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Why Yoga for MS?
oMS Yoga History
oMS Yoga was founded in 2012 by Cheryl Russell, who lives with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and Megan Weigel, a nurse practitioner who specializes in the care of people living with MS. After a brief introduction at a National MS Society luncheon where they shared their desires to teach yoga to people living with MS, Cheryl and Megan ran into each other a year later at a Master Class in Jacksonville taught by Baron Baptiste. It just so happened that Megan placed her yoga mat right behind Cheryl’s. When they saw each other, they simply said, “so, are we going to do this?” The next day, Megan wrote a grant to the North Florida Chapter of the National MS Society. Mary Lyn Jenkins, owner of Big Fish Power Yoga in Jacksonville Beach, opened her studio doors to the possibility of oMS Yoga, and within a couple of weeks, the grant was funded. The first oMS Yoga class was held at Big Fish on November 5, 2012.
Fast forward and oMS Yoga, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, has partnered with studios in Jacksonville, St. Augustine, and Delray Beach, FL; MossRehab in the Philadelphia, PA region; and Charleston, SC, to bring free yoga to people living with MS. Our teachers are volunteers with huge hearts.
oMS Yogis share heartwarming stories of the benefits of yoga, the greatest being the community they have created with each other. They feel like they are more than their MS. They are exercising more than they ever have. They hold each other accountable. They note less anxiety, and the benefits of breath.
The COVID-19 pandemic allowed us the opportunity to meet the goal of a virtual program. oMS Yoga is now available to people living with MS all over the world. We are so excited to collaborate with Yoga Moves MS to broaden this incredible community!
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information between the brain and the body. oMS Yoga is changing the lives of people living with Multiple Sclerosis through yoga. The flow must go on.