Adaptive yoga works for everybody, every body

Hoosiers with disabilities enjoy class

INDIANAPOLIS - A local yoga and pilates studio is offering classes for everybody -- and every body.

"You know, most disabled people think, 'Well, I'm going to be in a chair for the rest of my life and I'm not going to do anything,'" said Hank Sipe, who has multiple sclerosis.

But Sipe knows better. He's been taking an adaptive yoga class at Pilates Indy since it's been offered.

Sipe said he most looks forward to the floor work.

"It's the only time I ever get to get down on the floor where I can stretch my back out completely," he said.

Sipe said he didn't envision being a yoga regular at this point of his life, but plans changed.

"You know, I planned to right now be playing golf and being retired. That's not in the cards. I had to replace that with something else," he said.

For Dechelle Libesay, it's the yoga breathing that benefits her most, because doctors found too much carbon dioxide in her blood. Deep breathing brings not only more oxygen, but also a better attitude.

"It relieves stress and frustrations," Libesay said.

Instructor Gaynell Collier-Magar said yoga can make a big difference for anybody, but especially for people with disabilities.

"What we see are people who are gaining strength, flexibility, calmness, confidence, all the things that we classically contribute to yoga as well as feeling re-embodied," she said.

Both Sipe and Libesay said those benefits last all week.

Collier-Magar said she'd love to see more places offering adaptive yoga and even taking it to the people who need it.

The Yoga for Everybody classes run for four-week sessions beginning the first Thursday of every month and cost $65.

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