Saturday June 18, 2017 was a celebration in San Diego for the International Day of Yoga. Sponsored/organized by local studio Pilgrimage of the Heart in conjunction with a number of other yoga studios and local/regional sponsors, 500 practitioners of yoga of the body/mind/spirit gathered to celebrate peace, unity, breath, sunshine, life and love!
Accessible Yoga Ambassador/RYT/Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner Jo-San Arnold and I partnered together for the second year to teach Adaptive Yoga for special needs, and this year we added Chair Yoga for Every Body. The festival asked us to offer four half-hour breakout sessions to coincide with their other workshops and we were happy to oblige.
Jo-San had friends from Great Paces come down to enjoy the morning sessions. We emphasize that our style of yoga is NOT just for those with the special needs but also for the caregivers as well, giving everyone and opportunity to stretch and strengthen, to take a break, to reconnect with their bodies, and to just BE.
I was tickled that some of my Silver Sneakers mates came out to celebrate the afternoon sessions and we also had a few other people stop by - "regular" yoga practitioners, a yoga therapist and a woman that specializes in yoga for recovery. What an honor to be able to share with them the joy and the authenticity of yoga "even" in chairs. We received compliments about how much more attention they were able to pay to individual subtle movements of the body!
What I found to be one of the most wonderful aspect of teaching at this event was that we were actually able to get our feet in the grass, to hear the sounds of environment both urban AND natural; rush of the wind in the trees, the birds in the sky, the ambient noise of traffic on the street beyond the park, and even the airplanes cruising overhead (yes, we were directly in the airport landing flight path). The contrast of the warm sun, the shade and scent of eucalyptus trees and the feel of the damp cool grass and earth were wonderful grounding sensations. In fact, when I went on later that afternoon to the group class practice, I found that my balance was actually better outside, on the uneven ground, with no mirror and no flat walls or floor, then it ever is in a studio.
Below are some pictures of Jo-San and me teaching the Adaptive Yoga and the Chair Yoga classes. We even received some coverage in the Union Tribune (thank you Karen Pearlman):
|First, Breathing with the Hoberman Sphere|
|Gentle Twists in Our Chairs|
|Me, Randy from Great Paces and the amazing Jo-San Arnold|
|The Great Paces/Great Expectations Group|
|Lunge Pose in a Chair|
|Navasana (Boat) Pose Prep|
|Navasana (Boat) with a Block for Pelvic Activation|
|Low Boat with a Block|
|Twisting (Pavritta) Lunge on the Chair|
|Warrior 2 Stance Using Chair Support|
|Side Angle with Chair Support - W2 Stance|
|Easeful Pyramid Pose with Chair as a Guide|
|Child's Pose to Close Class|