Yoga class tackles health issues

Published 3:40 pm Tuesday, March 6, 2012

From left to right, Mandy Little, Jeannie Cobb and Butch Hamrick work to improve flexibility during Monday’s yoga class. Cobb, a registered yoga teacher, has started a class aimed at helping students tackle health issues associated with arthritis, Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid arthritis. Advocate Staff/Andy Brown

Yoga may be a difficult class for some, but those suffering from a daily ache of arthritis, Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid arthritis may find it impossible.

Jeannie Cobb wants to fix the impossible.

Cobb, a registered yoga teacher, teaches yoga at the YMCA on a daily basis, and recently decided to add a new class to her lineup.

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“My husband has Rheumatoid arthritis, and I have Fibromyalgia,” Cobb said. “These are two things that resonate with me and I have very close relative that has (Multiple sclerosis).”

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that does not let people open their hands as wide, and they have issues with joints, Cobb said.

“This is a very gentle and slow class that is tailored to what students need,” Cobb said. “We talk about the health issues and I do the poses.”

She teaches her students different exercises to do at home to work on flexibility, strength and increasing range of motion.

“A lot of these people are not comfortable practicing in a regular classroom setting,” Cobb said. “This class is going to be gentle and we are going to talk about these health issues that we’re going to target.”

Cobb is trying to help her students physically, but she also want to help with their mentality.

“I have Fibromyalgia, and I have pinpoint hurting,” Cobb said. “My husband hurts all the time. We take our issues from daily life to a cellular level. Not only does it affect our mind and our heart, but it goes into our tissues.”

The stress goes into a deeper level of the body including the organs and muscles creating stiffness, Cobb said.

“When you’re in pain all the time, nothing looks beautiful,” Cobb said. “If we can combat pain with a little exercise, learn how to breath and give them some hope in feeling good, that is so worth every moment of studying and teaching.”

The class is offered at the Greenville YMCA on Mondays and Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. Each class is $5 for nonmembers but it’s free for members of the YMCA.

“I started studying, traveling and teaching yoga in 2006,” Cobb said. “I love it, and I have a desire to bring wellness to Greenville and to give people an opportunity to live healthier and more fulfilled lives.”