Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Have a Seat and Breathe -Chair Yoga

It's the first of the year and everyone is focused on health and fitness goals.  What I realize after many years in the yoga and wellness industry is that many of us will push ourselves way beyond our comfort zone and forget the importance of living a balanced healthy life.  We buy into the fact that there is something wrong with us that needs to be fixed and we have to be punished for being broken.  Many businesses like mine gear up for the first of the year as well.  It's not however, to simply capitalize on the resolutions people make year after year.  It is to help undo the pressure we place on ourselves to be something other than who we are.  Do I think it is great that so many people want to be healthier and more fit?  Absolutely!  However, do I think you have to sacrifice your current health and punish yourself to do so?  Absolutely not!

One of the main reasons I think yoga is so popular is because of mindfulness.  We start and end with breathing, meditation and intentions.  The goal is always to plant the seeds and to see how they grow throughout your practice.  You are the observer who is checking in to see what is REALLY happening with you.  You are NOT gripping and clinging to whatever attachments you walk around with in daily life and you are NOT hanging onto the laundry list of things that roll around in your mind everyday.  In yoga you are just being!

Benefits of Chair Yoga
One of the main reasons I chose to teach chair yoga is because there are no real limitations.  You don't have to change clothes, you don't have to have a yoga mat and you don't have to get on the floor if you have problems getting up and down.  However, you do get to experience the yoga postures in a supported form.  You can stretch, tone and strengthen right where you are.  You can focus on the breathing because often times our breathe reflects our state of mind.  You can focus on what your body is feeling while you are in the postures.  You can focus on your intention to BE whatever you choose.  You can slow down the process of thinking and attaching to every thought that comes into your mind.  You can simple choose to watch what unfolds while you are BEing.

Another reason I chose to offer a lunchtime Chair Yoga class is because of my intimate knowledge of the work environment.   I have worked in an environment where it was necessary to recalibrate in the middle of the day.  I know what it is like to need some breathing space between deadlines, co-workers and supervisors.  Sometimes, my own mid-day yoga and wellness practices made the difference in my ability to stay employed, support my staff,  and meet my requirements in a positive and balanced way.

What you should know when taking yoga?

  • Please let the instructor know if you have any injuries or limitation that will restrict your movement.
  • Yoga is typically a non-verbal practice so reserve your comments and questions for the beginning or end of class. 
  • You want to be comfortable so remove your shoes and any restrictive clothing.  In chair yoga, you will be seated for most of the class but there is some standing and stretching.  
  • Listen to your body.  You are your first teacher.  Yoga postures should not hurt you or restrict your breathing.  If you feel like you are in pain back off the pose and stay with your breathing.  Join in on the next posture or stay with the modified version of the pose until you are ready to move forward.  
  • Your breathe is your guide.  You want to listen to your breathing and try not to hold your breath.  You should always worked towards balanced breathing in and out through the nose.  If you are experience congestion then it is fine to breath in and out through the mouth until the congestion clears.  
  • Be patient.  Yoga is not about forcing yourself into looking like your instructor.  It is about your expression of the pose.  

Chair Yoga begins January 28th at 12pm.  Classes will be held at Iwi Fresh Garden Day Spa.  Class will last about 35 minutes.  Smoothies are available directly after class and are included in the class price.  Pre-registration is encouraged however, walk-ins are welcomed.  Space is limited.  

Interested?  Visit Temple Yoga & Wellness Center at www.ilovemytemple.com to sign up.