Restless legs and restorative yoga

Hello,

I have restless leg syndrome, and am having a hard time doing any yin yoga, or holding resting poses for a long time. Sometimes I can’t even get through savasana without my legs jerking and twitching. I would love to do some restorative yoga, especially before bed, but find that I can only do active poses, because quiet poses like legs up the wall make my legs jerk so I can’t relax.

Anyone else experienced this? Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Tina

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I have the same problem. Especially at night.

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Hi @tina.wirth and @Ritasans.

Can you tell me what has helped calm your restless legs? Can meditation work? It sounds like it’s best if you are moving.

Thanks,

David
DoYogaWithMe Founder

Hi David,

Well, it’s apparently different for each person, but here are the things that have helped me.

  1. Move my legs, rather than lying still. For example, I can slowly move my legs during savasana, and that helps. Yin yoga is completely out for evenings when I’m having the restless legs.

  2. Avoid sugar. That seems to be a trigger for me, especially if eaten later in the day.

  3. Stretch my legs before bed, especially my thighs and calves. I’ve been doing Tracey Noseworthy’s Bedtime Vinyasa right before bed, which is great, but sometimes I have to separately stretch my thighs afterwards in addition.

  4. Exercise, but not too much, and not too late in the day.

  5. I haven’t tried meditation specifically for this condition, but if my legs are feeling restless, there is no way to sit still to meditate. I suppose a moving meditation, like walking, might help.

  6. Magnesium. I take magnesium every day, in the form of lotion I put on my legs before doing my evening yoga. That is not an in-the-moment fix, but does help over the long term.

I would love to hear what anyone else has tried.

I would also like to see more videos along the line of Tracey’s Bedtime Vinyasa, the one by Rachel Scott. I find that often in the evening I’m looking for something that gets me moving, but is not too strenuous. I feel like a lot of the videos on DYWM are either restorative, quiet, and gentle, which is too much stillness, or rigorous vinyasa practices which are too much energy for right before bedtime. Something that is like a toned-down vinyasa that stretches the entire body would be great.

Thanks for everything you do! DYWM has been a godsend for me.

-Tina

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I took medication for my restless legs for a short time and I hated it. And coming off the medication was even worse. I find stretching or alternatively tensing and stretching helps. It also bothers me more when I am fatigued and at night.

It’s something I’ve learned to live with, but sometimes it makes it hard to do a meditation. Even if my legs don’t move, they want to…it’s like an electric current running through them.

So, although I wish meditation would work, I find that stretching and flexing probably works better. I’ve been known to get out of bed at night just to strrrrreeeetch in a bunch of different directions.

That being said, I can do a nice meditation sometimes and my legs won’t bother me at all. It’s a strange strange feeling.

Rita

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Have you tried Hyland’s Restless Leg sublingual tablets? They are all natural.

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Thanks for candid responses, @tina.wirth and @Ritasans. It sounds like you’ve done your share of experimenting with solutions. It sounds challenging.

One thing I have found with nervous system-related issues is that if I do my best to keep focused on the sensation (essentially meditating) long enough, I start to feel my resistance to it, which contributes to its existence and persistence. Sometimes that resistance will subside, which also eases the nervous system response, which makes it easier to continue to focus on the sensation, which allows it release even more. It’s something that can be worth exploring, but I also realize that I am not in your body, so I’m unable to relate to what you’re going through.

It sounds like moving and stretching are your best approaches - and magnesium and less sugar!

Take care,

David

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wow i really love how good yoga always makes space. rather than trying to fit all bodies into the same mould, it is imp for us to listen to each body

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