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Peace in motion at wheelchair yoga class

Certified yoga instructor Chelsea Singer, 27, leads a free Adaptive Wheelchair Yoga class at Gold's Gym, 203 38th Ave North, St. Petersburg Tuesday, March 3, 2015. The class is designed to introduce yoga to participants with disabilities and meets the first Tuesday of each month and is open to the public. The gym donates the space and the class is sponsored by the Muscular Dystrophy Association MDA. For more information call the Paula Orandash, MDA director of health services, at 727-577-1700. At eleven years old, Singer was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT), an inherited degenerative neurological disorder that affects the peripheral nervous system. At age 21 she was told she would be in a wheelchair by her mid thirties. She says she was never given any hope, just prescriptions for pills and physical therapy to ease the pain. After Singer started practicing yoga in 2012, for the first time in her life she had the mental ability to detach from the constant pain. She no longer sees a wheelchair in her future. "I became a yoga instructor not because I'm great at every pose. I'm totally not and totally intimidated by some of them still," said Singer.†"I know what it's done for me emotionally and physically and spiritually," Singer said. "And now I want be able to share my love with those people who would not normally walk into a yoga studio." Singer believes had she found yoga as a child it would have helped her, not only with her flexibility, but with her overall self worth and self esteem. Today Singer also works as yoga instructor to both grown ups and kids adaptive chair yoga classes through the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Charcot-Marie-Tooth support group of Tampa/St. Petersburg.

CHERIE DIEZ | Times

Certified yoga instructor Chelsea Singer, 27, leads a free wheelchair yoga class at Gold's Gym in St. Petersburg on Tuesday. The class is designed to introduce yoga to people with disabilities. Diagnosed with a degenerative neurological disorder at age 11, Singer was told she would be in a wheelchair by her mid 30s. She started practicing yoga in 2012 and now no longer sees a wheelchair in her future. See a video report at tampabay.com/video.

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