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This was hosted by Lisa, a Long Island yoga teacher with MS who must practice the principles many people take for granted in yoga. It benefited the Kathleen Valachi Memorial Fund for Home Health Aide Assistance Program.  The program focuses on those with MS requiring home health aide assistance, a boon to caregivers, patients and families. My own mother’s nurses helped my father avoid his one true heartbreaking fear: having to put her in a nursing facility.  

Lisa had recently recovered from a horrifying relapse before the event, and was sent home to 3 kids.  She was denied a home health aide, never received speech therapy, occupational therapy and was limited to only 6 visits of physical therapy. She was unable to walk, cook or complete simple tasks. It was up to her friends to take care of her. Not everyone has that luxury, especially those that have become isolated or abandoned due to their illness.
It is a broken system that denies humane coverage and help to the neediest.

The event moved me a great deal. It raised money, of course, but it united a variety of abilities, practices and stories. It brought awareness to a community, to the body and mind. Yoga in NYC is a competitive, strenuous and anxious practice- I know I frequently checked my IPhone during shavasana.  But here, I watched a woman affected deeply by MS symptoms work hard, so hard, to get into Warrior I that I felt ashamed. Yoga is meant to balance, align and heal. Watching the work and love of the attendees, I remembered that balance is more than physical.