Check this out! From the Film Festival at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society national leadership conference in Dallas, 2007: The Show Must Go On by Kristie Salerno Kent is up on You Tube and you can view it at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oraM8IF2Gc Quote from Kristie:
Writing and directing a documentary film was another dream come true for me and was a great way to end 2007. Some of you may recognize the music in the film as it is from my 2006 Believe CD...last year's dream come true!
I hope the film will be a vehicle to help teach people about MS and encourages them to get involved in the movement to end the devastating effects of the disease. From the outside, many of us living with MS "Look So Good"... but on the inside, our bodies are betraying us. Invisible symptoms like spasticity, numbness, weakness, fatigue, and visual impairments are a part of our daily lives and it slows us down. Research has lead us to treatments that are effective in helping to slow the progression of the disease...but there is still No Cure to STOP MS.
Kristie's website: http://www.whirlawayproductions.com
At an informational seminar held at the Mystic Marriott in Mystic, Connecticut, Dr. Timothy Vollmer, a well-known neurologist in the field of MS research at the Rocky Mountain MS Center, stated that exercise is an under utilized strategy in the treatment of MS. He further stated that exercise can rewire the brain and restore function. Dr. Vollmer also said that Yoga is one of the best forms of exercise for people with MS. In fact, a recent study at Oregon Health & Sciences University confirmed that Yoga and exercise significantly reduced the symptom of fatigue in people who participated in the study.
Nearly every one knows someone with Multiple Sclerosis. MS is the second most common cause of disability in young adults. There are so many ways that Yoga can help people, physically and emotionally. Yoga can help reduce symptoms, improve function and possibly delay or prevent disability.
Yoga offers a unique and powerful healing path for people who have MS. Students with little mobility can benefit as much as students with little impairment. Yoga is not all about the body. It’s about the body, mind and spirit. It’s about the breath. Yoga teaches awareness, to be present and use the mind in positive ways. That knowledge may be very helpful to someone whose body doesn’t function as desired. The practice of Yoga can transform our perceptions of our circumstances and ourselves.
These quotes from T.K.V. Desikachar’s book “The Heart of Yoga” seem to say it all:
“What is Yoga after all? Yoga is a practice of observing yourself without judgment. It is something that we experience inside, deep inside our being. We do it only for ourselves. We are both the observer and what is observed at the same time. The only authentic Yoga is the one that works for each person according to circumstances and needs, and there are many possibilities.”
What is now known about physical activity for people with MS seems to be common sense. People who have MS benefit from regular physical activity as well as a healthy lifestyle that includes diet and exercise, stress reduction, no cigarettes, moderation, enough sleep, peace and joy. The healing path of Yoga enhances health and well-being of body, mind and spirit.
By offering a multifaceted and comprehensive approach to stress relief and symptom management the practice of Yoga simultaneously affects the physical, psychological, and spiritual levels of being. By exploring the body-mind connection through movement, breath and deep relaxation Yoga helps to coordinate and balance the motor and sensory areas of the brain. Asana and pranayama invite healing on the physical level as well as awareness and insight into the body’s sensations, leading to a stillness that draws attention away from what’s not working and sets the stage for the deeper healing levels of concentration and meditation.
Because each person’s experience of MS is different, some students participate in regular classes with little or no need for special consideration. These students may even choose not to inform the teacher of their situation. Others may need adaptive classes or individual lessons, which offer traditional Yoga postures using props and modifications. For example, some students with MS may not be able to stand or get onto the floor. In this case, all postures are done in a chair including Warrior I and II and Triangle. A second chair can be placed in front of the student for seated versions of Forward Fold, Spinal Twist and Bound Angle.
The philosophy of Yoga offers a way of living peacefully with what is and a deeper knowing that disease does not define the person. Liberation through yoga is as close as the breath. In the words of Thich Nhat Hanh, "Breathing in, I am aware that I am breathing in. Breathing out, I am aware that I am breathing out." In that moment-to-moment awareness, all other concerns drop away.
The practice of Yoga can transform our perceptions of our circumstances and ourselves. Each person who has MS has different symptoms and experiences. The yoga practice must be individualized as well. Just as we are not just this body, Yoga is more than a body-focused practice.