Jane Gould
Jane Gould
C is for Community

C is for Community

The importance of support

My friend Margo and her son, Danny recently adopted a tripod dog called Dave. A couple of weeks after she called me, laughing, “Danny took Dave for a walk by the bay today, a lady walked over to them all smiles and said, ‘Hi Davey! How are you?!’ Danny was shocked, he had no idea who she was! She told him she’d met Dave at the dog park. Look’s like Dave’s got his own community!”


I’m glad Dave’s building a community, as I’m sure being a three-legged dog is tough and he needs support. When he pees and lifts his good leg he does a hand-stand. That is some serious adapting!

When I was first diagnosed and living in Northern California, I attended an MS support group to find a community of people who understood MS. I talk about the experience of going in S is for Steroids. I was 28 and able-bodied, and it was a group of elderly, disabled people with progressive MS. They were their community, but they weren’t my people.

I found my MS community after taking a yoga teacher training by the NMSS and starting an MS yoga class at my local community center. Three ladies came and we met every week for several years until I became a school teacher. We’d do yoga and meditation, and then chat, sometimes about MS, and sometimes not. When we talked about MS we shared information about doctors and treatments, and discussed this MS thing and the other. We understood each other on a level not even our partners or families did.


Nearly 20 years on, a similar thing happened in Minnesota. When we moved here I didn’t have any community of my own, and not working or driving I struggled, so I attended an online MS support group a couple of times. Even though I connected with one lady, and this time I was one of the oldies with progressive MS, it didn’t fit.

Fortunately, yoga came to my rescue again in the form of Mind Body Solutions, a community of interesting and engaging people all of whom have some trauma and disability and love yoga.

The literal translation of the word yoga is yolk or union, which when talking about the practice of yoga often refers to the union of breath and movement. Yoga at MBS is indeed that, and is something else as well, it’s the union of individuals in community.

“Yoga means union; union with our soul, with the others, the outer world and so on.” B.K.S. Iyengar, yogi.

MBS is a non-profit and all classes are free, live streamed and available all over the world. This next week is its annual fundraising campaign, Kiss My Asana, where we at MBS are raising money and awareness about it. I’d be so grateful for any contribution you can make, maybe treat me to a virtual cup of tea and cake $10, or for a virtual lunch date $15… Thank you so much to those of you who have already given. I’m so grateful! I promise this will be the last time I ask (until next year ;) !)

Support MBS

Thank you for being a part of my bigger community.

As we say at the end of a yoga class,

The light in me, honors the light in you.

Jane Gould
Jane Gould
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Jane Gould