Personal Best: Thanks, Melissa

Pat Black praises Vernon yoga teacher Melissa Rinvold, who continues her classes by donation at Schubert Centre

The middle of February, can spring be far behind? It has been a miserable January and February for me as I acquired a flu virus that transmuted into a lung infection, then muscle spasms and back and neck pain, etc. One month of body aches and pain and I am finally getting close to wellness. No, I did not have a flu shot because in the past the shots have made me sick and I decided to pass on them. Maybe I will rethink this next winter.

Anyway on to more positive things. Didn’t we pick the best place in Canada to live as we bask in this plus Celsius weather? Deluges of rain to the west of us and snow storm after snow storm to the east of us. Although it is dull and grey at least we don’t have to shovel or wear heavy boots. So far that is, but we still have some February to go.

The Supreme Court last week has changed the law on doctor-assisted suicide and there will have to be new legislation brought into law to reflect the wishes of most Canadians around this decision by the end of a year.

Personally I am glad to know that this option will be available eventually and that I will be able to have it as a choice if I so wish. There is nothing worse than watching a loved one die a slow and painful death and wishing for the agony to end. We provide this compassion for our pets when they need it and surely the same compassion should be available for people who are dying in pain and have the capacity to make this decision for themselves.

Let’s hope the federal government will come up with some realistic guidelines that make this law effective while putting in place safeguards to protect vulnerable people. This also seems to be another Supreme Court ruling against the Harper regime, as the Conservatives did not support any changes to the law. I think that is about three out of three losses for them.

I am so disappointed. Yoga in a Chair, held for years at People place Monday and Friday, has been cancelled.

For many years Melissa Rinvold, the extraordinary yoga facilitator, has provided these excellent hour-long classes  for seniors and others who have breathing difficulties to learn and enjoy the gentle, ancient tradition of yoga breathing exercises and guided deep relaxation to enhance good breathing practices.

One of the most important things about these classes was that they are by donation, thus giving poor people the opportunity to benefit. Melissa’s respect and empathy is as well-known as her teaching abilities and we have lost a great resource in our community at the People Place.

However there is a silver lining, as minimal as it is. Melissa will be providing Yoga in a Chair Fridays from 10 to 11 a.m. at The Schubert Centre. For people of all ages, men and women alike, this safe, health giving approach includes all of the “do’s and don’ts” so everyone can practise at their own level. It is by donation only. Schubert Centre comes through again! Many thanks to Jack and the board for keeping this going. Also many thanks to Melissa for her years of service to so many of us who have benefitted so much.

If you have any comments or questions, e-mail blackmail1@telus.net or phone 250-542-7928.

Pat Black is a longtime columnist for The Morning Star, writing on a variety of issues of concern to seniors in the North Okanagan and appearing every other Sunday.