Saturday, March 6, 2010

Iyengar Yoga and MS -- inspiring YouTube video

The following YouTube video is an inspiring story of this one man's experience with Iyengar Yoga and his battle with multiple sclerosis.

Garth's experience probably isn't typical -- he's a certified Iyengar teacher and has a strong personal practice, and is very motivated to work with his MS through his yoga practice -- but it does show how powerful this practice of Iyengar Yoga can be to help us maintain our health on many levels.

Courage and Caution - Garth McLean's battle with MS

A recap of the video:
Garth was diagnosed with MS in 1996, and at one time was literally numb from head to toe.    In the beginning of the video, he's shown riding his bike, but he says when he was first diagnosed, he figured he'd never ride his bike again. 

After he was diagnosed, he wanted to explore what he could do to help himself -- what he could do to put things right again.   He didn't want to become dependent on medications especially if they wouldn't necessarily heal him, but wanted to find alternative ways to regain his health and to be able to function in the world; to be able to continue pursuing his dreams and living his life.   He says that the side effects of the drugs were debilitating while the side effects of yoga are "abilitating".

He found the Iyengar Yoga Institute in Los Angeles and has been studying yoga ever since.   He became a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher and is qualified to work with people therapeutically in the Iyengar Yoga method.   People that he works with therapeutically are inspired to continue with their own work in Iyengar yoga when he tells them that he has MS, and that yoga has helped him maintain his health and mobility.    Garth doesn't discount traditional medical knowledge and therapies, but decided to try a much more ancient approach to health through the practice of yoga.    He remains under a doctor's care, and his doctor thinks his results from yoga are remarkable.

The practice of Iyengar yoga helps to align the body in such a fashion that the body is given the opportunity to begin to heal itself.     B.K.S. Iyengar told Garth that every day he "must walk that fine line between courage and caution" -- that he needs to have enough courage to take action, but to have enough caution to respect what's going on in the body.   

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