Welcome in the new year with the Yoga for MS Calendar and remind yourself of the importance of practice everyday. Twelve yoga teachers from the Ottawa, ON area offered their skills for calendar project to raise funds for Multiple Sclerosis, a complex disease in which the nervous system’s ability to communicate is disrupted. Some of the common symptoms of the disease, which affects an estimated 100,000 Canadians, include fatigue, nerve tingling, blurred vision and muscle weakness.
The project was founded by Natalie Van Tassel, an Ottawa-based nurse and yoga teacher whose 23-year-old son was diagnosed with the disease in 2012. This is the second edition of the calendar, which showcases local teachers and raise both funds for and awareness of MS.
A yoga-based fundraiser calendar makes perfect sense, considering how beneficial yoga postures and meditation practices are for people affected by MS. Yoga poses build muscular strength and keep the joints supple, while also strengthening the immune and circulatory systems. Meditation and breathwork help manage pain and keep depressive symptoms at bay. The Yoga for MS Calendar website has yoga sequences and practices that will benefit MS, as well as other resources about the disease.
The website and project are endorsed by the MS Society and Dr. Mark Freedman, lead MS researcher at The Ottawa Hospital, as a bonafide resource. The 2013 calendar raised $11,000 for the MS Society – Ottawa Chapter and all funds went directly to research into the disease.
In an age of yoga selfies and image-obsessed yoga rockstars, it’s reassuring to see a community use the power of the visual image for a good cause.
Order a copy of the Yoga for MS Calendar here.