Mindy Eisenberg, a Franklin resident and the founder of Yoga Moves MS, works with a student.

Mindy Eisenberg, a Franklin resident and the founder of Yoga Moves MS, works with a student.

Photo provided by Yoga Moves MS

Yoga Moves MS presents Holistic Health and Wellness Forum

By: Mary Genson | C&G Newspapers | Published May 24, 2023


FRANKIN — Franklin resident Mindy Eisenberg is the founder of Yoga Moves MS and the author of  “Adaptive Yoga Moves Any Body.” 

Yoga Moves MS will be holding a Holistic Health and Wellness Forum at 4 p.m. May 17 at the Radisson Hotel in Southfield. 

The event will feature national experts on  multiple sclerosis who will speak on a variety of topics, including healthy lifestyles and nutrition, acupressure for MS, cannabis and MS, information for the newly diagnosed, and more. 

Guests will receive a healthy meal, free massages and complimentary valet parking. There is no charge for the event; it is donation only. 

Yoga Moves MS is a nonprofit adaptive yoga organization that strives to make yoga accessible to all. 

Eisenberg’s mother was diagnosed with primary progressive MS and used a wheelchair for much of her adult life. 

“I think she's the guardian angel in the corner saying, ‘this is what you are supposed to be doing,’” Eisenberg said. 

After receiving her teaching training and volunteering at an MS support group at the Michigan Institute of Neurological Disorders and at the MS Society, Eisenberg quickly realized how beneficial yoga was for people with MS or other neurological conditions.

Bloomfield Hills resident Kathy Willoughby has been practicing yoga for five years, but she said she wishes she had started much earlier. 

“I have had MS for 27 years, and people would tell me, ‘You should really do yoga. It will be helpful for you,’ and I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to do it,” Willoughby said. 

Once Willoughby started considering yoga, she found that Yoga Moves MS was an adaptive program that works with a student’s limitations. Through yoga, she was able to work on the very things that initially kept her from trying, such as balance. 

Eisenberg said it is very common for students to be surprised by yoga’s benefits after not thinking they would be able to do it.

“One of the things that I have learned at yoga was how physical therapy complemented my yoga, and vice versa,” Willoughby said. 

Due to Willoughby’s work combining physical therapy, yoga and pilates, she was able to meet a huge milestone in walking. 

Yoga Moves MS offers virtual and in-person classes.  Willoughby primarily participates in in-person classes. 

Yoga Moves MS offers in-person classes on Mondays at Full Lotus Yoga in Grosse Pointe, Tuesdays at Breathe Yoga Salt in Livonia, Wednesdays at Explore Yoga in Troy and Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Southfield, and Thursdays at Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington Hills.  

“Yoga to me is like a support group,” Willoughby said. ”We have a lot of laughs, which is also to me like another form of medicine.”

Yoga Moves MS began offering virtual classes during the pandemic. 

Through “Live Adaptive Yoga Moves Any Body,” instructors led students through yoga practices. Purely chair yoga classes or a combination of “On-Your-Seat,” “On-Your-Feet” and “On-The-Mat” classes are available daily. 

Adaptive yoga is also available on demand at yogamovesondemand.org. 

Through a Kirk Gibson Foundation grant they received in 2022, Yoga Moves MS is able to build out the on-demand yoga program.

“We feel very fortunate that the Kirk Gibson foundation is supporting the on-demand, and it is making adaptive yoga online more accessible and has given us the opportunity to keep introducing new videos to the library,” Eisenberg said. 

Yoga Moves MS is able to offer live yoga classes without a set fee thanks to the help of generous donors. Donations can be made at yogamovesondemand.org/donate.