Yoga, a low-impact exercise, has been recommended for individuals with neuromuscular disease. While not specific to neuromuscular disease, the gentle yoga demonstrated in the exercise DVD Healing Yoga for Aches and Pains would be appropriate and beneficial for many individuals with neuromuscular disease.
Users of this DVD can either complete the whole series of exercises (about 35 minutes), or use the menu to easily choose from three segments. Each yoga pose was well-demonstrated with a voice over explaining the move, and was easy to follow. The instructors for this video, Lisa and Charles Matkin, switched between demonstrating and explaining the moves.
The first segment focused on breathwork and gentle stretches modified to be performed sitting in a sturdy chair, including: cat and cow; eagle; triceps and shoulder stretches; knee to chest; hip opening stretch; and spinal twist. These stretches required arm and trunk mobility and enough strength to sit upright. The only movement that could not be performed sitting occurred at the end, when the instructor moved into a standing mountain pose in preperation for the next section. This section lasted about 12 minutes.
During the second segment, which lasted about 9 minutes, a chair was used for stability and balance. Standing poses included: mountain pose; supported lunges; and modified down dog. Continued attention was paid to breathing properly. This segment required the ability to stand and move through a variety of gentle positions.
In the final segment, lasting about 13 minutes, a mat was used. First a low lunge was demonstrated. The rest of the moves were on the back and side, including: knee to chest; leg stretch with flexing and pointing of the foot; pelvic tilt; bridge; both knees to chest; and spinal twist. The DVD ended with guided relaxation.
The final section required the ability to get down onto the floor. If you require assistance getting down and up from the floor, make sure to have someone available to assist you. Also, most of these poses occurred on the back: Anyone having difficulty breathing while on their back should not attempt this section.
Yoga has been recommended for those with neuromuscular disease, but may require adaptation. Adaptation may require professional assistance from an exercise or physical therapy professional and can include adaptation for those in wheelchairs. Before beginning an exercise program or starting a new type of exercise, speak to a physician.
After completing this DVD, I felt relaxed and pain-free. With its gentle poses and easy to follow demonstrations and instruction, the exercise DVD Healing Yoga for Aches and Pains can bring the benefits of gentle yoga to many individuals with neuromuscular disease. Benefits may include increases in flexibility and strength, improved balance, and better pain control. I highly recommend this DVD.
Anchor Bay website, (n.d.). Healing Yoga for Aches & Pains. http://www.anchorbayentertainment.com/detail.aspx?projectID=8fc2eff6-7671-4aa8-91ce-9c0800e596f5 . Retrieved 2/11/12.
Labbe, A., (2007). From Asana to Pranayama. Quest 14:3. http://quest.mda.org/article/asana-pranayama . Retrieved 2/11/12.
Matkin, C., and Matkin, L., (2002). Healing Yoga for Aches and Pains (DVD). Anchor Bay: Troy, MI.
Quest Staff, (2009). Warning: Read Me First! Quest 16:2. http://quest.mda.org/series/exercising-muscle-disease/warning-read-me-first . Retrieved 2/11/12.
Wahl, M., (2009). Effects of Exercise on Different Muscle Diseases. Quest 16:2. http://quest.mda.org/series/exercising-muscle-disease-series/effects-exercise-different-muscle-diseases . Retrieved 2/11/12.
Disclosure: This video was borrowed by the reviewer from her local library at no cost.