Courage, the ability to do something that frightens one.

yohigh_135I’ve been sharing Judith Lasater’s book Living Your Yoga with students in my Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis class. When discussing the chapter on courage with them, I told them that I believe they really embody courage—just by showing up to class. Sometimes just getting out of bed unsure about how your feet and legs will work is an act of courage. Navigating their way to yoga class is courageous—waiting for a bus, using canes, walkers or wheelchairs to make their way into the sanctuary we know as Yoga on High.

Recently, a student named Ed was very excited to share a story and video with me. He told me that he used to ride a bike 80 miles a week, but due to family obligations and, later, his MS diagnosis, he had not been on a bike for 20 years. Then his yoga practice gave him the courage to get back on a bike. On a recumbent bike, he rode 8 miles in one day! Ed’s joy at being able to ride again was very contagious and left me full of tears of happiness.

Alison, another student with MS, rode 35 miles in the Bike for MS Ride last year. She is riding again this year and hopes to top that.

I admire my students’ courage to get out of bed everyday with a debilitating and sometimes very painful disease, and to live their lives to the fullest, often attempting things that are hard for them, and scary.

Jenn Gebhart teaches classes that embody her compassion for others—the MS class, Urban Zen Integrative Therapy teacher training sessions, and classes for pregnant women, along with classes for the general public. A link to her full bio is here.