What is yoga?
Yoga is a 2000-5000 year old tradition in health, physical activity, and personal wellbeing. Its origins can be traced back to both Indian and Asian roots. Yoga aims to unify the body & mind (or body, mind, and spirit) so that those who practice may enjoy a greater sense of self, a feeling of balance and calm both internally and externally, and enhance their longevity. What makes yoga unique from other forms of exercise is the specific emphasis on breathing and how it’s linked with movement. While the methodology is a bit different, yoga has similarities to other forms of exercise like Tai Chi and Pilates.
What is chair yoga?
Chair yoga is a type of physical exercise or practice that has been adapted from the more classical styles of hatha or vinyasa yoga to be gentler on the body and more accessible to a larger population of yogis. Most traditional yoga postures require a practitioner to stand, sit, get up and down from the floor, lie down, invert, or balance throughout the practice. In contrast, Chair yoga is just that – yoga in a chair from beginning to end! It adjusts and modifies these traditional yoga poses so they can be done safely, easily, and with confidence while sitting or standing. It is a great form of exercise for those who find it challenging to get up and down, have smaller ranges of motion, or simply enjoy a softer, more mindful yoga practice. Still incredibly effective, chair yoga can help you build strength, flexibility, mobility, and sureness on your feet. On a more subtle level, it also encourages a sense of calm, connectedness, and internal peace.
What should I expect when I come to class?
Yoga practice will occur in the pews! We will creatively use the pews as a prop for support. Class will normally be a combination of breathing exercises, breath & movement exercises, seated poses, optional standing poses, optional reclined poses, and relaxation. You are always welcome to rest at any point in class or modify a pose that doesn’t suit you. Please be on time to ensure you experience a complete practice and don’t miss any important instruction!
What if I’ve never done yoga before or have physical limitations?
No problem! Chair yoga is a great way to relieve tension and exercise regardless of whether it is your first class or you’ve been practicing for years. Plenty of instruction, options, and modifications will be provided so that, no matter your experience level, you can create practice that is unique to your needs and physical abilities. If you have specific physical injuries or limitations you are concerned about, please talk to your instructor directly before class. She can help you with the right modifications or adjustments to ensure each pose feels good in YOUR body.
What should I wear?
What you’re comfortable in! Wear clothing that you allows you to move fully, breathe easily, and sit comfortably. In yoga, we traditionally take off our shoes and socks. However, if you feel less steady barefoot, please wear a secure and supportive shoe during class. If you are comfortable barefoot but your feet get cold easily, bring a pair of socks with you so you can put them on if needed.
What should I bring with me to class?
No props/supplies are required, but you may like to bring a blanket or beach towel with you to use as a prop or as a cover at the end of class. If you have shorter legs that often don’t reach the floor when seated, you may also consider bringing blocks, a couple books, or something sturdy to stack under your feet. For those who are capable getting up and down from the floor with ease, you are welcome to bring your yoga mat for use during final relaxation or to place under the pew during your yoga practice. Lastly, You may also like to have a water bottle with you. Please make sure your water bottle is resealable and spill-proof.