I got my start teaching at Harmony Yoga about a year ago. I found out about Harmony through my newly diagnosed workshop. A woman in my group went to Harmony for therapeutic yoga and recommended the class. The class was/is geared toward people with auto-immune disorders like MS, Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is a great class at a level that even those in wheelchairs can participate in. I have loved this class since I started going last May. Early in my MS, many folks in the class gave me the support and advice I needed to get started on living! my life with MS. It also gave me the opportunity to meet the owner of Harmony and to get involved at the studio.
While I was teaching school this year, I could never go to the class but now that summer is here, I get to go back and assist. I have gone twice now and I still really enjoy it. I admire the way the class offers something for everyone there. I find the environment supportive and nurturing. I wish there were more opportunities like this one for people with MS.
Today in class, I found myself contrasting this group and the "thirtysomething/newly diagnosed" MS group I attend once a month. The therapeutic group is composed mostly of people with MS. I am the youngest in the class. The other members have had MS 10+ years. Most of them have some difficulties with mobility. Several have walkers or canes and others limp or have a part of their body that no longer works the way it used to. Despite, these challenges, I have rarely encountered such a warm and positive group of people. Participating in the group does a few things for me. Assisting gives me a chance to help others who have helped me. Taking the class teaches and nourishes me. The class also gives me a lens into some of my possible futures. I wonder, will I lose some of my mobility? Will I relapse at some point and fail to come back all the way? Yet despite these questions, this group gives me hope because the people in class seem to live full, happy and productive lives.
In my MS support group, everyone except me is on a DMD( Disease Modifying Drug or Interferon). Everyone seems to have their good and bad days but they all are still working full time. Most of the folks in my therapeutic group seem to be retired. Many of them no longer have relapses but seem to have moved into the more progressive stages of MS. Most of them have tried the DMDs but for one reason or another, they no longer take them. The newly diagnosed seem more anxious and uncertain about where MS will take them. The folks in the therapeutic class seem to have been there, done that. I really admire the positivity in the therapeutic group. I really empathize with the other people in my newly diagnosed group. Both groups make me think and reflect on where I am at with my MS.
Now another topic... I am warming up a little to facebook. Another "long-lost" relative found me and now I am discovering more cousins I never knew existed. I never realized there were so many Tizers. I sent out a bunch of friend requests today (something I never do) just so I could connect with some of these people. I am especially excited to note that most of them live in Israel. I have always wanted to go there and now I have an even better reason and a place to stay.