My mom, me, Yoga & arthritis

With the 2015 Power of Movement event happening in just two days, (Sunday March 8th 11:15am at Ryerson University), I find myself digging out some past writing posts to share on what a fantastic event this is, and how it can really change lives. Giving people back their mobility is giving people back their freedom. I hope you can join me on Sunday or at an event near you to help celebrate and raise funds for those dealing with the pain of arthritis and auto-immune diseases.

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My mom has had various health issues most of her life. Born with mild scoliosis and suffering a broken elbow that wasn’t properly set in her youth, to being diagnosed with kidney disease and imminent failure at the age of 21. She received a successful kidney transplant 17 years ago J but years of intense anti-rejection drugs do take their toll, coupled with both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, an average day is often a struggle between pain and general exhaustion.

Six years ago I completed the YogaFit Seniors training as part of my compulsory teaching hours with YogaFit. After years of telling my mom that she should do yoga, I was so excited to finally find a yoga that would work for her! Since then we have worked quite closely together, using the modifications I learned in the Seniors training as well as various other ideas picked up along the way. I’m happy to report today my mom practices almost daily at home on her own, with me checking in every now and then to see how she is doing. Knowing that everyday she feels different, she will begin by simply lying on her mat breathing and then letting her body decide what it needs that day. Sometimes its some light stretching, sometimes a more active practice with standing poses. Practicing yoga regularly has helped in her pain management, and also have a more positive outlook on what she can do, rather than focusing on what she can’t. She has also started to come to the Chair Yoga class we offer at the YogaFit Training Centre (898 Danforth Ave., Toronto) a gentle class focused on both building strength and flexibility. Practicing yoga has given my mom confidence. She sleeps better and feels better more often. When she hears me talking about yoga with someone who is apprehensive to try, she always jumps in with: “If I can do it, anybody can!”

**Unfortunately my mom is going to have to give this year’s event a miss. Her scoliosis has taken a bit of a turn for the worse over the last year and walking even a short space is a real challenge. I am happy to say that she is still attending her Chair Yoga class at the YogaFit Studio every week to help keep the mobility she has, and hopefully she will be back at next year’s Power of Movement event.

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