Joie Daniels has attended our YogaReach Mindful Movement classes since September 2017. She recently shared her background and Mindful Movement experiences with us. A 35-year veteran educator, Daniels joined our classes through what she calls serendipity.
“I personally knew Char through our kids,” she said. “Char was doing an internship in psychology and tested my son over 30 years ago. Recently, I learned that Char was the Founder and Director of YogaReach and was teaching Mindful Movement classes at InMotion (the nonprofit facility where YogaReach runs its Mindful Movement program). I realized I also knew a number of staff and other clients affiliated with InMotion. All of these signs, like knowing these people and living close to the only facility of its kind in the world, told me that I was supposed to be here. I had to try the class.”
Like many of our clients, Daniels has become a class regular, often attending all of our three weekly classes. She’s passionate about Mindful Movement. “I feel more upbeat on the mornings when I have yoga. This class is cheery and warm. Mindful Movement isn’t about Parkinson’s – it’s about relationships, friendship and kindness. People are always positive. The class is so welcoming that it took all of my fears away.”
Like some of her classmates, Daniels was initially apprehensive about joining the class. “It was the unknown, and not understanding what the class environment would be like. No one I knew was familiar with the facility (InMotion) or classes (YogaReach).”
Daniels persisted. “This class was something I chose to do on my own and without direction. I have enjoyed it since that first day. I love how the instructors say ‘good job.’ Such a little thing makes a big difference, and I know I’m not on this journey alone.”
By participating in our Mindful Movement classes, Daniels feels she’s benefited and thrived in a myriad of ways. “I’ve met new people who share the same fears and experiences (about) Parkinson’s. I’m now aware about why we practice specific daily life skills, like putting on a seat belt, or how to get in and out of a chair. Overall, I see lots of improvement, and feel more flexible and stronger. I have learned how to make my mind and body function together. I’m processing directions better than I was able to previously.”
A special educator by training, Daniels also noted, “I’m using all of my senses and am aware that I’m using them. That gives me confidence.”
Like many of our clients, Daniels comes to our class full of enthusiasm, and adds that her coming to class feels like she’s meeting friends for breakfast. “I always come to class early because I just like being in this environment. Everybody calls you by name, and I love that. We all have the same goal. I feel as hopeful for my classmates as they do for me. Everyone is uplifting and not judgmental. When you enter InMotion, it is oozing with kindness, it’s amazing. No stereotypes exist here.”