Yoga

Are Yoga Classes for Seniors, Physically Challenged & Intimidated?

Have you attended a yoga class that didn’t feel right for you? Did you feel like you were too old, too stiff, or in too much pain to do what the teacher was teaching the class to do or what the person beside you was capable of doing?  Maybe you even felt too intimidated to try a class!

Here are some tips to have a good yoga experience:

1.  Spend some time looking for the right yoga class. Do some research.  Audition
different teachers, and see if they’re right for you! Simply going to whatever yoga studio is closest to home or work and taking from whichever teacher teaches at a convenient time, probably won’t give you the best experience.

2.  There needs to be a mutual respect between you and the teacher. This is true for everyone, old or young, male or female, slim or overweight, flexible or stiff, healthy, or ill. Find the teacher who makes you feel accepted. Do some research. Audition different teachers and see if they’re right for you!

Finding the right yoga teacher is similar to looking for a therapist or medical doctor; you find out pretty quickly when you click with someone.

3.  It is also very important to be in the right class as far as the degree of challenge that is being taught.  Some people may be more up for a fast paced, more challenging class.  Others may need a class that is more gentle, slower, and less challenging.

If you don’t have a qualified teacher who is right for you, you can get injured and stop attending, Don’t let this happen to you!  Make sure you look forward to your class and benefit from this wonderful mind, body, spiritual practice.

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Our yoga instructors at Twin Ponds Center teach at different levels. We have classes for beginning students, experienced students, and classes especially for those who have physical challenges.

You might want to also try our other Movement Training Classes: Pilates/Yoga Fusion, The Feldenkrais Method & Coordination Pattern Training. Click for class schedule.

Please call 610-395-3355 for help in deciding which class is best for you!

 

Especially Athletes! and All Others!

Diligent practice of hip stretches—what in yoga we often call “hip openers,” as though they are key to unlocking thesecrets of the hips—can dramatically increase your flexibility and range of motion around the hip joints. If you are athletically minded, this can be a good thing. But as with many good things, too much can be overdoing it.

The key for athletes is to develop or maintain balance between stiffness and openness: a balance of strength and flexibility in the muscles around the hips.This balance can change depending on both the athlete’s body and on sport-specific needs.

Depending on your sport, too much flexibility can be detrimental to your sports performance, as it can reduce your snappiness. Consider, for example the stiffness a runner needs for efficient transfer of energy to the ground. A floppy runner, one whose hips sag with each step, will have to work harder than one who springs lightly over the ground. But you need enough flexibility to move fluidly through your stride, without a hitch that can lead to an overuse injury. Poses that mimic the running stride, like lunges, can help you stay flexible through the range of motion used to run, and hip stretches that target the external rotators can help avoid overuse injuries like Iliotibial Band Syndrome and Piriformis Syndrome.

On the other hand, athletes need vastly more flexibility in the hips for engaging in activities like rock climbing, curling, or playing positions like catcher in baseball or softball.  A yoga practice for athletes in these activities can look very different from a practice for athletes who require more springy stiffness in their bodies; athletes who need to take deep squats can enjoy the full range of hip stretches, including poses that move deep into flexibility.

Consider where you fall on this spectrum. There may be a very good reason hip openers frustrate you, or a good reason for you to love and enjoy them. Either way, the process gives you an opportunity to consider what you can change and what you can’t, and to practice focusing your energy on creating useful change and accepting the unchangeable.

For all those who would like to improve balance and flexibility, reduce pain, increase range and ease of movement, and reduce habits of tension, consider becoming a student of one of the following: Yoga, Coordination Pattern™ Breakthru Training, Feldenkrais Method® of Movement Education, Personal Fitness Training, Pilates, Tai chi or Qigong,

YOGA FOR BETTER BREATHING & LESS MUSCLE TENSION

I recently became friends with Elise who lives down the street from me. I had known of her for a couple years, but just waved and said “hello”.  Recently we were formally introduced when she was hired at the same school I am now employed. It didn’t take long for us to become fast friends through yoga.

She was aware that I was a yoga teacher, so I mentioned to her where I was teaching  and she very quickly became interested in learning more about it. I knew it would help her manage the stress from working and raising a family, so I invited her to join in on my sessions.  She loved the idea.

While I was telling her about the schedule, she asked if she could invite one of her other friends.  I said “of course, the more the merrier”.  She had only done Yoga once before, and it was quite some time ago. They joined my next class and took it real easy at first, but it wasn’t long until they were both loving the challenging poses and the relaxation at the end of each class.  Not only did my friend, Elise, benefit, but her friend was so excited to tell me that after only a few sessions her breathing had improved and her muscles felt less stiff and tense.  She was amazed how great she felt in such a short time.

Now they are both doing all the poses in full length sessions and encouraging each other to practice regularly.  Elise couldn’t wait to tell me after the last session that she is less short of breath going up stairs and on walks with her dog, her tight calves and thighs are much less tense, and that there is improvement in her overall range of motion.

The power of Yoga is truly amazing for moms and even dads!

Laurie Lagerman, CYT, Happy Yoga practitioner and teacher for 13 years.

Laughing Yoga

Decide to laugh, Smile, Just fake it, Practice happiness.

That is what I have been doing this year. When I was asked to lead a laughing yoga class, I said to myself, “How can I!” I had been a caretaker to my husband for the last couple of years. He died earlier this year. I am not happy; I am in mourning. So how do you expect me to teach a laughing yoga class?

I have been teaching yoga classes for over 30 years and the Feldenkrais Method® “Awareness Through Movement®” classes for 15 years. So I **should** be able to do it. Oh, the **Shoulds!!!**

So for my healing, I have been practicing what I teach.

I, Decided to Laugh, Smile, and Just fake it. Initially the fake laughter and fake smiling seemed awkward. With repeated practice, my fake laughter and fake smiling became real, softening and relaxing my body, opening up my thinking, making it easier to cope with life, and it gets easier to laugh with ease.

Did you know that when the sun is shining bright and you are looking in the sun’s direction, there is a smile on your face?

And yes, I still cry, am sad, and missing my partner in life. But life goes on. A smile and a laugh….

Fascinating facts about our smiles;

  1. Forcing yourself to smile can boost your mood
  2. It boosts your immune system
  3. Smiles are contagious

Carol SiddiqiYoga