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Yoga for people with multiple sclerosis, chronic pain

An Arkansas yoga instructor wants to help people with multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases help keep pain at bay.

An Arkansas yoga instructor wants to help people with multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases help keep pain at bay.

For the last nine years, Sarah Pilcher has struggled with MS. Now a yoga instructor at Arkansas Yoga Collective, she said the exercise has allowed her to live a more normal life.

"I've been doing yoga my whole life,” she said. "It's one of those things that helped me get more balanced emotionally and also help me figure out if I was going to walk that day.”

Sarah swears by yoga, and wants other people struggling with MS to give it a try. Which is why Saturday, she is teaching a class specifically for people with MS.

"Yoga is a full circle. Yoga helps you physically, emotionally and mentally,” she said. "At the beginning of the class is for questions and answers. Just things to square off what their needs are. What they're looking for. Where they feel the most pain."

Sarah said even practicing yoga once a week can make a big difference in someone's life who struggles with MS or any other autoimmune disease. She said basic beginning yoga postures and breathing techniques can get someone through their pain.

"MS affects your central nervous system. So to keep your blood flowing, cardiovascular system moving, all those things. You're basically fighting yourself,” she said.

Sarah said her doctor at UAMS recommends patients try yoga.

"My doctor and other neurologists in the state have shared this event with patients with MS,” she said.

Because not only is it a great way to keep your body moving, but Sarah said it is a great way to keep chronic pain at bay.

"My message to people with MS is to stay positive. Find ways to keep moving. Don't be still. Be active,” she said.

Saturday’s MS class starts at 1 p.m. at Arkansas Toga Collective in Little Rock. For information, click here

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