How is Yoga Therapy Different than a Regular Yoga Class?

Yoga for Therapy is different from a regular yoga class in several ways. A regular yoga class uses poses and breath and meditation in a specific style to build strength and awareness, considering the person and their abilities second. There’s a particular formulaic yoga exercise pattern and the person molds to this style. Yoga for Therapy however, considers the person first: your abilities, limitations, history, goals, surgeries, injuries, background, beliefs, experience, comfort, etc. and uses ANY breath work style, meditation, yoga pose or no yoga poses at all(!!), to help you find wholeness, or whatever your goal may be. In Yoga for Therapy, there are no rules, no set patterns. Although from one session to the next, it may be very similar, because of a person’s goals and limitations, it can vary drastically from person to person what a session looks like. Yoga for Therapy is about wholeness, it’s about healing, it’s about uniting the parts of ourselves that are fragmented: be that broken bones, or mind/body, for cancer recovery, or high blood pressure, anxiety or depression, or just to learn what all this yoga hype is about! I think of a regular yoga class as Yang in nature: it’s regimented and specific (which isn’t bad!!), whereas Yoga for Therapy is Yin in nature: there are no rules, we’re using the art of yoga to serve you personally.

With a Yoga for Therapy session, there’s a complete in-depth interview of your goals, past experiences including injuries and surgeries, an assessment of your current state of health, experience with yoga (or lack of), religious background, mental health, etc., as well as an assessment of current physical abilities. This initial interview helps the teacher determine how to shape the best session(s) for you, or your group, meeting you where you are, and helping you achieve your goals. Each subsequent session includes a short checkin to make sure we’re all on the right path, recalibration if necessary and wanted.

I have found Yoga for Therapy to serve those that are brand new to yoga, those that have a busy and varied schedule and can’t attend a regular class, and those that have very specifics needs, be that injuries or surgery recovery, immobility of some kind, or a health issue that causes limitations. Yoga for Therapy is very forgiving and let’s you, the practitioner, shape your experience in a much more wholistic and interactive way than a traditional yoga class. Yoga for Therapy is often what a doctor has in mind when they prescribe yoga for and to their patients.

Let me know if you want to set up your own Yoga for Therapy session(s), individually, or for your group, in your own home, or at my private yoga studio in downtown Redding, CA. 530-710-8870 or info@OnWaterYoga.com

4 reasons why to go on a yoga retreat

There is something special about traveling, even just a little ways from home, and embarking on new adventures. A yoga retreat can offer many new and exciting experiences but true to the spirit of yoga, it can be the much needed refreshment and rejuvenation that one needs in our fast paced lives. After my first yoga retreat experience, I was immediately inspired to host my own and offer this incredible gift to those that I love and teach. A yoga retreat can truly be a life changing experience and one I hope you get to know. Here’s a few reasons why yoga retreats are so wonderful and why I think you’d like them:

1. It’s about rejuvenation. 

However long or short, a yoga retreat gets us out of the familiar: patterns, surroundings, habits, and offers us the chance to slowdown, breathe, to look at what’s truly important and to be. With this new perspective, we find appreciation for the simple and a refreshment from the everyday, only to gain the reminder just how amazing every day truly is.

2. We meet new, like-minded friends. 

I’ve traveled alone to nearly every yoga retreat I’ve attended and I’ve made some deep and lasting friendships, friendships that are some of the most special and important to me now. A yoga retreat brings together people who care about growing in the yogic principles of compassion, truthfulness, giving, awareness, equanimity, purity, contentment, cleansing/health, consciousness, and celebration of the spiritual (this list is of the yamas and niyamas: part of the yogic path developed 1000’s of years ago). Coming together, with people you know or don’t know and sharing in this beautiful growth, can be very impactful and lasting.

3. We can take our yoga practice deeper. 

A retreat offers the opportunity to dive in and focus and practice meditation, pranayama/breath, and asana/physical postures without the distractions of kids or work or our spouse or the laundry. We can go deep and build new habits, all while a safe and supportive environment, and usually in a beautiful(!) setting. During a yoga retreat, we can truly experience, yoga: union.

4. A yoga retreat is a time for you. 

We can only be as strong for others as we, ourselves, are strong. You work hard and give a lot. A yoga retreat is a much needed and restorative break, so you can go back, able to give more, ans be healthier and happier for those you love and work with on a daily basis. A yoga retreat is just as much for you as it is for those around you.

I host several retreats a year. Join me, or find your own, and enjoy this rich gift.

xoxo

What and Why Vinyasa Yoga?

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I often forget that other people don’t know what I know, a common mistake of experts, for sure. So, to help remedy that, I want to explain what is Vinyasa Yoga (called many different things: Slow Flow, Flow, Energetic Flow, etc.) and why I think you’ll love it as much as I do.

Vinyasa Yoga is:

1. A flow. A dance. It’s movement partnered with breath. It’s an inhale to open or elongate your body and an exhale to deepen and fold.

2. It’s an intelligently designed sequence of postures that strengthen and stretch the entire body. Often the instructor will have a specific area of focus for that class (say backbends for example) but none the less, every area of the body should receive a little love, opening, releasing, stretching, and strengthening along the way.

3. A Vinyasa class will often have fun, upbeat, modern music played right along with the traditional Indian yoga music you think of when you think yoga class. Music is used to build up speed and heat and bring us back then into relaxation at the end. A techno dance song can be soon followed by a Steve Wonder slow song without a raise of an eyebrow.

4. It’s a moving meditation. Classes usually start with a seated meditation practice: a breath focused meditation, a hold of a mudra (hand gesture), a feel/sense of a particular body part, an awareness of the inner sanctuary, etc. Meditation has a long history of health benefits.

5. It’s fun and playful! A Vinyasa class will often bring in a posture or pose variation (or two or three) that aren’t “in the book.” This playfulness brings a humility and trust from the students to follow the skilled guidance of the instructor. This may be one of my favorite aspects: childlikeness, humility, trust.

Of course, all yoga is about consulting your body (and perhaps a doctor to see if it’s right for you at this time) and really hearing, feeling, getting to know what is good for you and your body in that moment. There are so many variables on any given day including the food we eat, the sleep we got or didn’t, prior injuries, medications, thoughts, emotions, etc. and each day is new. One more reason to love yoga: it’s an opportunity to learn and familiarize yourself again with your body, mind, and spirit, and live in the moment. The mat (or paddleboard!!) shows us what’s in our hearts and minds and gives us the chance to right it if need be.

The Vinyasa Yoga tradition combines ancient wisdom and experience with modern fun and advances. I hope to see you in a Vinyasa Yoga class soon.

Namaste my friends. xoxo