the weekend before last, i attended a chair yoga teacher training course. getting to the program was a bit of vehicular adventure, but the mishaps and setbacks were well worth it.
the course was held in the very special space of Fall River Yoga Centre and offered by Julie Palmer of Yoga4All in the Annapolis Valley. Julie has a depth and breadth of presence, knowledge and skill. the eleven other students in the course brought an abundant diversity to the experience; the centre quickly opened into a sharing, practice, exploring and learning space.
chair yoga is an adaptive form of yoga, well-suited to any body with ambulatory or joint mobility challenges, concerns with balance, and a variety of issues often associated with aging, though not necessarily so.
the course started each day with a master class, in which Julie opened the class with a meditation/centering practice. this was followed by pranayama (breathing exercises) and warm up movements. seated yoga poses and standing yoga poses followed. and then optional resistance training or hand/finger mobility with neurological patterning, self massage and another meditation. the master classes were all wrapped up, of course, in a luscious silky ribbon of relaxation.
chair yoga, in case you’re wondering, can be plenty challenging if that is where your practice is. it is also a mat/chair time which begins right where you are. (yeah, the cape bretoner in me wanted to say: right where you’re at)
over the weekend, we explored seated yoga postures and standing postures using the chair. there was a good deal of fun and creativity in the room, and all manner of learned lessons and tips from the participants.
a variety of pranayama techniques, hand mudras, and do-in self-massage were shared and learned along with some very fun silly shakers offered up by one of the other students.
issues of concern when working with an older adult population were covered quite well. from hearing to blood pressure, from arthritis to osteoporosis. the information was just meaty enough for someone new/er to working with this population to have confidence in themselves and fingertip access to a fantastic reference source.
i had been eyeing this program for a couple of years now and am so glad i had the opportunity to attend. i’ll be using so much of this in the programming i already offer seniors.
i am grateful to Julie, for creating such a wonderful container for our learning and curiosity and to all the other participants who filled the room with comfort and creative energy.