Gail Pickens-Barger is a doTERRA Elite Wellness Advocate, but that’s just a small part of who she is and what she does for those in need. For 15 years Gail has helped hundreds of students improve their fitness levels as a Certified Yoga Instructor, however the students she serves today have different fitness goals than most because most of them suffer from Multiple Sclerosis (MS). MS is the most widespread disabling neurological condition of young adults around the world and the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation estimates that more than 400,000 people in the United States have MS. There is no cure for multiple sclerosis.
Because of the debilitating issues with MS, most of Gail’s students do yoga sitting down. MS is exacerbated by infection and inflammation so it’s important that students practice safely. She describes her classes as “about 30 minutes of yoga, with 20-25 minutes of Zumba Dance Fitness, but done seated, as these folks do not have skills of being able to do walking/cardio classes.” The class continues with seated dance and then ends with balance poses with the assistance of the wall or chair, and then guided relaxation, meditation, breathwork and stress reduction. “I end the class with giving the folks doTERRA Lavender applied to their forehead for additional feelings of relaxation,” explains Gail.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society asked Gail to start hosting classes because she proactively became certified in Adaptive Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis that the organization offers, but it took her two years before she was able to teach. Gail had to go the extra mile to ensure students were able to benefit from her expertise. The challenge? Lack of a facility that was safe for her students. But that didn’t stop her. “I had to make sure the facility was ADA compliant,” Gail told us. She worked with her church and pastor to add the appropriate parking and other accoutrements to accommodate her students. “With the help of my church and pastor, we hold the classes at my church.”
Now fully endorsed by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Gail holds her Therapeutic Adaptive Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis classes regularly at the Wesley United Methodist Church in Nederland, Texas.
In addition to keeping very busy with doTERRA, multiple sclerosis volunteer work and now contributing to international service projects, Gail participates in two food ministries at the church. The first, Backpack Buddies, Gail supports for her church and her community. “We have children in our communities that for whatever reason, do not have enough food for the weekends. Through Backpack Buddies they get a backpack from their counselor at school full of food enough for a weekend, then they bring back the empty backpack on the weekend. We have food drives at the church and I also invite the yoga participants to bring food for this food ministry.” The second, food ministry is called Yoga for Food where Gail invites class attendees to bring oatmeal to donate to the local Christian food bank.
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doTERRA is a world leader in the sourcing, testing, manufacturing, and distribution of CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oils through a global network of Wellness Advocates. In addition to a premium line of single-plant extracts and proprietary essential oil blends, the company offers oil-infused personal care and spa products, dietary supplements, and healthy living products for the home. doTERRA Essential Oils