The book for everybody and any body. Hundreds of adapted yoga poses and photos. Order your copy today.
By Edward Pevos | email@example.com
WARREN, MI – A tragic accident paralyzed Matthew Sanford from the chest down. Despite that, Sanford is a nationally recognized adaptive yoga teacher. He’s bringing his classes to Metro Detroit.
The event: “Yoga Moves MS: Party with a Purpose” will be held Saturday, November 21, 2015 at Andiamo Banquet Center located at 7096 E. 14 Mile Road in Warren.
This annual event raises money for the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation to directly fund the grant it sponsors for Yoga Moves MS to offer therapeutic yoga to those living with Multiple Sclerosis throughout Metro Detroit.
Suzanne Chessler | Contributing Writer
Fundraiser and book proceeds to benefit classes for those with multiple sclerosis and physical challenges.
Don’t try to tell Mindy Eisenberg you’re not in condition to do yoga. She’ll step up to show you otherwise. Eisenberg, who has studied yoga for 20 years and has taught adaptive yoga for 10 years, works with 80 physically challenged students each week, leading a team handling donation-only small group classes at six area locations.
At the urging of her students and with their help, she just completed a self-published book, Adaptive Yoga Moves Any Body, to be introduced at a fundraiser benefiting her classes, Yoga Moves MS, and the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, a sponsor of five of the nonprofit sessions. Party With a Purpose! will be held Saturday evening, Nov. 21, at the Andiamo Banquet Center in Warren.
“My students wanted a guide for yoga they could use at home,” says Eisenberg, 51, who accepts tuition fees as people can afford them and will apply book proceeds to both support the classes and offer copies to readers on limited budgets.
“The book gives simple directions in a user-friendly way. It shows poses, describes the benefits of each one and notes precautions. The poses, based on those that are traditional, have variations to meet individual needs.”
Eisenberg of Franklin became interested in yoga at the suggestion of a friend. Soon after starting classes, she was an enthusiast because the sessions made her feel much better.
After training to do teaching, she was asked to do volunteer classes for a doctor’s support group, and those participants wanted regular sessions. Her late mother’s battle with MS motivated Eisenberg to bring the practice to those with physical problems.
Her goal is to make each student feel more comfortable in his or her body.
“My training is from various yoga instructors who specialize in adaptive yoga around the country,” says Eisenberg, a member of Congregation Shaarey Zedek and Adat Shalom Synagogue, where she works with Rabbi Rachel Shere to conduct Soulful Yoga, weaving religious themes into the workouts.
“I often learn from my students,” Eisenberg says. “There isn’t a class in which somebody doesn’t come up with an idea that we haven’t tried. The breath is fundamental and
so is meditation. Mind-body practice is critical, and yoga is more effective the more it is done.”
Promoting practice frequency was an important motivation for the book, which gives suggestions for yoga sequences while standing, sitting or relying on a mat.
“It took five years to write the book,” says Eisenberg, who worked with Katherine Phillips as editor, Elayne Gross and Lauren McRae as photographers and Eric Keller as designer.
“The process started with my knowing which poses I wanted and writing them up briefly with directions. Then we took hundreds and hundreds of photos of students in those poses. I felt it was a group project.”
In its seventh year, the fundraising event will honor keynote speaker Matthew Sanford, an instructor who has used yoga to overcome his own physical impairments.
Also to be honored are Mirela Cerghet, M.D. and Ph.D., a senior neurologist in the MS Center at Henry Ford Hospital; Dr. Esther Ingber Young, D.O., an associate professor at Oakland University and Michigan State University Medical School; and Robin Wine, an MS warrior and community leader, who volunteers with Jewish seniors in West Bloomfield.
Wine of Orchard Lake was diagnosed with MS in 1997 and has been a champion in fighting for the cause. She inspires those around her with her unwavering positive attitude.
Despite the challenges of MS, Wine can be seen traveling the world in her pink mobility scooter, which allows her to remain independent. She believes a positive attitude and being surrounded by positive people is the key to living with MS.
Wine has done much work for the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation behind the scenes with little recognition. She is married to Gary Wine and they have two grown daughters.
For information about adaptive yoga classes, Eisenberg’s book ($39) or to register for the fundraiser, go to yogamovesms.org. Party with a Purpose! is at 7 p.m. Sat., Nov. 21, at Andiamo Banquet Center, 7096 E. 14 Mile, Warren. Tickets, including dinner, are $100/$150 for pre-glow and book signing with keynoter Matthew Sanford.
VIDEO: Mindy joins us on The Nine to talk about her yoga studio and the benefits for MS patients.
Mindy Eisenberg grew up seeing firsthand how MS affected her mother and how debilitating the condition can be. So now, years later, she is able to help students through adaptive yoga and manage their disease with something other than medicine.
In honor of the 40th anniversary of Yoga Journal, we are proud to announce our first-ever Good Karma Awards. These awards, which will be announced in full in our special 40th Anniversary issue this September, will honor 40 yogis who have been influential in spreading the teachings of yoga in America.
Among the 40 are 13 Seva Award winners, yogis who are doing seva or selfless work by bringing the healing practice of yoga to underserved people either in their own communities or around the world.
In choosing the 13 Seva Award winners, the editors at Yoga Journal, along with our advisors Rob Schware, Executive Director of Give Back Yoga Foundation, and John Kepner, Executive Director of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, searched for yogis who have been volunteering consistently (week after week, month after month, year after year) for at least eight consecutive years; who are doing pioneering work with an underserved population; and who have made progress against serious odds in a difficult situation.
We will be awarding a scholarship to one of the 13 Seva winners to help them carry on their work—and that’s where you come in! Below you’ll find bios of the 13 Seva honorees. All 13 are wonderful examples of what yoga is all about. Read more about the below.
Joanne Spence, Founder and Executive Director, Yoga in Schools and Director, Urban Oasis
Kath Meadows, Yoga instructor to incarcerated women
Mark Lilly, Founder and Board President, Street Yoga
Mary Lynn Fitton, Founder, The Art of Yoga Project
Matthew Sanford, Founder, Mind Body Solutions
Paige Elenson, Director and Co-creator, Africa Yoga Project
Sue Jones, Founder and Director, yogaHOPE
Suzanne Manafort, Founder and Director, Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans
Tari Prinster, Founder, Yoga4Cancer and Retreat Project SHARE
B.K. Bose, Founder and Executive Director, Niroga Institute
James Fox, Founder and Director, Prison Yoga Project
Hala Khouri, Co-founder, Off the Mat, Into the World
- Jennifer Cohen Harper, Founder and Director, Little Flower Yoga
There is a lot we don’t know about Multiple Sclerosis. Most of the useful information – what the causes are or how to cure it, for instance – remains unknown. Scientists theorize that it may be an autoimmune disease that attacks the myelin sheaths covering nerve endings causing them to degrade and send pulses to the pain center of the brain.
Mindy Eisenberg’s life has been touched by the disease from an early age. Now, she’s trying to do something about it. She started her Yoga, Spirit and Wellness and the Yoga Moves MS movement to help combat the disease.
Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, is a terrible, debilitating disease that affects millions of Americans. It can cause numbness or weakness, rigidity, loss of vision, painful spasms that have feel like electric shock, tremors, and an unsteady gait. It takes a toll on the mind, as well. Patients are plagued by anxiety, fatigue, and depression. Exercising, or even just an increase in body temperature, can set off an attack.
But there is a silver lining – because it’s such a emotional and physical drain – not to mention, costly, Mindy set her sights on coming up with a way to help – not to cure the disease, unfortunately – but to help alleviate the pain associated with the symptoms. And she does it for very little recognition and a smile.
“As a yoga therapist she has a passion for working with individuals that have MS and other neurological limitations… you name it, Mindy Eisenberg of Yoga Moves MS, is here to help.”
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“Yoga postures can help patients with MS build strength, yes, but it’s really all about that deep breath in and out through the nose.”