Living with MS and staying strong

It’s important to look after your mind and body. And Tracy learnt how good yoga was for her during the lockdown. She now shares her practice with others on her YouTube channel. Read more about Tracy’s journey and how yoga has improved her sense of wellbeing.

My diagnosis

I’ve now had MS for over 30 years and I still remember the day I was diagnosed very clearly. My mum was with me in the hospital room. I tried to absorb what I knew was about to change my life. And I know she was just as shocked as I was. But she was so strong for us both at that moment.

Making adjustments

There were adjustments to be made and at first I found it very difficult to tell people. I didn’t want anyone to look and treat me any differently. So for many years I only told my family and my very close friends. I became more comfortable speaking about my MS over the years. And that’s when I began telling more people.

Living with MS

Now in my fifties, I get relapses more frequently. And I use a walking stick when my left leg gets very weak and heavy, but I’m coping ok. The fatigue can be frustrating – you get told not to overdo it but you don’t know until you have!

Sometimes you’ve done so little when it strikes, but I’ve learnt you have to rest. Your body needs the chance to heal as best as it can. That’s why I know I’m lucky that I’m in a full time office job. So when the fatigue hits I can work from home.

> Read more about everyday living with MS

MS and the importance of keeping active

After being diagnosed with MS I began practicing yoga. I learnt how this could be beneficial for my health and wellbeing. Although, I must admit, after my forties I began to struggle with the length of the classes.

I found myself doing less yoga as I knew the classes would be too much for me. I also noticed my strength getting worse and my walking stick being needed on a more regular basis.

Yoga for positivity

I found more time to focus on myself and what my body could and couldn’t do during the lockdown. I knew how important it was to counter the effects of MS by maintaining my strength and mobility. So I decided to start a home yoga practice.

This meant I could choose whatever I wanted at whatever pace, intensity and focus. Practicing regularly for just 5-10 minutes a day helped me get stronger – mentally, physically and emotionally.

Read more about staying active with MS

Positive mindset

It’s had such a positive impact on me that I wanted to share this with others. So I surprised myself and qualified as a yoga teacher. And since March 2021, I’ve run my own free yoga channel on YouTube. It’s not one of those channels where they can put their bodies into what looks like impossible postures. But classes where I can share that yoga is a practice that can be enjoyed at any age or fitness level. It’s all about finding the right level and type of yoga for you, even just 5 minutes a day can be beneficial.

The last few years have definitely taught me we should never give up. And that we’re never too old to have a dream or try something new.

Visit Tracy's YouTube channel