Allen Finger, the founder of Yoga Zone, says that yoga is not a "goal oriented pursuit", but I am forced to disagree. When the yogi lives with multiple sclerosis, every little thing is of goal oriented design. I am just happy to accomplish moving through my day with minimal falls, no sudden emotional outbursts, or wetting myself in public settings. There are so many goals to achieve during any given day that adding a yoga session is liked to running the Boston Marathon. In order to accomplish twenty minutes of gentle yoga, I must adopt the proper mindset, physical balance, and proper emotional attitude to reach the conclusion of my evening yoga session.
Upon discovering Yoga Zone Gentle Yoga, I have realized that MS doesn't have to rob me of all physical activity. I have experimented with a variety of yoga routines and I truly appreciate the teachings of Sadie on Veria Network, Ellen Barrott from Prevention Magazine productions, and Baron Baptiste from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. These individuals make my life easier and pump up my confidence level that MS insists on lowering. I try to stretch daily with one of these teachers via DVD or TV, but I always return to Charles on Yoga Zone when the others sometime bring me to tears of frustration/humiliation on days that just do not allow me to "flow". No, I cannot keep up with Jillian Michael, but I have come to realize that fast and furious is not always necessary in reaching a personal goal.
So, yes, Allen Finger, yoga is a goal oriented activity. I pursue full body relaxation every day in my yoga practice. Having multiple sclerosis makes every activity a goal oriented pursuit. I need a goal to motivate me through any activity, and I thank Yoga Zone for helping me reach that goal every day.
What I love about Baron Baptiste is that he doesn't care if I do exactly what he says. His plan for his students is to do what is comfortable. He views success in the attempt to accomplish his class. He tells his students that child's pose is "always there for you" if a rest is needed. He isn't demanding or demeaning. If you do not know Baron Baptiste, visit www.MyMSYoga.com or call 1-800-456-2255 for a free copy of MYMSYOGA with Baron Baptiste and Dr. Elliott Frohman.
I really enjoy Sadie on Rock Your Yoga on the Veria channel on Dish network, even if she is extremely intense. I love her vibe and the relaxed attitude of her show. And she is such a rocker! Sometimes it's just fun to watch her, but I really enjoy trying to follow her as well.
I know, I know...none of these folks can actually see me and none of these classes are live; but having MS means that one's social life is often limited; and actually attending classes outside the home is not always feasible. In fact, once I get home from work, I rarely leave the house again until the work day begins again. These yoga instructors are my "friends". The beauty of having friends like this is that I can turn them off when they "go too far". Sound fickle? Nah. They don't care and they are always there for me.
So, Allen Finger may not realize the importance of goals in the life of an individual with an need for a goal; but his creation of Yoga Zone makes it possible for me to pursue a goal. The goal of accomplishment.
My suggestions for a successful yoga practice, especially for MSers:
1. Take it slow and do not expect immediate results, although you are sure to see a few anyway.
2. Pay attention to your body.
3. Try a new pose every three or four days to keep things interesting.
4. Remember that child's pose is always there for you:)
5. Stretching is a wonderful way to tone and relax.