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Yoga Instructor Dedicates Herself to Helping MS Patients

January 7, 2016

Gail Pickens-Barger is an Elite Wellness advocate and has dedicated the last 15 years of her life to improving the fitness of the MS population.

Obviously this disease comes with some debilitating symptoms, so Gail conducts a sitting yoga practice. This is so that no matter the disparity of disease progression her students have, it is always a safe environment for them. As it stands, most of her students do not have the skills to do a walking/cardio class.

Each of her classes consists of a half hour of yoga and about 20 minutes of seated Zumba. The class concludes with balance poses (using a wall for assistance), and guided meditation and breath work. “I end the class with giving the folks doTERRA Lavender applied to their forehead for additional feelings of relaxation,” she said in her press release.

Gail had long been on the radar of the National MS Society to lead yoga lessons, but she was so determined to find the perfect facility, it took her a few years to find a sufficient facility.

“I had to make sure the facility was ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] compliant,” she explained. She worked with her church to add appropriate parking and other equipment to accommodate the yoga students. “With the help of my church and pastor, we hold the classes at my church.” The classes — Therapeutic Adaptive Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis — are held regularly at the Wesley United Methodist Church in Nederland, Texas, and endorsed by the National MS Society. Yoga has long been considered beneficial for MS patients due to the strengthening of key muscles and ability to relieve stress.