In early 2018 Catherine A. contacted Kathy and they began meeting for Yoga for Scleroderma classes at The Yoga Center in Reno, NV. Below Kathy details Catherine's progress since they began working together.
Catherine had been confined to an electric wheelchair after a fall, and had just returned to walking independently. Due to her lack of strength and balance, we began with breathing exercises seated in chairs for safety. In a few weeks she had added leg lifts to build leg strength, and a seated forward bend, side bend, lateral bend and twist to give the spine a full range of motion. As weeks went on she added boat pose and standing mountain to improve core strength and balance. These led to a stable standing position for the digestive practice which Catherine found very helpful. In a few more weeks Catherine added a standing triangle pose (side bend) and tree pose (one leg balance) with a chair for safety.
Catherine's home practice was regular and dedicated, and in June 2018 she volunteered to demonstrate her practice at the Continuing Education on Scleroderma offered to yoga teachers at The Yoga Center Reno. There she did both triangle and tree pose free standing, props no longer needed, for the first time.
In the months that followed, Catherine reported that her lung function numbers improved, her digestion is much better, and friends commented on her improved gait and stamina. At the end of December, 2018, after almost a year of consistent practice, Catherine had improved her quad and core strength and her balance so much she was ready for a floor practice, getting down and up off the floor on her own, using only pushup bars to protect her hands and wrists.
In less than a year, Catherine has taken her practice from breathing exercises in a chair to a floor and standing practice, and has eliminated all but two props, pushup bars and a strap, both to safely accommodate her hands and wrists as she tackles more and more challenging poses.