer a sense of "plugging in"
without overheating the body. I have found inversions to be vital. Of
course, adapted to the ability of the practitioner.

Of course, the subject of yoga is vast and every course of MS is different.
That said, restorative poses, supported chest openers, forward bends and
inversions, adapted to the individual's needs, I have found to be most helpful for me and others."

(Iyengar Yoga is based on the teaching of Mr. B.K.S. Iyengar, a legend in yoga circles. It is one of the most widely-practiced forms of yoga in the world today, emphasising correct alignment of all parts of the body within each yoga pose.)

Another thing worth mentioning. When Garth started studying with Mr. Iyengar in 2000, he said to him: "Everyday you must walk that fine line between courage and caution.”
I think that sums up our MS journey.

Anyhow here is his link:

http://yogarth.com/biography/

All the best,
Rachel
I love that!
"Everyday you must walk that fine line between courage and caution.”

I do Iyengar too, and enjoy lying over a bolster so much I bought one to use at home, I have a very expanded and open chest ;-)
Wendy

Diagnosis Dec 1998 OMS Feb 2010 Retreat Feb 2012
Careful who you tell that to... they might get the wrong idea!
Rachel
Thanks Rachel. I'm sure it's great, but I still can't get used to people referring to themselves in the 3rd person. "Alex enjoys tennis and swimming when he's not saving poor children from falling objects". I know I'm old, but it's still silly to me. You know he wrote it. The picture of him sitting in an old fireplace is also pure hollywood.

But I do love yoga and it must be nice to have a personal teacher.
Alex

Diagnosis: Jan 2010, OMS April 2010.
Hi Rachel,
Just thought I'd comment on my experience with yoga and raise a question about inversions. I know this is an old post but I met with my neurologist today and he's very intrigued on the benefits from inversion.

I just about gave up after 4 weeks of iyengar yoga about 3yrs ago, after my symptoms were set off badly after any position with the head lower than the heart. Even supine over a bolster. Dizzy++ and a loss of motor control and proprioception from navel down for a few minutes. Now though any inversion is like an espresso, I very quickly become more alert, the fog is gone (often for hours), the world looks brighter and clearer, and I'm just plain energized. I'm still a novice but do a few supported handstands throughout the day, even for 30 sec, to keep me going. Does anyone else have a response like this??? Also the dizziness I've had my whole life on kid's rides and the like is also gone since commencing yoga..

Finally,I also attended a session with Garth and got heaps from it, although went in tired+ on the Friday night and had a relapse (couldn't feel my legs for 10 mins) after inverting over the ropes. My advice, start slowly and maybe don't hold poses too long until you know how your body might react!?
Pete
Rachel,

Thanks for this - I had never heard of this type of yoga before. It's great to know that this type of yoga can help with MS and I have already located a class nearby using the 'find a class' search on this page (UK only): https://www.iyengaryoga.org.uk/iyengar- ... ed-kingdom.

You got me looking for other references to iyengar and MS online, and many of them happen to be on this site. I haven't watched the video yet, but someone posted this from the same teacher that you had.

http://www.overcomingmultiplesclerosis.org/Community/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=5357

I couldn't agree more about Mr Iyengar sentiment that "Everyday you must walk that fine line between courage and caution”, and it applying well to our journey with MS. As I try to get back into exercise I am reminded periodically about not taking it too quickly (and that I don't have the fitness that I did pre-MS). Annoyingly, I am listening to my body when I exercise, and I feel fine at the time, but end up feeling wiped out for a week or 2 if it turns out I have over-exerted myself...

Thanks again
Chris
Hello, good people, from the UK.

I've been going to Garth Mclean's workshops in London for the last 5 years ; my aunt is an Iyengar teacher and when I was diagnosed, reached out to the yoga community & found Garth.

I love his workshops ; not just for the physical work, which is taught knowing MS and it's symptoms from the inside out, but also for his compassion and humour. They're a blast!

Pete - your post about inversions. I had the same thing initially - a feeling of vertigo and nausea. I also had a major seizure last year (or 'tonic spasm' as I believe they're called) and my Neuro initially expressed some concern about going upside down a lot.

However, I really believe they do me good and keep my poor old brain supplied with oxygenated blood. I do a headstand and shoulderstand every day now for about 3 -5 mins. Any longer than that and my circulation starts shouting at me! I access headstand and a feetup stool, to avoid crunching my neck too much and often do a supported shoulderstand with a chair and bolster so as not to make it too strenuous.

Anyone from the UK going to Garth's London workshops this year?
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