Free Accessible Chair Yoga

Chair Yoga M&F 11-11:55AM PST Gentle/Senior/Adaptive byomyoga@gmail.com to register! •

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Post Challenge Walk Stretches

Just walked 50 miles and your whole body feels like a cross between a sack of concrete, an over-tenderized steak, a blister, and steel cable? Grab a bolster (or a rolled up blanket or towel or two) and a yoga block (or a foot stool) and try these stretches once you're ready.

This sequence targets specifically the calves, the low back, the quads and the outer hips (plus the mid and upper back relaxation). You can of course add a hamstring stretches too using straps with straightened legs (careful on those knees) and forward folds, during one-legged heros pose, or before you fully relax in legs up the wall!

Remember, HYDRATE and BREATHE!

Low Lunge

Standing version to stretch shoulders, calves, Achilles’ tendon, sole of foot, hip flexor (psoas) of rear leg.


Slowly raise and lower back heel to intensify.












Kneeling version with padding for more support, deeper stretch on quad/psoas of rear leg.

Blocks under hands to support upper body and back.

Deepen stretch for hips and back by bringing both hands inside front leg and lowering without rounding back. Tuck under back toe for foot stretch.






Hero’s Pose

Sit with knees tucked under, blanket/pillow on calves, block between heels. Quad stretch, shin stretch.

Increase intensity by removing supports, moving heels apart, placing sit bones between heels.

Knees CAN flare slightly for comfort. Deepen outer front hip flexor intensity by keeping them forward

Option: One leg extended forward (cushion under that sit bone).


Recline with props for bigger stretch in quads and other front of hip flexors.

Options for cushion under entire body, or graduated levels as shown.


Pigeon

Stretch for piriformis, glutes, top of foot/shin. Face down, one knee tucked up under body with shin diagonal on mat, foot pointing toward side of mat. Other leg long behind, knee face down. Put bolster/blanket under bent leg to level out hips.


Add another support under the upper body. Option to bend back leg up at knee to add quad stretch (note: creates intense backbend).


Supine version “figure 4” gentler on the knees and low back.

Cross one ankle (with foot in flexed (toe up) position, and feed hands around back of other thigh, drawing both legs closer to body, creating a stretch for outer hip/glutes/piriformis.

Can place foot against the wall to vary pressure instead of hands drawing legs inward.

Option to drop legs to the side for a twist.

Figure 4 Prone to Belly Twist


Lie on belly, turn one knee out to side like tree pose to release hips and low back. Arms can support head, or extend side ways with head turned to release upper back.

Option to have torso on a bolster for extra support.


If on bolster, come to floor. Rotate chest and arms toward up, leaving the bent leg on top of the straight leg. Head can face up or continue turning.

Use props under bent knee if it doesn’t stay on the group, and/or blanket bolster against the back so body isn’t forced into a twist or if shoulder doesn’t completely reach the ground.

Legs up the Wall

Destress, decompress, reduce swelling in legs and feet, bring down heart rate, support back, and help you relax.


Three variations shown (with support under hips, with knees wide (great inner thigh stretch), and flat one ground. Ask for help finding a version that works for your body!

Saturday, October 2, 2021

FOUR New Classes!


Mat Yoga at Copley Price YMCA

The Sunday yoga class I used to teach at the Copley-Price YMCA prior to the pandemic shutdown (thank you Rosa Ruiz) is restarting on Sunday October 10. As the graphic below states, 

This class will be a blend of hatha and slow flow with a bit of workshopping and a focus on functional movement. We'll always get a decent mind/body workout, spend time in meditation with breathwork, and have a nice Savasana at the end.

I'm really excited to be back guiding this class and I hope previous members rejoin and new folks are interested in testing it out. This isn't your average studio flow class to be sure! I recommend bringing your own mat and if you have them, blocks and and a beach towel (or yoga blanket) and strap to help create a sense of ease for different variation of the poses depending on how your body feels that day. The Y does have some props that they clean regularly, but it's never a bad idea to invest a few dollars (if you have them) on your own set.

Here's an example of the kind of guidance I offer, and when and why we'd use props:

See that intense forward fold up there on my fun graphic? Technically that's a standing forward fold I rotated 90°. Standing, there's gravity to help traction the torso over the thighs. Also, the photo was taken 7 years ago, I had been warming up for well over an hour, I had also been practicing very active yoga daily, and that picture was one fraction of a second of a moment in time. Le'ts acknowledge that exacct fold isn't going to happen for my body today. I would absolutely want a blanket under my sit bones and possible one pulled onto my lap into my hip creases. I might not even use a strap around the balls of my feet so that I wasn't tempted to "pull" myself into the posture. 

I hope you are able to come try this class out for size with me! Reminder that the Y offers scholarship memberships!

Baby Yoga StoryTime @ City Heights/Weingart Library

  • Wednesday December 8, 10-10:45am in front of the Performance Annex

Kids Yoga @ San Carlos Library 

  • Wednesdays (starting November 3) 3-3:45pm

Expect movement, songs, library-chosen books, occasion-and-yoga-themed crafts, parent-and-kid partnering, and overall a lot of fun. Please note that this isn't a drop-off class; modeling participation is such an important part, and I do have plenty of caregiver-kiddo partnering to keep it fun for ALL ages! If you are unable to get down to the floor we will have chairs for seating. (If you do need to use your electronic device during class please step out of the room briefly.)

I will have some mats available for lending, but I do recommended having one of your own per child so they have safe space for movement. If we have a group of folks that need mats, we can always consider doing a group purchase to get a warehouse discount. 

No sign-ups or payment needed, just show up and ENJOY!

Coming Soon: Chair Yoga with Age Well Services

  • Starting in 2022, Fridays, 12:45-1:45 at Park De La Cruz Recreation Center

Monday, September 13, 2021

Why I'm Back In School

This August 23, I started my first "counts toward your GPA for your AA" class in Anatomy in Physiology. I'm trying to take in stride, but the amount off information that requires rote memorization is overwhelming. Community college classes, this one in particular is on an abbreviated schedule. It is certainly not the schedule nor learning style to which I am accustomed.

I'm a former programmer, 25 year Technical Writer and trainer, and forever science geek. I'm currently a parent, a Yoga Educator, and enthusiastic volunteer for multiple abilities related charities. I'm here to broaden my knowledge working towards my PTA so that I can help people find freedom of movement, and mitigate pain as a functional movement specialist. Truth be told, I feel really "old" going back to school at 55. My undergraduate experience created a lot of longstanding trauma. Despite this, I excelled at my former technical profession but completely changed gears once I had my son at age 43. I've put almost 400 hours of post-graduate self-guided study, into my current work, but now am ready to commit to a formal education. To keep anxiety at a minimum, I need to remind myself that it's about the quality of the information I absorb, not the GPA.

I may ask for your help reminded me of this. My high school biology class was (carry the six, divide by the time constant) in 1980, forty-one years ago. That's a deep memory bank from which to draw information about the endoplasmic reticulum, and try to add to it the subtle differences between epicondyles and tubercules. 

If I drop anatomical references into everyday conversation, I'm not being pretentious nor erudite; I'm struggling to keep the jargon fresh in my mind. I'm not trying to appropriate Latin or Greek, and certainly not even Sanskrit since that is used as the common language of yoga. I'm just on a quest to learn. 

I thank you in advance for your support.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

If Only we saw through each others lenses

It started with a bit of mania, a celebrant's high. When I'm happy, like celebrating a trip-around-the-sun-anniversary, I want to soak up everything life has to offer, buy people gifts, and share that sense of joy with everyone around me. 

As someone that tends to look outward for validation, that high can be very tentative and dangerous. Inevitably, it will fade, leaving me feeling hungover with that same day-after sense of remorse and self-consciousness, weakness, and unworthiness. Little things, like a chiding joke about my age, or a badly worded job ad devaluing my profession, can carve out a Yosemite sized valley in my sense of worth without all the millenia needed by those pesky glaciers.

Sitting with a roof over my head, refrigerator full of food, I'm aware of the privilege packed into that statement. I'm talking mental status here, and not looking for sympathy but rather trying to share some meta information to help us all find a better place to rest our consciousness. 

Fast forward a few gloomy self-deprecating, self-medicating days.

I had breakthrough. What if the world truly doesn't have the worst intentions. In fact, what if it's not even a collection of "How Can Someone Be So Cruel" moments, but that I'm so in my own head that I'm actually neglecting to see they themselves are actually asking for the same fulfillment of needs from me, just in their own language? That fulfillment can be actions from me, or even, having me leave them be.

For every time I (your you) think someone doesn't see what I (you) don't do for them, or doesn't understand me, I started to imagine, what if they were thinking the exact same thing about me. If we are both right, both struggling to be heard, to be validated, what's the solution? We, well, *I* could, with all this new awareness, just stop looking outward.

Just for a minute, imagine the collective sigh of relief as the psychic energy draw dropped 50%.
 Imagine too how your personal strain, that pain of reaching, and feeling less than, feeling inadequate and unheard, would dissipate.

I'm not suggesting that I am (or you are) better off walling myself off from the world. Just that if I'm on my yoga mat, working on creating that sense of groundedness and self-sufficiency, coming from a place of personal power, then I'm not burdening anyone else with it. Then, when I step off the mat, I might have some extra resources to share for those that need it. Or, I won't be resentful when someone pushes me away either by action or word, because I'm content. 









Monday, June 28, 2021

Let's Get Some New Classes Going!

The Abilities Expo was a rousing success. Despite the torrential downpours (known as simply "rain" in the Midwest) that caused flooding of many basements and parking lots, not only did the Expo have great attendance but we had fantastic participation in both the "Intro to Chair Yoga" and the "Kidz Yoga" classes (photos TBD). 

I was so excited to have everyone there and am hoping that if you found this website because of it, you are interested in joining one of our ongoing yoga classes. I currently have two regular online classes: Chair Yoga (gentle, for seniors) every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11am PST, and Chair Yoga for Special Needs every Monday and Friday at 1pm PST. Both are completely free (though donations are always welcome). 

To sign up, go to the respective page on this website, download the PDF waiver and drop me an email. I'll send you the zoom links to get you up and running.

I would especially love to reinstate our Adaptive Yoga Class for physical disabilities, designed to promote range of motion, functionality, physical and mental balance, fitness, and connection. However we need at least five regular attendees to commit to at least six weeks, once a week to give this a go. I"m well aware that schedules are tight now that things are opening up, and that month by month with health concerns one never knows what is going to happen, which is why I'm only setting up six-week-at-a-time sessions. Please drop me an email if you are interested in this program, to start perhaps in August.

Another class to be resurrected would be our Kids Yoga playtime, for ages 2-7 in the morning. Again, have a group of at least 3-5 families that would sign up for a four-week session would help get this on a regular schedule. 

Buy Muscle Rub

For anyone that attended the expo, please know that you can pickup your own full size container of the Magnesium Muscle Rub (1 ounce, 2 ounces and 4 ounces) on Etsy here https://www.etsy.com/shop/BYOMyoga) and definitely leave me a comment on this page if liked it!


Future Expos

I'm going to be at two more Expos this year in person as well.
  • Los Angeles October 29-31 (exact schedule TBD)
  • Dallas Abilities Expo December 3-5 (exact schedule TBD)
We'll have two classes at each event, Intro to Chair Yoga for people 13 years and older, and another Kidz Yoga! for kids of all ages (exact days/times TBD). 

The adult class will incorporate stretching and strengthening, with explanations of body-appropriate adjustments and/or use of applicable props. We'll begin with centering, flow through easy-to-follow (and remember) sequences and close with meditation/relaxation to refresh both the body and mind.

In the children's class we'll use our imagination and music to inspire yoga-oriented play. We will energize, then calm, bringing awareness to our actions and teaching love and respect for ourselves and others. There will be special gifts for each person that participates in class.

Sign up to attend either expo for free here: www.abilitiesexpo.com.