March 2012 will mark 10 years living with Rheumatoid Arthritis, to acknowledge my journey, I plan to participate in at least 10 events during the year, and continue to fundraise for various causes. In the last few years, my community of supporters, has helped raise over $13,000 for arthritis related organizations. I've had the amazing experience of running marathons in Italy and Greece. To help my joints, I have been practicing yoga for a year, and it has helped me tremendously. I continue to cope with arthritis flare ups and will soon be trying a new medication to help stop inflammation and damage to my joints. My goal is to keep moving, to keep running, to keep practice yoga, to keep fundraising and to keep encourage others to do the same!
Joe Banwait: Yoga Teacher
As a yoga teacher, I appreciate the freedom that comes with movement - and also understand the challenges associated with strained and limited mobility. I am the founder of a mobile yoga studio called InSite Yoga which delivers on-site yoga services to individuals in the comfort of their own homes. Many of our clients are affected by arthritis and auto-immune disorders which deprive them of the freedom and range of movement they once enjoyed. Our mission is to help individuals and organizations toward improved health, well-being, and the fullest expression of their potential. To learn more about us and our work visit www.insiteyoga.com The affects of arthritis and auto-immune diseases reach close to home for so many Canadians. My mother has begun to cope with the challenging and mystifying symptoms of Fibromyalgia - and I have been learning to manage the affects of sports-related osteoarthritis. During the month of February, we are pleased to be offering karma classes at The Clarity Centre to raise awareness and funds for Power of Movement. To learn more about the studio and class schedules visit The Clarity Centre
Jesse Barlow: Yoga Teacher
I first started practicing yoga because I was amazed at the positive effects that it had on my body. Over the past five years my practice has evolved and last year I became a yoga teacher. I am fascinated with the power of yoga when working with my students and yoga therapeutically. Donavan Sullivan, a close friend of mine, has a rare form of Rheumatoid Arthritis and experiences a great deal of stiffness in his muscles and joints. When Donovan described the symptoms to me I immediately thought that the benefits of a yoga practice could really help Donavan cope with his discomfort. This year I will be entering a team in the Toronto Mega Session to help raise funds for this great cause and a good friend.
Laura Bridgman: Yoga Student
I began taking yoga classes in University, but really fell in love with the practice in 2010. I was recovering from an ankle injury and discovered the benefits it had on healing my body and healing my soul. The immediate sense of well-being was intoxicating; I became a much more powerful force. Since then I have made it my mission to introduce as many people - friends, family members, even some strangers - to yoga so they could share my experience and journey. The community that yoga creates is like no other, and I am thankful to be part of the POM Calgary team. Breathe deep. Smile. Twirl. Toss glitter. Write. scribblesandsass.com
Fay Chapple: Yoga Teacher
I founded the Clarity Centre as a place to call home for the Yoga Community in Oakville. Offering a wide range of classes, events, workshops, holistic services, well-being offerings and a school of higher learning. The Centre is a gathering place to meet new friends and share experiences and ideas, take a class, or to sit and relax quietly on your own. The Clarity Centre is about allowing you to have a space to do exactly what you want, when you want, in a safe healthy environment. From Traditional Yoga classes, Meditation, and Fusion classes, the centre provides a unique environment to find your own path. I am proud to host the Power Of Movement event this year at Clarity and hope that we can raise money, bring support and increase awareness to an ailment that has touched almost everyone in some way over the years. We have a full and exciting day planned for the Oakville and surrounding community! So please join us and make make a difference in so many lives around you, you have the power to make it happen Visit us at www.TheClarityCentre.ca
I am proud to be a Power of Movement Ambassador. In practicing yoga, I've found my passion. In teaching yoga, I've found purpose. I believe the practice of yoga can keep our bodies cleansed, healthy and strong; and our minds calm and connected to the present moment. Thus, I am committed to safely guiding my students toward a much healthier body, and a more peaceful mind. I will be leading karma Jock Yoga classes in support of the Power of Movement at various studio in Toronto during the fall of 2011 and early new year in 2012. Please visit www.jockyoga.com to find out more.
Crystal Ellis: Yoga Student
I started yoga, due to an injury from a motor vehicle accident; and ever since then I have sought opportunities to share yoga and it's healing properties with others. I discovered many benefits from practicing yoga, including pain management, increased mobility, and better moods. It also helped me to find like-minded others in such a supportive and fun community; which also encouraged me to complete teacher training in 2009. Although I do not have arthritis, I have encountered others who do, both young and old. After meeting Kim McNeil, a dedicated and motivated Power of Movement volunteer/ambassador, I knew that I wanted to become involved with this great cause and event. I hope to spread the word about this cause, while also sharing a love for yoga and this great community. Namaste!
In my work as a yoga teacher, many of my clients have some form of arthritis or auto-immune disease. And they all want to keep doing yoga. Even though some of them have to modify their practice quite severely to accommodate the changes in their bodies, the simple act of movement-which so many of us take for granted-keeps them moving forward in life, both mentally and physically. The Power of Movement fundraiser is an amazing initiative and I am happy to support such important research.
Shawn Flaman: Yoga Teacher
Hi, my name is Shawn Flaman and I am thrilled to be the 2010 Winnipeg Power of Movement leader! I am a yoga instructor, group exercise instructor, yoga participant, spin class enthusiast, runner and most importantly, mother. One of my children, Brian, was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis at 18 months. At 14, he was diagnosed with uveitis, a swelling and irritation in the middle portion of the eye. Now 22, Brian is still managing flare-ups of both arthritis and uveitis. Power of Movement is a great opportunity to raise awareness and money for arthritis and autoimmune diseases.
I have completed level 2 YogaFit and YogaFit kids training, and currently teach at GoodLife Fitness in Winnipeg. In September, I will be completing level 3 YogaFit training. You may see me in class at studios around Winnipeg - I love to try all styles of yoga.
David Good: Yoga Teacher
David Good is a living example how yoga can transform your life. Living most of his life overweight and always looking for the quick fix to optimal health, it wasn't until he discovered a whole health lifestyle program that he now shares in his classes, that the weight literally fell off.
David asks you to "meet yourself on the mat" everyday. His classes are a mix of challenging Vinyasa sequences with an attention to systematic cueing, a respect for breath and fun therapeutic alignment tips to learn something about your body while nurturing your soul. David Good Yoga workshop and classes bring to your life the idea of Foundation on and off the mat. Living more grounded and being able to expand yourself out into the world making your goals come true. David teaches you how to work on your foundation, like a tree, we need to start from the ground, create a strong system of roots to be able to branch out and live the life we want. Whether you are a total beginner or a seasoned enthusiast you will walk away learning something about your practice which is bound to enrich your life.
You don't have to be flexible to do yoga, you just have to be willing to shake the dust off and see what happens. You will discover yoga is actually fun, inclusive, and accessible to every level of fitness, as a result you might discover a new way of thinking about your life. David is very excited to be a part of Power of Movement and to share his love of yoga with others.
See you on the mat.
Vickie Gray: Yoga Teacher
I have lived with Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder, for as long as I can remember. It took me a very long time to figure out why, at 33 years old, I was in so much pain, why I was depressed, tired, overweight, achy and sad all the time. My Mum had arthritis and my Aunt died of Lupus. Arthritis and autoimmune diseases have changed my family. I found yoga many years ago and this year as part of my Executive Coaching and CanFit Pro continuing education, I started teaching and working toward a 200 hour RYT with YogaFit Canada. The Power of Movement came to me, through YogaFit Canada and it perfectly aligns with my goals and what inspires me. I am excited to help with the Power of Movement.
Jan Henrikson: Yoga Teacher
To say that Jan Henrikson is dedicated to her community is an understatement. Jan has been studying and practicing yoga for the past 12 years. Her path began at Yasodhara Ashram in B.C., with the teachings of Swami Radha, and led her to Austria in 2003 where she completed her first teacher training, becoming one of the first 6 Canadian Certified Jivamukti Yoga Instructors.
Jan joined Power of Movement in 2010 and led the 2011 Saskatoon Mega-Session. Jan's passion for yoga and her community allowed for Saskatoon to become the second largest Mega-Session. Inspired and challenged daily by her greatest teachers - her children, Keejara and Saija. Jan is deeply grateful for the opportunities that each moment of her life brings. Living the change she wants to see in the world, Jan brings powerful energy and deep commitment to her classes and community. Jan cannot wait to make each year bigger and better for Power of Movement.
Jennifer is a lawyer who is afflicted with several autoimmune diseases including Myasthenia Gravis, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Lupus and Celiac disease. Daily exercise and competitive sports are crucial to her efforts in meeting the challenges of these degenerative medical conditions. According to Ironman competition records, she was the first person with MS to have completed an Ironman triathlon.
Yoga has played a major role in her life for it has proven to be an excellent means of increasing flexibility and avoid injury. Jennifer believe that yoga is an effective way to remain active for individuals who suffer from autoimmune disease because it can be adapted to a person's physical ability.
Katy L: Yoga Teacher
I am thrilled to be an ambassador for the Power of Movement! As a high school teacher, fitness/yoga instructor and writer, I believe in making fitness- and therefore movement- accessible to all levels and abilities. I help bring the wonder of yoga into high school by offering Yoga for Athletes (Y4A) to students, teachers, and coaches; as well as educating teachers on how to incorporate yoga into their Physical Education classrooms. I am thrilled to bring the POM to the Toronto District School Board through Karma classes- enlightening youth to use their own power to move and inspire others. www.facebook.com/fitinheelsblog www.fitinheels.com
Kim McNeil: Yoga Teacher
This is my third year involved with Power of Movement and my second year leading the Calgary Mega Session. As a yoga instructor and former arthritis research associate, getting involved in the fundraising event was an easy choice. I know the importance exercise plays on managing arthritis and have seen the benefits yoga can have on my students who suffer from the disease. I've seen the strides researchers are making but also know we still have a long way to go to find a cure for arthritis.
I also have a personal reason for getting involved. Several of my loved ones have been stricken with various forms of the disease. My brother suffers from Psoriatic Arthritis, my brother-in-law from Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis, and my close friend from Ankylosing Spondylitis. All were diagnosed before the age of 35 and may well have suffered from the disease since their teens and early twenties. They are proof arthritis is not simply a disease of the elderly; quite the contrary.
Arthritis affects the wellbeing and quality of life of my friends and family. We aren't simply talking about pain suffering but also secondary affects like loss of mobility, insomnia, and depression. More importantly, arthritis keeps them from doing in the things they love to do like sports and playing music; even simple tasks like shaking a hand are difficult.
Taking part in Power of Movement and doing my part to raise funds for arthritis research are ways I can show my support for my loved ones.
Erinn McQueen was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis 12 years ago. Although there have been many tough lessons learned throughout this journey, the most difficult for her has been the changes she has had to make in her level of physical activity. Erinn used to play soccer, run and skiing, and while it has taken time for her to realize that there are other ways to stay active, such as swimming, pilates and yoga, she has discovered a new passion in these activities. Erinn feels that she has been blessed with so many insightful experiences through having arthritis, and she has come to realize how important it is to be open and appreciative of any physical activity I am able to achieve. Her two small children have shown her this by celebrating her ability to play Simon Says shortly after her hip replacement in 2011.
Erinn is thrilled to be a part of Power of Movement, as it combines two passions for her - fundraising towards life changing research in arthritis and autoimmune diseases and physical activities that accessible for everyone! Throughout her life she has had the amazing support system of family and friends, which has really come through even more as she travels through the journey of "living with Rheumatoid Arthritis". Erinn is very excited to share in such a great experience with as many of these people as possible through Power of Movement.
Taking part in Power of Movement and doing my part to raise funds for arthritis research are ways I can show my support for my loved ones.
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia almost 11 years ago and yoga has been the most beneficial tool in my healing plan. I am passionate about teaching people with Fibromyalgia and other chronic pain related issues. Fibromyalgia is an arthritis related condition characterized by chronic muscular pain and stiffness, aches, soft tissue tenderness, headaches, dizziness, nausea, cognitive impairment, general fatigue, disturbed sleep and more. It affects almost 12 million people in the US and Canada alone. Yoga has been a wonderful tool in my recovery process and I am excited to be able to bring my real life experiences and knowledge to my classes. Classes will be Hatha based with great emphasis on breath and alignment. My style incorporates gentle and restorative sequences to reawaken the connective pathways. Small classes and the use of many wonderful props will allow all postures to be accessible to everyone. I am dedicated to bring movement with ease and all the benefits of a regular yoga practice to my classes. I will be leading classes in Oshawa, ON and for more information, please visit my Facebook page "Wendy's Gentle Yoga".
Denise Pala: Yoga Teacher
I love sharing my love of yoga to everyone. I teach yoga to all levels, my style of yoga is about modification to accommodate every level of mobility and to make the practice inclusive to everyone as a healing and empowering practice! I am a part of the Flying Monkey Yoga Studio in Oakville, ON and we are proud to be a part of Power of Movement 2012. Please visit www.flyingmonkeyyoga.ca and www.denisepalayoga.com to find out how you can join us and help beat arthritis!
Elana Rudick: Yoga Student
Nearly four years ago I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis - a form of chronic inflammation of the spine and sacroiliac joints. It is a systemic disease that can affect other tissues throughout the body as well as cause inflammation or injury to other joints and organs. Ankylosing Spondylitis (A.S. for short) affects 150,000 to 300,000 Canadians and presents itself typically in people ages 15-30. It can be particularly tough to diagnose since back pain can be seen in many conditions or attributed to athletic injury.
The onset of my A.S. was sudden. I went to bed one night a healthy 23 year old and woke up in pain and unable to walk. The ER doctor told me that I sprained my hip and was likely sleepwalking when the injury occurred. It didn't make sense, but I had to deal with the problem regardless of the cause. After 6 weeks of physiotherapy I was able to walk without crutches. The minute my hip was on the mend, I started having severe pain in my back and neck. I went to numerous physicians and specialists who took multiple blood tests and x-rays. When the results kept coming back negative, I was told that I was a healthy young adult and that the pain would pass. Since the pain moved between my ankles, hips, neck, knees, back and wrists, some family members and friends began to doubt the sincerity of my complaints. I'll admit that it does sound a bit odd to have immobilizing knee pain one day and then be fine the next. I knew something wasn't right and kept persisting until I found myself in a rheumatologist's office where after a year and a half of questions, I received a confirmed answer. I wasn't crazy; I just had this crazy hard to pronounce disease.
Prior to my diagnosis, I had been advised by physicians not to exercise. By the time I received a correct diagnosis and was told how critical exercising would be in the management of my disease, I had already lost a tremendous amount of flexibility, muscle and mobility. For me, the key to taking control of my life again after being hit with this physically and emotionally draining chronic illness was to be active in my own treatment. Yoga is one of the ways that I help myself. Yoga reminds me that I am strong and capable of fighting off the progression of this disease.
I have always been a private person. Many of my friends still don't know that I have A.S. Last year I was asked to speak at the Power of Movement Mega Session in Montreal. Getting up in front of a group of strangers and talking about my personal struggles was a scary thought. Looking around the room, I saw so many kind eyes and smiling faces that I couldn't help but relax. I realized in that moment how important the Power of Movement is. Not only are we spreading awareness about autoimmune diseases and encouraging those living with these conditions to stay mobile, but we're creating a safe community in which those affected by these diseases have a real voice. For a long time I wished that I could turn back the clock- to a time where I didn't wake up every morning feeling like I was hit by a bus, to a time when I didn't have to cancel plans with friends because I couldn't walk, to a time when I didn't have a dozen physicians, pharmacies, and treatment providers' telephone numbers on speed-dial. This disease has changed me and the way I live my life. Permanently. I can't go back to the person I once was and the Power of Movement has helped me accept the role of who I'm supposed to be. It's exhausting to fight daily against my own body, but knowing that I'm not alone in this fight gives me the strength and courage I need to continue on. The Power of Movement has given me my voice back and empowers me to use it.
Brad Schaefer: Yoga Teacher
Like millions of other people I have osteoarthritis. I was diagnosed in my early Thirties and had my left hip replaced in 2005. People assume that arthritis is a disease of the old, but I am living proof that this disease does not limit itself just to the old, it can strike anyone at any time at any age. For years I was not able to do anything due to the pain, but in the fall of 2005, my surgeon Dr. James Powell gave me a second chance at life, and I was only 38. I promised myself that I did not want to waste another second and jumped back onto the path of life with both feet firmly planted, new hip and all. I was introduced to the wonderful world of yoga through a dear friend and owner of one of our local studios. It took him about a year after my replacement to finally get me into a class but from the first second I stepped onto my mat, I was hooked! After about three years I knew I wanted to share my love and passion for yoga with everyone while at the same time deepening and strengthening my own practice, so I took the training to become a yoga instructor. Due to a recent diagnosis and treatment of coronary heart disease, I am no longer able to take medication for my arthritis due to a conflict with my heart medication. So now more than ever before, I look outwards to my yoga practice and inward to my meditation practice to find peace and relief for my arthritis symptoms. I am honored to be a part of the Power of Movement here in Calgary for my second year and look forward to many more years of involvement. My wish is that everyone lives in the moment, with compassion, joy and love. The power of love is an amazing tool, not only when practiced on others, but on yourself first. "The power of love to change bodies is legendary, built into folklore, common sense, and everyday experience. Love moves the flesh, it pushes matter around.... Throughout history, "tender loving care" has uniformly been recognized as a valuable element in healing". -Larry Dossey
My name is Emily Shandruk and I have recently joined the Power of Movement team in Toronto. I was the lead on the Power of Movement in Vancouver for the last two years and therefore, I have a deep understanding and appreciation of this event and for all the people that it takes to ensure that it is a success. Along with Kim Scarrow, the Vancouver Moksha Yoga studio owner, we were able to give life to the Power of Movement in Vancouver and help educate people there what it is like to live with arthritis and how yoga is an instrument through which pain and disabilities can often be managed.
Since moving East, I have begun to truly appreciate and understand what the Power of Movement really means and the strength that is behind this event. Strength is not a word that is commonly associated with arthritis and autoimmune diseases and yet my personal experience with the Power of Movement has encompassed nothing but strength and vigor. The strength behind the practice in the room, the influence that participant stories have and the vigor with which people strive for a world free of arthritis and autoimmune conditions is nothing short of amazing and powerful.
As we enter into our fifth year for the event, we hope that you will continue to join us and take part in the Power of Movement. Whether you are able to attend a Mega Session or practice in your own living room, as a part of our virtual practice, we welcome you to join us. We truly believe that anyone can do yoga and it is through the support of you and your communities that this is possible.
See you all on February 27th, 2011!
"Don't forget to breathe! In and out!"
-Grover; Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird
I took part in Power of Movement last year a few short weeks after my official diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Being a young person with RA can be extremely isolating and it was an amazing experience to be a part of PoM last year to hear the stories of the ambassadors and to take part in a massive yoga practice that was helping raise money to help people like me and the millions of others with arthritis and autoimmune conditions. I knew I wanted to a part of Power of Movement in a big way this year, so I started my team RetroActive, set an ambitious goal and got to it! Yoga has always been a part of my life, but more now than ever. Range of motion exercises are an essential part of the management of my RA, plus all the other benefits of yoga like stress relief! I believe in the Power of Movement!
As a Yoga Instructor, I work with many clients living with arthritis. There is nothing more empowering for an individual, than to find through a committed yoga practice, the power of healing, placed back in their own hands. Literally bringing about, the Power of Movement! Namaste
I first got involved with Power of Movement as an ambassador. I wanted to spread the word and raise money in honour of my good friend who lives with lupus. Now, I am so proud to help organize the event in Saskatoon. I know first hand, as a student and teacher, how yoga can strengthen, calm, and heal the mind, body, and heart. I know I'm doing what I'm supposed to be when I look down at my students to see their furrowed brows transformed into peaceful smiles in Savasana.
Kelly Tipler: Yoga Student
My story began the summer before my fourth year of university. I was studying voice at the University of Toronto and was an active member of the triathlon team. In May 2002 my left ear began bothering me - a lot. When the pain didn't go away I scheduled a visit with my family doctor. After several rounds of eardrops, sinus sprays and antibiotics proved unsuccessful, I was put on the waiting list to see an Ear Nose Throat (ENT) Specialist. Throughout the summer, I continued to train, race in triathlons and work full-time, despite feeling incredibly rundown and tired. I figured my exhaustion was due to working and training. Little did I know!
As I waited for my ENT appointment, I continued to take many different courses of antibiotics for my ear and I saw several different doctors during this time, hoping to get an answer. But by December 2002 I could no longer hear out of my ear. And when the pain became so intense, I had to stop singing altogether. I remember saying to a friend of mine during a triathlon training session, "I feel like I'm getting worse when I should be getting faster!" In retrospect, this made perfect sense given what was going on inside my body.
By the time my ENT appointment rolled around, my health had snowballed drastically. According to my family doctor, I had developed one of the worst coughs he had ever heard. I was also losing weight, couldn't eat, and walking up the stairs in my house made me gasp for air. I was admitted to the hospital after seeing a Respirologist and a Rheumatologist.
I was eventually diagnosed with a condition called Wegener's Granulomatosis (WG). I was a young and active 22-year-old female, so it was surprising to be diagnosed with a condition normally associated with 60-year-old men (thankfully, this is no longer the case). WG is a systemic condition characterized by inflammation of tiny blood vessels and an abnormal immune response that causes granulomas to form in these areas. WG affects the upper and lower respiratory tracts, kidneys, ears, eyes, throat and skin. Since symptoms and organs affected by WG differ in every patient, it's often very difficult to diagnose. WG can appear in men and women at any age, and affects about 1 in 30,000 people.
Seven years later, I am still on medication, and am really looking forward to the day I'm off of it for good. This is why funding for research is so crucial. When I walked into my studio one day and saw the sign for the first Power of Movement, I knew instantly I had to get involved. I discovered hot yoga about a year after my diagnosis. It gave me an awesome workout and I began to feel so much healthier. Over the past four years, I have raised close to $17,000 to support research funding - thanks to the incredible generosity and support of my family, friends and networks. Last year was my fourth year participating in POM and I was asked to speak at the Toronto Mega Session. It was an unforgettable experience and I'm so grateful for being able to share my story with you!
Fyonna Vanderwerf: Yoga Teacher
To move is to live! I am a yoga teacher, zumba instructor mom and I have several family members dealing with movement immobility. I believe that it matters to speak out and make a difference. Be sparkly, shine and groove and enjoy the body given to you!
Chantal Wade: Yoga Teacher
I am proud to be a Power of Movement Ambassador. I began practicing yoga in order to help me heal from a chronic illness. Having been a psychotherapist for a number of years, I realized my unconditional love for yoga, and my desire to teach yoga. My practice of yoga has made me stronger, and has given me great passion in my life.
I teach at several amazing yoga studios in Toronto. I aim to make my yoga classes fun, challenging, alignment-focused and mindful. I want to provide a space for students to learn to breathe and find stillness in the challenges that they face while practicing on the mat. Inevitably, my goal is to assist my students to learn to find calm and stillness when faced with challenge off their mats, in their daily lives. You can find out more about me at www.chantalwade.com
My non-profit event-based fundraising initiative, Yoga Unite, was founded out of a desire to provide for the larger community. I was looking for a way to combine my social work background with my love for yoga and community. Yoga Unite aims to bridge the gaps in the community through raising awareness to important issues.
Jana Webb: Yoga Teacher
Jana did her ISHTA teacher training in Tokyo, Japan which is a yoga discipline based on the premise that each body type requires different physical alignments and body-specific movements to prevent injuries. ISHTA yoga draws from the teachings of many yoga traditions: It incorporates the gentle, flowing poses of Viniyoga, the more vigorous flowing poses of Ashtanga yoga, the careful alignment and use of props of Iyengar yoga, as well as including various forms of meditation and relaxation.
Although Jana uses some of the principles of the Ishta System, she feels that over the years, and thousand of clients later, she has created her own style of yoga that caters more specifically to her personality and that of her clients. She comes from a competitive athletic background that she knew at some point would influence how she teaches and the type of cliental she would attract. This past year she started with the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL in their off-season and then into their regular season. She also worked with players from the NHL during their off-season out of the National Sports Development center in Calgary. Currently, she is working with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL. She has also created sport specific yoga sessions such as "Yoga for Golfers", "Yoga for Runners", "Yoga for Triathletes" that can be downloaded at: www.mypypeline.com/yoga
Jana will be offering some amazing karma classes in support of Power of Movement and is excited to be a part of this extraordinary event. For more information on Jana, please visit: www.jogawithjana.com
Lori Weisbrod: Pilates Instructor/
I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis at the age of 18 and to date I have had 16 operations to repair damage from my arthritis. I started taking Pilates classes in the year 2000 and it changed my life. Through Pilates I became fit and truly understood the "Power of Movement". As a result I decided to get certified in Mat Pilates and created my own method called Arthro-PilatesTM
www.arthro-pilates.com which I now teach to people with arthritis and other similar chronic conditions. I am proud to be a Power of Movement Ambassador and I will be offering Power of Movement Pilates classes through Pure Fitness
Kris Lekin: Yoga Teacher
As a yoga teacher, I have discovered the deep healing effect that this practice can have on a range of individuals, particularly those dealing with pain and immobility. As a Ph.D. candidate in free radical chemistry, I understand the importance of having sufficient funding in order dive fully into research. Good research simply costs money, and the Arthritis and Autoimmunity Research Centre (AARC) Foundation is a cause worth fighting for. I am so happy to be a Power of Movement ambassador and work with an organization committed to helping promote yoga and educate the masses about the benefits of this beautiful practice. The intention to grow the North American community and build stronger connections between yogis gives us the opportunity to build a strong movement in the fight against arthritis and autoimmune diseases. The primary goal is still to raise as much money as possible to help researchers learn more about this mysterious disease, and I'm proud to be of service. Find out more about me and my yoga classes in Kitchener-Waterloo or read my blog at www.layakariyoga.com.
Janet Weldon was born in Thunder Bay, Ontario and lived there until her early 20s. During her time in Thunder Bay, Janet was very involved in her high school Leadership activities attending the Ontario Educational Leadership Centre in 1997. Janet attended Lakehead University and completed her Honours Bachelor of Kinesiology with her research being showcased as a part of the International Symposium of Biomechanics in Sport in 2004. After taking a year to obtain some work experience in Toronto, Janet moved to Fredericton to complete an MBA and a Master of Arts in Sport and Recreation Administration at the University of New Brunswick.
Janet is passionate about health and wellness and has incorporated this in to all of her education and work experiences. Janet has been fortunate to have worked in a variety of roles in the wellness industry ranging from lifeguarding and swim instruction to project management. After the birth of her son in November 2010, Janet decided to follow her dream of owning her own Wellness Studio. The Urban Wellness Studio, the one stop shop for physical wellness services in the region, opened in Kitchener's trendy Tannery District in October 2011. With a team of highly skilled Wellness Services Providers and a rapidly growing client base, the Urban Wellness Studio is helping people to achieve their optimal quality of life while setting the bar for wellness services in the region delivering on convenience, quality of service and a non-clinical atmosphere.
Janet is excited to be a part of the Waterloo Region community and is proud of her involvement with the WOW (Women of Waterloo) event and her role as co-founder of Momz in Biz.
Of course, none of this is possible without some of the most amazing mentors, family and friends. Janet's husband Nick and son Gavin are certainly what keeps her going and her mentor, Carly, is who keeps her going...in the right direction!
My son Maxim was diagnosed with Polyarticular Rheumatoid Arthritis when he was 18 months old. He has swelling in a number of smaller joints in his finger and toes as well as his right knee. After many tests and Dr's appointments, my husband and I decided to take a more natural approach to his treatment, and now his care includes a variety of health care professionals including a Naturopath, Doctor of Chinese Medicine, Chiropractor and Massage Therapist. He is a very happy and energetic 3 year old and are very blessed to have him in our lives. As a Massage Therapist in my 15 years of practice I have worked with many people who live with many different types of arthritis and autoimmune diseases. It is so important to keep moving especially with people who live with Arthritis. Yoga is a great way of maintaining great joint movement and can be done by all ages. I practice hot yoga on a regular basis and am excited to introduce yoga into my children's lives. I am happy to be an ambassador for the power of movement, it is so important to make people more aware of Arthritis, especially the fact that it affects 1 in 1000 children in Canada.
Monique Van Osch
I have had arthritis since I was 12 years old. I have found that yoga has been one of the best ways to be in control of my body and the pain of arthritis. I believe that Power of Movement is a great way to raise funds for much needed research, as it really does allow anyone to participate.Yoga can be practiced by anyone no matter the limitations they may face and it is even healing for those with limitations. It makes me happy knowing that I can participate in an event like the Power of Movement.
At the age of 20 I was diagnosed with Osteoarthritis in both of my hands/wrists. This is extremely young for someone to be diagnosed with this form of Arthritis, and was only the start of my journey. A year later I was also diagnosed with EDS Type 3 a form of joint hypermobility which turned out to be the root cause of the Arthritis. Because EDS is a genetic condition caused by a defective Collagen gene which causes laxity in my joints and makes them prone to dislocation. With each dislocation my susceptibility to Osteoarthritis increases and now at age 35 my doctors estimate that most of my joints are now affected. Yoga has been a life altering experience for me. It has increased my flexibility in a safe way while strengthening my unstable joint spaces. My mother-in-law also has Osteoarthritis as well as RSD in her hands and recently has begun Yoga after seeing the results I have had; I am happy to say she is doing very well. Both of my children have this condition and I am determined to help them avoid early onset Arthritis. I have family members who work in Rheumatology and so I hear on a regular basis how vital research is. I want to be involved to help spread the word about the research which is ongoing as well as the Power of Movement vision.
I am excited to be a Power of Movement Champion. I believe that it is important to help make others aware of how Arthritis affects people in so many different ways. I have been practicing yoga for years and it has improved my life on many levels, and has now become staple in my life. Yoga works hand in hand with the other activities I do in keeping fit and active. I have overcome many weakness and achieved many goals by keeping up with my yoga practice. I feel very balanced, aware and at peace with myself. Yoga is pure and I feel it has helped heal my mind, body and soul.
My name is Renee Morgan, and I am proud to be a Power of Movement Champion.
I have been volunteering and fundraising for 4 years. Helping others is a passion of mine and something I find extremely rewarding. I don't believe a person has to be directly affected by an illness or disorder to do all they can to help fight for a cause.
I do not suffer with arthritis, nor do any of my family or friends. But through volunteering I have met some incredible people, and heard some amazing stories. These strong, amazing people, inspire me to work hard to raise awareness and funding for research toward finding a cure.
There is a quote by Ghandi that reads, 'You must be the change you wish to see in the world".
Through volunteerism, I am making a difference and impacting lives. I am being the change I wish to see in the world. I hope my story will inspire others to do the same.
My practice personifies yoga living, whether leading a class in downtown Toronto or doing headstand unobserved on the dock at the cottage. While my personal history reflects an insatiable passion for movement, it is my personal philosophy and ability to balance life’s elements that make me an effective yoga instructor. My childhood achievements as a competitive gymnast and swimmer were the catalyst and a natural precursor to embracing yoga. I experienced my first yoga class in my 20s and loved how it drew on alchemy of strength, flexibility and balance. I was hooked.
I bring to my students not only sound technique on which to base their practice, but also provide a safe, nurturing environment. My classes are not just about stretching the body, but also about expanding horizons. I believe that yoga is for everyone. It has the power to increase functional mobility and create a feeling of well-being and empowerment. It’s not only about the physical practice but lifting the spirit as well. I am proud and honoured to support the Power of Movement Community promoting healing, wellness, and awareness for Arthritis.
Yoga is about healing. It is about looking at our physical and emotional challenges not as imperfections but as opportunities to truly become aware, in tune and compassionate with our bodies and minds. As a yoga teacher and co-host of Bare All Women's Retreats, I am constantly inspired and enlightened by the passion and energy each student drives into their practice. It is my honour to support The Power of Movement, which to me represents the power of awareness, the power of love for each of our wonderfully individual bodies and the power of building community to heal together! Join me at Misfit Studio on Queen Street West and Euclid each Tuesday at 10am for a community class. All donations made in the month of February will go to The Power of Movement. Visit www.yogayuda.com to learn more about how yoga can transform your life! Namaste
I am a 30something wife / mommy / friend / writer who has been living with arthritis and related chronic illnesses for 20 years and counting. I love that this fundraiser brings together both sides of the arthritis healing equation: how you treat your body and what you put into it is critical, but so is research and pharmaceuticals. Of course, I hope to be able to live medication free someday... But until that's possible, I will continue searching for that elusive balance that enables me to live my best life. For me, yoga has played a major role in living well with arthritis - both physically and mentally. Over the years, I've been lucky to work with some fabulous instructors who have taught me to modify my practice to work for ME. So much of my life is about overcoming limitations. When I do yoga, I'm in a space where I'm no longer aware of those limitations - instead, I feel strong and I'm in awe of what my body can still do. I LOVE THAT. These days, with a preschooler at home, it's difficult to make my way to the yoga studio. But my daughter is a natural little yogi and we love practising together at home (though I'm pretty sure she thinks our shavasana is some sort of elaborate trick to get her to nap). I'm excited to be a part of this year's Power of Movement event in Winnipeg.
As a fitness facility owner, personal trainer, yoga teacher and wellness coach, I believe it is my duty to give back. I enjoy sharing my knowledge with those that can use it, and I love being involved with causes that speak to me. I have seen many people suffer and feel hopeless from living with MS, Arthritis and Diabetes, and I have had the pleasure of seeing what exericse and yoga can do to help them. I believe in The Power of Movement fundraiser initiative and feel proud to support them in any way that I can. firstname.lastname@example.org
I was diagnosed with RA about 3 years ago and have discovered in the last year the amazing benefits of yoga (especially hot yoga). Which is why I am sooo excited about the Power of Movement fundraiser! Working at Lululemon Athletica has allowed me to explore so many yoga studios in the Montreal community. Since my first symptoms, I have found movement one of the best medicines. Yoga and the gym as well as medication can become expensive so creating Karma classes is a great idea. I also think raising awareness and education about autoimmune disease is so important. Being diagnosed with RA at 22, it took me a long time to realize what my symptoms were because I thought only older people had arthritis. I think it's so important to get the information out there so people can recognize S&S early and start treatment immediately.
I have only recently been diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis. I have a complicated medical history with Colitis (before surgery) and Crohn's Disease and Chronic Pouchitis (after surgery), along with Hashimoto's, Recurrent Pancreatitis, Psoriasis, and a few other progressive disorders. I have been suffering from the Spondylitis for about a year and a half, being finally diagnosed only a few months ago. These chronic, painful, and usually invisible diseases can turn one's life upside-down and don't always receive the attention they deserve BECAUSE you can't see how much pain they cause.
Once I was asked to quit playing the sports I lived for, because of their impact on the spine and hips, I decided to take up yoga. I had heard of the beneficial effects and I wanted to give it a go despite issues with my spine. I am very happy to say that it has offered me some great effects when it comes to rehabilitation, strength, balance, and allows me to continue to be active without flaring my condition.
Every single day is different. Every single day is unpredictable. Join me in this journey to help find a cure for the various types of arthritis. Help us lead normal, less debilitating, *hopefully* pain-free lives!