Muscular dystrophy is a genetic disorder that causes the muscles to become progressively weaker and waste away and affects people of all ages.
While there’s no cure for muscular dystrophy, there’re ways to help manage the symptoms and improve quality of life. One way is through yoga for muscular dystrophy, which can ease symptoms such as back pain or tightness in the arms and legs.
Here’re a few ways you can do yoga for muscular dystrophy at home:
Yoga For Muscular Dystrophy: Best Poses
Here’s a look at five such poses:
#1 Forward Bend
Forward bends are great for yoga for muscle dystrophy and stretching the hamstrings and lower back. They affect posture, digestion, and overall sense of well-being.
Forward bends can be done with a chair or couch. They may also be performed while standing if you have the strength to do so.
If you’re new to forward bends, start with a basic version: bending at the hips till you feel the tension in the hamstrings (a good indicator is if the heels come off the ground). Once that position feels comfortable, experiment with different variations by leaning farther forward or holding onto a prop like a chair or a wall for support.
#2 Cat-cow Pose
The Cat-cow pose is one of the most basic yoga poses. It can be modified to suit your ability level and make it easier to do.
It’s done as follows:
- In a seated position, bend your knees, and place your hands on the floor in front of you.
- As you inhale, arch your back, and lift your head; as you exhale, round your back, and lower your head.
- Repeat these movements for five breaths on each side.
#3 Side Bend
If you’re new to yoga for muscular dystrophy, the side bend pose is a gentle way to ease into it.
To begin, stand tall on the floor. Proceed as follows:
- Lift your arms up over your head, and fold them so that the palms meet (or grab opposite elbows if you’re more flexible).
- Lean sideways towards one hip by bending at the waist.
- As long as you feel comfortable, bring the other arm around as well.
- If you need some help getting into this position, try placing a chair or pillow beside your leg before sitting back on it while keeping both hands up above your head.
- Repeat on each side for 5-10 breaths.
#4 Torso Twist
This posture is a great way to include some yoga for muscular dystrophy and helps relax the mind and muscles while improving digestion.
To do the pose:
- Sit on your mat with your legs crossed in front.
- For a seated twist, interlace your fingers together behind you, and let them rest on top of each other as you lean to one side.
- For a standing twist, place one hand on top of the other behind your back, and clasp them together so that they’re parallel to each other.
- Press them against the upper part of your back while keeping the knees locked straight.
- This pose can also be done from either side — left or right — or both.
#5 Cobra Pose
The cobra pose is an excellent way to do some yoga for muscular dystrophy. Do it by following these steps.
- Begin on your hands and knees, with the hips parallel to the floor.
- Place your palms directly below your shoulders, and fingers tucked under the upper arms.
- Inhale as you press down into your hands, lifting the chest up towards the sky while keeping the elbows close to the body.
- Pushing through the forearms, lift up one vertebra at a time till you reach an inverted ‘V’ shape, with the back arched and head lifted upward.
- Breathe for five breaths before lowering back down into the cat pose for another five breaths, and repeat twice more (ten total).
We hope that you have found our suggestions helpful, and we wish you all the best in your practice as you do yoga for muscular dystrophy.
Remember that yoga is not about becoming perfect — it’s about finding a practice that works for you. The most important thing is to keep practicing. All the best in your endeavor.
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