Yoga for Restless Leg SyndromeThe Connected Yoga Teacher Live Show: Episode 15
Today on The Connected Yoga Teacher live show, Shannon talks about Restless Leg Syndrome and what we as teachers can offer, in terms of yoga, to those suffering with this neurological disorder.
There is a video (to the left) — today Shannon was trying out a new Ecamm Live software, so there are also slides along the way and photos!
The links to see more information and for the yoga flow she shared are below.
Restless Leg Syndrome, (also called Willis-Ekbom’s disease) affects 1 in 6 people at some point in their life. It increases to 27% in pregnancy and is more common in the third trimester.
Symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome
- Itching, pulling, crawling, throbbing, burning, tingling, urge to move sensations
- Usually in legs, but can occur in arms or other body parts
- Can interrupt sleep, as it occurs primarily at night
- Symptoms increase at times of rest or relaxation (i.e. going to bed or sitting down)
- Symptoms decrease with movement (i.e. getting up to stretch or move)
What May Help with Restless Leg Syndrome?
- Regular yoga, walking, stretching
- Movement and stretching when symptoms are first felt
- Relaxation – meditation, restorative yoga
- Massage – focused on feet, legs and hips
- Hot bath/shower before bed or at onset of symptoms
- Soak in Epsom salt and warm water before bed (may just be feet or in the bath)
- Soak feet in cold water or use an ice pack
Decrease stress when possible
- Early, regular bedtime
- Elevate legs when working
- Reading or relaxing
- Avoid vigorous activity late in the day
Key Considerations When Designing an RLS Yoga Flow
- Move and stretch if and when symptoms arise
- Just 5-20 minutes daily may relieve symptoms
- Gentle stretching before bedtime is recommended
- Add in Pranayama (breath work) along with restorative yoga – to activate the parasympathetic nervous system
- Legs up the wall is recommended for RLS (*note pregnancy caution)
- Contracting the muscles on the inhale and then releasing on the exhale can be beneficial
- Set the poses to suit the needs / level of your yoga student
- Uses poses that help to increase circulation
- Engage the muscles of the pelvis and legs
Restless Leg Syndrome Yoga Flow
In the video I refer to a yoga flow on the MamaNurture website. Click here to see the full flow.
This article is a revision of an article written by Shannon Crow on the MamaNuture website. To see the original article click here.
Wendy Brown, who is a member of The Connected Yoga teacher group, shares her experience with Restless Leg Syndrome
“The more I do, the worse my restless leg syndrome is, and the less I do, the worse it also is.
Generally around the dinner hour, I start to feel aches and pain and some mild excersice like going for a walk, riding my bike or gentle yoga will help aliviate the ache and pain. Before bed, I do a few yoga postures – restorative in nature with the last one being legs up the wall.
Sometimes using a heating pad on my legs also helps reduce the pain just before bed.
I also mix almond or avadco add oil with lavander and peppermint essential oils (couple drops each) and massage my legs before sleep. I sometimes will switch out the peppermint for another essential oil that helps with pain as peppermint can keep me awake.
The yoga and movement is most helpful for me.”