“Exhale to cat.”
Some of the first words murmured at the Empowering Epilepsy support group session.
“We focus on breathing techniques, just to center ourselves and relax our body and mind,” said founder Leigh Goldie.
This particular night, she’s leading the yoga session, calling out a variety of instructions to the class.
“Breathe deeply in through your left nostril,” she instructs.
If you were to see it, it’d look like your typical yoga practice, but it goes far beyond the norm.
“This is different what is usually prescribed," Goldie said.
Most of the people in class have Epilepsy. Goldie says that’s why it’s so unique.
"It restores our body and metabolic system, and it helps to lessen seizures."
Using a breathing technique called pranayama yoga, it allows circulation to the nerves most closely tied to seizures.
“Everything just seems to slow down," said Uriah Heben, a member of the group, while in an inversion on the wall.
Heben has lived with epilepsy since he was 15. He believes practicing this type of yoga has decrease the number of seizures he suffers.
“It's wonderful and it's a nice release to have when you're dealing with something like Epilepsy," he said.
The group is also a support group that meets once a month in Akron.
Members hope to one day to get the medical community to incorporate yoga as a form of treatment for the disease.