Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Bad Rap for Chair Yoga???

I keep on telling everyone that yoga is for everyone. Which it is. We have kids yoga. We have restorative yoga.  You want to really sweat, we have hot yoga (more on that in a future post). If you are recovering from an illness or surgery, you can lay in bed and practice pranayama (breathing) that's still yoga. So why do some people bristle when I bring up chair yoga.  

"Whoa....that's not for me....I am not 110 years old and infirm, I don't need no stinking chair yoga."  Really? Let's put our ego's aside for a while (a long while) and clear up a few things.  Just as with any other style of yoga, it depends on what your body needs at the point in life that you are at.  It's not attached to an age. It's your physical ability.  Maybe your are recovering from surgery and can't get up and down off the floor. Chair yoga. Maybe you have MS. Chair yoga.  You have vertigo and your balance is off. Chair yoga. You  have really cranky knees and it hurts to kneel on them. Chair yoga. Not one of those examples did I see where an age was attached.  Because it's not about the age it's about the need.  

Do you think that sitting in a chair that you won't get the same benefits?  Sure you will, you still breath, twist, and forward fold. Boat pose anyone?  Yes you can still do navasana in chair yoga and with the same core benefits.   The chair replaces the yoga mat and becomes an extension of your body allowing you to take full advantage of yoga’s amazing fitness and health potential. 

I have several students, depending on what their body is telling them, that practice both chair and traditional style yoga and they agree that the benefits are the same. In fact one student told me that the last chair yoga class she took kicked her butt (in a good way).

Are you an office worker that sits in a chair all day, do chair yoga at your desk.  Even if you are in a wheelchair, you can still practice yoga. 

Ok, I will be honest with you that most chair yoga students might be senior citizens, but at least they are doing yoga. They are breathing, moving, increasing circulation, strengthening their lungs, they are off the couch and on the chair. So now that's your learned the truth about chair yoga, what's your excuse...get off your couch and into a chair.....and just breath!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

East Meets West at Santosha Yoga

This past weekend we hosted two workshops at Santsoha but both with a common theme and great information.

Saturday we had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Joel Kahn. Dr. Joel is a good friend of Cindy, one of our wonderful yoga teachers. He is a cardiologist out of the Beaumont Heath system and just authored the book "The Holistic Heart"  and a columnist for Reader's Digest.  He is also a yogi and a vegan. He told me once that he wants to be put out of a job, wouldn't it be great if there wasn't' a need for cardiologists. He quoted many, many studies and research that supported what a plant based diet (not necessarily vegan or vegetarian) can be for our health and longevity. How exercise, moderation in all things and that even a class a wine a day is good for you (the crowd loved that). Dr. Joel isn't saying that there wont' always be a need for his type of medicine, but that he is "extending his tool box".

On the flip side, Sunday Meena Puri from the Ayurvedic Healing Center in Milford.  She came armed with information that taught us what "dosha" or body type each of us were and how to use food to heal our bodies. How if we change just one thing with our diet and life style it can shift everything.  That our bodies "talk" to us all the time but we usually don't listen.  That constipation shouldn't be ignored, our biggest meal should be in the middle of the day, that we can prevent diseases, another fact that Dr. Joel also told us.

It was one of those weekend where I wished I had recorded them because the was so much going on and taking notes just scratched the surface.

But even though they both came from a somewhat different angle, they both ended with the same message. Diet, yoga and meditation.  Both Dr. Joel and Meena stressed their importance and benefits. A student who attended both talks asked me why aren't more people getting it....I didn't have an answer for her....why aren't people getting the message. more thing they both agreed on an important part of a healthy and stress free life style....

don't forget to just breath!