Yoga For People With Neuropathy

Do not let pictures of yoga experts with their bodies twisted into bizarre, compact shapes fool you. Even people with stiff muscles, creaky joints, problems with balance, tingling, or numbness can perform yoga asanas or poses.

Most poses can be altered to suit anyone’s flexibility and strength level, and many help relieve the distressing symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. The yoga video series by Peggy Cappy called Yoga For the Rest of Us is an excellent way to get gentle, effective yoga instruction—modified for health issues.

Three Poses for Neuropathy

Here are three yoga postures that can diminish neuropathy symptoms, calm the nervous system, and increase mental focus.

Knee To Chest

This pose strengthens muscles that might have been weakened by neuropathy and massages the abdominal organs.

  1. Lie on your back, legs outstretched, arms at your sides, toes pointing up.
  2. Bring the right knee to your chest and grasp its shin with both hands, or the forearms.
  3. Slowly lift your head, bringing the forehead to the knee; hold this position several moments, and keep breathing.
  4. Lower your head and leg back to the floor; repeat with the left leg.
  5. Repeat the exercise two to four times.

Gentle Toe Stretch

Try this pose to relieve numbness and tingling in the feet. It increases foot circulation and toe flexibility.

  1. Sit on the floor in a cross-leg position.
  2. Thread your left-hand fingers between the left toes and right-hand fingers between the right toes.
  3. Spread your fingers apart to give the toes a gentle stretch.
  4. Hold the toe stretch for a few moments - continue to breath - then relax your fingers.
  5. Repeat several times.

Downward Facing Dog

Inverting the body strengthens core muscles, stimulates the endocrine system, and soothes the central nervous system. It may relieve joint pain or stiffness, and ease the numbness of neuropathy.

  1. Start on your hands and knees, wrists directly under the shoulders, knees directly below the hips, bottoms of the toes on the mat or rug.
  2. Press with the palms and lift your knees off the floor; slowly straighten the legs until your body forms the outline of an “A.” (If you cannot straighten your legs, it is okay to keep them bent.)
  3. Imagine your hips and thighs are being pulled backward from the top of the thighs.
  4. Continue breathing, gaze between the legs or toward your abdomen, and hold this position as long as you comfortably can.
  5. Slowly bend your knees and come back to the starting position.

Talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen such a yoga, especially if you have been a long-time couch potato, or have back neck, and joint problems. You should feel a stretch when doing yoga poses, but never push yourself to the point of pain.

Source: Molecular Lab USA
Photo: Pixabay

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