Yoga provision for individuals living with Multiple Sclerosis: Is the future online?

Gemma Wilson-Menzfeld*, Jenni Naisby, Katherine Baker, Rosie Morris, Jonathan Robinson, Gill Barry

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Background: Yoga has multiple benefits for individuals living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), including reduced pain, depression, fatigue, strength, and improved quality of life. During the COVID-19 pandemic, home-based delivery of yoga increased. However, no studies to date have explored online home-based yoga for individuals living with MS, more specifically the motivations, experiences, or the sustainability of home-based yoga practice for individuals living with MS.

Aim: This study aimed to explore the facilitators and barriers of online yoga provision for individuals living with MS.

Methods: One focus group and three semi-structured interviews were carried out online via Zoom with one yoga instructor and seven yoga participants living with MS. Thematic Analysis was used to analyse this data.

Findings: Two themes were generated from the interviews, the environment and future provision, each with their own sub-themes. The themes reflect various facilitators and barriers of home-based yoga provision which differed depending upon the individuals home environment, social connections, physical ability, and confidence practising yoga. Furthermore, preferences of home provision fluctuated over time depending upon symptoms of MS.

Conclusions: Home-based yoga practice is a viable and enjoyable option for individuals living with MS. It is recommended that yoga studios offering home-based yoga provision consider individual differences in preference, as well as fluctuations in symptoms that may create inequitable access to services and may prevent participation for some.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0266786
JournalPLoS One
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2022

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