A special yoga class in Novi is a place where disabilities are set aside and the focus is on everyone's ability.
It's called Yoga Moves MS. Mindy Eisenberg founded the program after growing up watching her mother battle MS. Her loving memory of her mom and her love of yoga prompted her to develop this adaptive yoga class.
"You feel sometimes like you're alone, that nobody understands; your family doesn't really understand; your friends don't understand. But we all understand," says 55-year-old Suzanne Kypros. She knows what it means to have multiple sclerosis. She was diagnosed 26 years ago, but this yoga class has given her new found strength.
"I created this program because people have a condition don't necessarily feel like they can join a regular class, so this gives an environment where people are not necessarily defined by their MS and they get to be empowered to help themselves," Eisenberg says.
MS is a degenerative disease that interrupts communication between the brain and body which can cause numbness, pain, weakness and blurred vision.
Neurologist Dr. Matthew Voci believes in the benefit of yoga.
"For people with MS, adaptive yoga instructors who are specialized instructors, work with those patients or those students to help them restore physical balance through adaptive yoga techniques," he says.
"A lot of people look at yoga and think they can’t do it because I'm not as flexible. It’s not about being flexible; it's not about doing poses. If you can breathe, you can do yoga," says Marcia Williams, who also has MS.
The adaptive part means you get support from a wall, a chair or even the floor. The physical benefits are as important as the psychological.
"This is not about fancy outfits or fancy yoga studios; it's about a community of support and that's what’s amazing about it, is the community," says Eisenberg.
"It's really the greatest thing that I've ever done. It helps me to keep my mobility," says Kypros.
There are classes in six different locations throughout metro Detroit, including their newest class in Detroit. To find one near you, visit www.yogamovesms.org.