menu

LEMTRADA is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Because of its risks, LEMTRADA is generally used in people who have tried 2 or more MS medicines that have not worked well enough. It is not known if LEMTRADA is safe and effective for use in children under 17 years of age.

View IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Share, Send, or Save

Just Breathe: What Teaching Yoga Has Taught Me LEMTRADA patient blogger: Katy By Katy, Wife, Writer, and Yoga Instructor • February 20, 2017

LEMTRADA® patient, Katy, with her dog

Currently, I work as a writer with a medical marketing communications company, and a couple of years ago, my company gave me the task of writing an article about the value of minimizing stress and the impact that it can have on physical health.

As someone living with relapsing multiple sclerosis, I have learned that this practice is not some flowery suggestion. It is a vital component of a healthier life. In the 15 years since my diagnosis, I have had days when I couldn’t go for long walks like I wanted to. There were years when my mother, who also lived with relapsing MS, could not stand up to cook or put the dishes away. But “giving up” was never part of our vocabulary.

I was 20 years old when I was unable to flex my left toes as a result of my second MS relapse. And I was frustrated. I was a student at the University of Georgia at the time, and I loved taking long walks with my best friend in the afternoons around the city of Athens, wondering who we would bump into at Five Points or as we neared downtown. Plus, we got to stay in shape at the same time. And right after my relapse, those walks were not an option for me.

But not being able to take those walks led me to one of the greatest gifts of my life—the practice of yoga.

I was a ballerina for 12 years and spent another three as a member of my high school’s modern dance company. Creative movement was always one of my true passions. So when my relapsing MS began to limit the way I could move, my mom encouraged me to try yoga.

She sent me an inspirational article about a yogi named Eric. Eric had been diagnosed with relapsing MS years before and was virtually incapacitated by the condition. But like my mamma, he too refused to accept defeat. Instead, he dedicated himself to making the most of his abilities through the practice of yoga. As an avid student, this man reclaimed control of his life, beginning with his breath.

Inspired and moved to emulate his example, I began my yoga practice slowly. I started with videos in the morning before school and every evening before bed. I signed up for yoga classes at a studio in Athens and even saw a holistic practitioner to find additional ways to stay healthy. Yoga was not by any means a cure-all silver bullet for my relapsing MS. But the practice helped me develop a strong foundation and cultivate a mindset of awareness and gratefulness for every gift in my life—hardship included.

In the years since my discovery of this ancient form of exercise, I have grown exponentially stronger in body, mind, and spirit. It may sound cheesy, but it makes so much sense. Of course, they are all connected. When I allow myself to be overcome with fear or anxiety, my body reacts. And when my body is not functioning the way I expect, my heart breaks just a little.

So what is the constant, the equalizer, the core that provides balance and the courage to move forward? It’s the breath. The breath is the center we all have inside. As human beings, we are instinctively connected with a desire to be calm and free. The breaths we take help us get there, but it doesn’t happen automatically. That nurturing, rich, life-sustaining breathing must be practiced.

To truly dial in, we have to commit to turning off all the noise, negativity, and dreaded “what ifs” in life. Instead, we dial in to the breath and connect with the higher power that guides us all. Whatever that power may look like to you, find it.

Through yoga, I have cultivated a stronger faith in my Orthodox Christianity. I am more empowered to face challenges, no matter what they may look like. Stillness is a gift. And it is the breath that helps us engage with the radiant energy that we may claim in sickness and in health.

Last summer, I took a leap of faith and immersed myself in a yoga teacher-training program in Ojai, California. I got there thinking I knew everything I needed to know about my yoga practice, my condition, and the boundaries I needed to set. And I continue to be amazed at the unparalleled opportunities to grow through any challenge, by tuning in to breath and wisdom. And I am thankful for every one of my experiences in life. What a journey it continues to be.

  • CLINICAL TRIALS
  • exercise
  • HOBBIES
  • LIVING WITH RELAPSING MS
  • relapse
  • SYMPTOMS



Related Posts

MY LIFE

The Conflict of Self-Care: Always Listen to Your Body

By Katy, Wife, Writer, and Yoga Instructor, April 18, 2017

During the 15 years since I established my yoga practice, I have learned how to pace myself, challenge myself, push my boundaries

2 Comments

Add a comment

All fields required




1000 characters remaining

By clicking the Submit button you are agreeing to our Terms of Use. All submissions must be approved by Sanofi Genzyme before they will be posted.

The information on this page is owned and controlled by Sanofi Genzyme. All submissions will be reviewed and must be approved by Sanofi Genzyme before being posted. Comments that do not directly relate to the topic, potentially violate US FDA regulations, are factually inaccurate or misleading, or are spam, inappropriate, defamatory or use profanity will not be posted.

Please keep your comments respectful and appropriate, and do not reference any product names or product information. We will not post comments that include drug names or descriptions. Please note that Sanofi Genzyme may choose not to post, or may remove, a comment for any reason at any time. Comments on the page from members of the public do not necessarily reflect the views of Sanofi Genzyme, and Sanofi Genzyme does not endorse any content added by other users.

We are required to record and handle the submitted comments in a specific manner to monitor the safety of our product. If you have experienced a side effect or have a complaint specific to a Sanofi Genzyme product, please contact your healthcare provider. In addition, we encourage you to report the event to us by calling Sanofi Genzyme at 800-745-4447, where someone is available to speak with you.

The information on this page is intended for U.S. residents only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by a medical professional. Always consult a physician if you have health concerns.

Blog Terms of Use

LEMTRADA Events

Attend a live event or watch one online to learn more about LEMTRADA.


More From this Blogger

  • A Moment to Remember: Choosing LEMTRADA

    January 9, 2017

    When I was diagnosed with relapsing multiple sclerosis at 19 years old, I was terrified, to say the ...

  • My Infusion Encounters

    December 14, 2016

    Over the years I had grown accustomed to the injection drill. Premedicate by taking an anti-inflamma ...

  • The Power of Positivity: Living with Relapsing MS

    December 12, 2016

    When I was diagnosed with relapsing multiple sclerosis in 2001, my first instinct was to panic. My m ...


Tags

Show Less
  • FAMILY
  • PATIENT
  • YEAR 1
  • DIAGNOSIS
  • THE DECISION
  • SUPPORT
  • TREATMENT
  • NURSE
  • CARE PARTNER
  • LIVING WITH RELAPSING MS
  • CLINICAL TRIALS
  • INFUSION PREP
  • SYMPTOMS
  • HOBBIES
  • MS ONE TO ONE
  • CHILDREN
  • NEUROLOGIST
  • EDUCATION
  • EDUCATION
  • DISABILITY PROGRESSION
  • HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
  • EXERCISE
  • TIPS
  • RELATIONSHIPS
  • SIDE EFFECTS
  • RELAPSE
  • RESOURCES
  • INFUSION
  • POST-INFUSION
  • MONITORING
  • HOPE
  • COMMUNITY
  • FRIENDS
  • YEAR 2
  • GOALS
  • CAREER
  • FINANCE
  • VOLUNTEER
  • EVENTS
  • HOPE
  • NUTRITION
  • HOLIDAYS
  • RESULTS
  • RELAPSING MS
  • DECISION-MAKING
  • COMMUNICATION
  • SELF-ADVOCACY
  • MAKING A SWITCH
  • DECISION