Since injuring my hip recently, my physicians have encouraged me to replace even low-impact exercise with non-impact exercise. While recovering, the gentle yoga exercises found on the DVD Easy Yoga for Easing Pain with Peggy Cappy: Yoga for the Rest of Us have helped me to effectively exercise with undue strain or re-injury.
The main exercise program on this DVD contains four parts. The menu makes it easy to view the whole video or to choose to view one part. Before the yoga program begins, Ms. Cappy introduces the program (6 minutes 20 seconds).
The exercise portion of the DVD begins with a variety of seated exercises and stretches for the upper body, including neck, arms, and shoulders (11:30). Part two consists of seated exercises for the feet, calves, thighs, and hips (14:34). Part three has a standing sequence of yoga poses designed to stretch and gently exercise the hips and legs (18:44). During this part of the video, the standing poses are also demonstrated with the use of a chair to aid in balance.
Easy Yoga for Easing Pain also contains three bonus sections. During the first bonus section, Ms. Cappy leads the user through a sequence of exercises targeting the upper body and core muscles using a resistance band (13:38). The second bonus section leads the user through a gentle series of Qi Gong exercises meant to relax and energize the body (4:54). Finally, the health benefits of yoga for individuals experiencing pain are reviewed in a documentary (37:30).
The exercises demonstrated in the seated portions of the video require the ability to sit in a chair, trunk stability, and mobility in the trunk and extremities. The ability to stand and move through the demonstrated poses is required for the standing portions. The exercises shown during the standing portion are demonstrated with the use of a chair for individuals with balance issues.
Peggy Cappy explains each of these exercises in detail, making them easy to follow, even for those new to yoga. Individuals with more experience in yoga may find the explanations to slow down the pace of the video.
Low-impact exercises such as yoga have been recommended for those with diseases of the peripheral nerves, such as Charcot Marie Tooth (CMT) and Friedreich’s ataxia. While not specific to neuromuscular disease, the detailed instructions and modifications given in the exercise DVD will make the yoga exercises demonstrated appropriate for many individuals with neuromuscular disease.
Before beginning to exercise or starting a new type of exercise, speak with a physician. Consider asking about the possibility of consultation with physical therapist or exercise specialist familiar with neuromuscular disease. Inappropriate exercise in individuals with certain types of neuromuscular disease may cause irreversible muscle damage. In addition, cardiac and/or respiratory muscles may be affected in some types of neuromuscular disease.
There are several other important recommendations for individuals with neuromuscular disease. These include: introduce exercise slowly; do not overdo it; include appropriate aerobic, toning and/or strengthening, balance, and stretching exercises; and do not exercise to the point of pain and/or fatigue.
With its modifications and detailed instructions, the exercise DVD Easy Yoga for Easing Pain with Peggy Cappy will make yoga exercises possible for many individuals with neuromuscular disease. Personally, I have found this DVD to be useful as I recover from an injury, and highly recommend this DVD to anyone looking for a gentle yet effective yoga program.
Labbe, A., (2007). From Asana to Pranayama. Quest 14:3. Retrieved from http://quest.mda.org/article/asana-pranayama on 12/6/13.
Cappy, P., (2013) Easy Yoga for Easing Pain with Peggy Cappy: Yoga for the Rest of Us. Yoga for the Rest of Us website. Retrieved from http://store.peggycappy.net/video645.html on 12/6/13.
Quest Staff, (2009). Warning: Read Me First! Quest 16:2. Retrieved from http://quest.mda.org/series/exercising-muscle-disease/warning-read-me-first on 12/6/13.
Wahl, M., (2009). Effects of Exercise on Different Muscle Diseases. Quest 16:2. Retrieved from http://quest.mda.org/series/exercising-muscle-disease-series/effects-exercise-different-muscle-diseases on 12/6/13.
WGBH Educational Foundation, (2012). Easy Yoga for Easing Pain with Peggy Cappy: Yoga for the Rest of Us. DVD.
FTC Disclosure: This video was purchased by the reviewer for personal use.