Hi! I’m Paula Ladisheff. I’m 49 and work for the Marine Corps. I also have Multiple Sclerosis.
I started taking the free Liz Franklin’s Yoga In Chairs™ classes for people with MS in September of 2005. I started with one class a week and quickly decided to attend both of the free classes each week. These classes mean so much to me that even when I’m tired, I don’t skip a class.
I began taking the classes because I thought “why not”. If this method has been around for centuries, there must me something to it! There is, it is wonderful. I have experienced help with my stress levels and my balance issues. The breath work has made a big difference in the side effects I experience from my MS and the medications I take. It has also helped me with my anxiety attacks. The breathing is calming and helps me think.
I find that after taking classes for over a year I can get up and down from the floor with ease. My husband calls my newfound flexibility my “bendy yoginess”. I find that I have increased energy levels on the days after a class. I am missing fewer days of work and my mood has improved dramatically. My MS had taken the ability to perform certain tasks and caused frustration and some aggressiveness. This frustration and aggressiveness have been eased by my yoga practice. I find I am able to use the breath work to help me maintain my mental clarity and recall.
Liz gives us tools and small things we can do at home. I have embraced these and find myself practicing yoga at home and at work. I have taken my yoga practice into my daily life.
"These classes have made such a huge difference in my life that I wouldn’t give them up for anything." - Paula
Hi! I’m Penny Hoober. I’m proudly 64 years old, a mother and a grandmother. I’ve been working part-time at my church for 20 years. I’ve been married to a wonderful man for 38 years. I have been doing Liz Franklin’s Yoga in Chairs® since June of 2005.
I had a stroke and my neurologist suggested practicing yoga. I called three yoga studios, and when they heard I was “post stroke” they did not want me to attend classes there. My daughter kept researching and found Liz Franklin’s Yoga in Chairs®. She called Liz and after a nice conversation, I went to my first class. I was looking for more balance in my life and help with severe anxiety and other health issues, including high blood pressure.
At first I was somewhat skeptical, but I kept coming to class and after 6 weeks I began to notice subtle shifts and benefits. Now if I am unable to attend class I really miss it. My anxiety kicks in and my depression worsens. The classes have become a social time for me and I have made some wonderful new friends. My class is a great way to start my week and keeps me going for the rest of my week. All the other students are non-judgmental and it is wonderful knowing that they are all dealing with their own health issues.
I have made incredible strides in lowering my blood pressure. I went from readings of 190/120 to 115/62. My doctor was shocked and amazed. I have found ways to incorporate brief yoga breaks into my life. I do little “bites” of yoga all day long. Just dropping my tongue to the bottom of my mouth makes such a big difference in how I feel, both physically and mentally. I don’t make time to do an entire hour of yoga on my own, but the small things Liz suggests that we do during the day have made a big difference in my life.
Hi! I’m Keri Rodriguez. I’m a 46-year-old Assessment Crisis Center Specialist. I have been practicing Liz Franklin’s Yoga in Chairs® for people with Multiple Sclerosis since the first class in August of 2005.
I came to the first class because I wasn’t willing to give into Multiple Sclerosis. I felt I needed to do whatever I could do to help myself both mentally and physically. I was a little dubious at first because I wasn’t sure I could physically do yoga. Liz showed me how I can succeed!
Liz is a great teacher. She makes every class feel good for us by adapting to our changing needs every week. Every class is a great experience for me. It is so wonderful to be with a group of people who truly understand what it means to live with MS. My success in the class has helped in the rest of my life.
The benefits I have received from my practice are too numerous to list here, but I have more flexibility, more energy, more confidence and it has helped me stay focused and on task. I have learned how to deal with anxiety and stress in a more positive fashion. My job is very high stress and practicing yoga has helped me stay focused on the client I am with at the moment. I also feel I am more centered and less reactive in both my professional and personal life.
"Even if you don’t think you can do this or that you’re going to like it, you need to try because you’re going to love it! You can do this. It doesn’t matter where you are physically or mentally, you will be in a better place after you practice. It is so easy to incorporate the lessons into your daily life. It doesn’t take long and it makes your day go so much better." - Keri
Hi! I’m Sandy Rabinoff. I’m a 71 year-old grandmother and collection agent. I have been practicing Liz Franklin’s Yoga in Chairs™ for nearly three years. I had seen an article in the Kansas City paper one Sunday and it sparked my interest about the program.
I had taken “regular” yoga classes and enjoyed them but was having trouble keeping up with the class due to recent knee surgery. The instructor wasn’t responsive to my needs and I was frustrated. When I read about Liz Franklin’s Yoga in Chairs™ I thought “This is made for me!” I called and got enrolled in the evening class.
I was so excited about starting the class. From the moment I first talked with Liz I felt that this was my yoga. The way I felt after my first class was so heavenly that I was hooked. I have been attending class regularly ever since!
I have asthma and my lung capacity has dramatically improved. My doctor noticed the change and told me to keep doing yoga. The class has also made a dramatic difference in my flexibility, especially the knee I had replaced. I doubt I would have the range of motion and flexibility I do without my weekly class.
This past year has been filled with incredible stress in my personal life. Liz Franklin’s Yoga in Chairs™ has made all the difference in how I have handled that stress. I have learned coping strategies and taken them home with me and incorporated them into my daily life. I have learned how to use yoga to calm myself in times of stress and turmoil.
"Quit thinking about taking a class and come try this. You must experience this first hand. If you can’t come to a class, buy the videos. You will thank yourself when you experience the difference in your mental state and find your own place of serenity. Flexibility is an added bonus that comes with time. Liz Franklin’s Yoga in Chairs™ is unique – there is nothing else like it!" - Sandy
Hi! I’m Sherri Evert. I’m a 63-year old retired business partner. I began practicing Liz Franklin’s Yoga in Chairs™ in several months ago. I have been practicing yoga for many years. I have issues with my back and found most other classes to be strictly a physical exercise. If I couldn’t achieve the “perfect pose” I felt as thought I wasn’t doing it right.
I noticed the classes when I was seeing an acupuncturist for arthritis in my neck. I had been in constant pain for some time and was willing to try almost anything to get relief. While acupuncture offered relief, it was only temporary. When I was leaving the acupuncture office one day I noticed a group of smiling women leaving their yoga class. I thought I would feel comfortable with this group as they were close to my age. I wanted to see if my own body could fix the neck pain with help from yoga.
Within 2 months of practicing Liz Franklin’s Yoga in Chairs™ my neck pain was gone. I also had problems with low back pain and had tried numerous options to cure this as well. The relaxation portion of the classes and videos released the pain. I am much more aware of my posture now. In class Liz helps us visualize our bodies in the posture and makes us aware of the benefits. I now use the yoga poses I have learned in class along with the videos as a personal “tool box” for taking care of my body. I have definitely gained strength in my arms and legs as well.
I truly appreciate the way Liz works so hard to help us achieve a mind/body/spirit connection in her classes. The meditative experience of her classes carries through my day. I try to attend two of her classes each week and use her videos when I can’t be in class in person. I feel as though the class is meditation in motion and I also have enjoyed the sense of community that is part of her class experience. She works to help us be present in the moment. She also lets us know what the benefits of each pose are which helps us understand why we are doing the poses.
Hi! I’m Michael. I’m a 40-year old graphic designer in Kansas City. I have multiple sclerosis. I began practicing Liz Franklin's Yoga in Chairs™ a few months ago. I had tried some yoga videos at home but they were not interactive and had nothing to do with proper breathing techniques.
Liz Franklin's Yoga in Chairs™ has made a real difference in my inner life. There is quiet place in all of us. A place we knew before we were told how to think and act and feel and behave. I wanted to know how to get to that quiet place. I had doubts that I could rediscover that peace as the path to my inner peace was so over grown. Liz Franklin's Yoga in Chairs™ has helped me rediscover my true self.
I quickly discovered that I cannot breathe properly when I slouch. Now that I’m more conscious of my abdomen expanding and contracting with my breath, slouching is no longer an option. I have become much more aware of my posture and how if affects the rhythm of my breath.
In the short time that I have been practicing Yoga in Chairs I have received so many physical and emotional benefits that I get upset when I have to miss class. I have incorporated some of the poses into my daily life.
I was living an incomplete life with so much debris between me and my true self. If you don’t fully know yourself all of your life, your career, relationships, highs and lows are only partially available to you. Having found the path through Liz Franklin's Yoga in Chairs™, I feel much more complete.
Hi! I’m Anne Sanders. I am 49 years old, and have worked at Hallmark Cards for 20 years. I have had seven surgeries in the past three years due to an accident, and found myself in a place where I had become immobile and was losing flexibility. My surgery also included knee replacement, which I thought for sure meant I could not do yoga, but I was wrong!
I started doing Liz Franklin’s Yoga in Chairs™ almost exactly 2 years ago. I thought you would have to be limber and athletic to do even chair yoga. Liz quickly helped me understand that this was not the case. She is a great teacher and really works hard to make each class very personal. She sets a peaceful tone to the class with her careful selection of relaxing music. That peace pervades the practice and I find that I take that calm state home with me when I leave class. I have developed lasting friendships with the others in the class. Liz has also helped me design my own “yoga break” that I can do at my desk to relieve stress at work. My carpal tunnel syndrome has also improved, and I believe I have increased my range of motion.
There are so many reasons why I love Liz Franklin’s Yoga in Chairs™, but I only have room to share a few here with you. I love how it makes both my mind and body feel. I love to come to class each week! The classes are set in a calm, relaxing, non-competitive atmosphere.
Hi! I’m Patsy Pierce. I am a long-time resident of Overland Park, KS. I am 76 years old and a retired elementary school teacher. I was at the first demo class of Liz Franklin’s Yoga in Chairs™ in 2001. Since I was looking for something to help me improve my health, breathe better, and to stay limber for my age, I joined the first class in January of 2002 and have been an active participant ever since.
I hadn’t ever done any yoga before Yoga in Chairs™. I did try a “regular” yoga class once after I had been practicing with Liz for over a year, but I couldn’t handle it -- I have vertigo and doing standing poses without the support of a chair was not possible for me.
I have high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Even though I still take medication for these conditions, they have improved. I feel more flexible, my tennis game has improved and I have grown a quarter inch! However, this did not happen overnight. It took some time to see and feel the results. One of the best things about the Yoga in Chairs™ class is that I can go at my own pace. I feel like it’s a class made just for me!
Yoga in Chairs™ is part of my weekly schedule, and I always feel so good after class that I never want to miss it.
Hi! I’m Marga Harris. I am 63 years young. I retired from teaching music after 30 years. I live in Kansas City, MO. I started taking classes with Liz in September of 2004. My doctor, Jane Murray gave me a brochure. There was an excellent description of the program in the brochure, so I decided to give it a try. I thought that stretching and a less strenuous form of exercise would be good for me. I have Post Polio Syndrome and many exercise programs just don’t work for me. I use crutches to walk. Although I am fairly mobile, a slower paced class is just right for me.
I keep coming back because of the teacher and the other students in the class. They are a fun group. Also, I enjoy the benefits of increased flexibility and strength. My breathing has improved dramatically. I am more comfortable in my own body, especially in terms of stretching, reaching and balance. I feel that the class has helped open the energy channels in my body.
If I had just one piece of advice to give someone who is thinking about joining one of Liz Franklin’s Yoga in Chairs™ classes it would be “Just do it!” You’ll never know what the multiple benefits will be until you do it. It is a warm and inviting environment to be in.
Everybody’s level of ability is honored. You are not pushed to move beyond your personal comfort level at any time.