People tend to turn up early for the MS yoga classes.
“I know I need to stretch to feel better but who has the self-discipline to do it at home alone? I would just not sustain a whole hour of exercise but this is fun and social and the relaxation at the end, oh, I love that,” said Regena Warner, who has been coming to the program for two years. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1973.
“I’ve seen so many treatments and participated in so many research studies for medications. Coming to the group helps me maintain strength and flexibility and a positive attitude. I always enjoy seeing the others.”
Sheila Hayes agrees, adding that it’s important to make your own commitment to the program.
“If you don’t use, you lose,” she said. “I know I’d be stiff if I didn’t do this. If I do it, I can maintain my function and motion. I like that the moves can be modified, using a wall for balance or in a chair or wheelchair. I think the socialization is very important too.”
Kathy Munts has been a group member for five years.
“We can accommodate people at any level and we encourage anyone with MS who thinks they could benefit from this type of exercise to come and join us. We’d love to see you,” she said.
Anne Foss has been the MS Yoga class instructor for 10 years.
“People find that they can maintain what strength and flexibility they have if they do yoga. The poses can be adapted to anybody’s needs but we do suggest that people who are starting any exercise program check with their doctor first,” she said.
Sherry Wezner, community services coordinator, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Okanagan Chapter, said that while there is still no known cause or cure for MS, there are now nine medications used as disease-modifying therapies.
“The MS Society funds the yoga classes but there is also funding for individuals to take part in other physical activities that would be helpful to them,” she said. Each case is considered individually.
For more information on this or the yoga classes at The People Place, contact Wezner at 250-762-5850 or firstname.lastname@example.org.