Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Yoga with a theme...

Have you heard of Dr. Gott? He's a retired doctor who has an advice column in our local newspaper. Today's question was regarding a new medication for osteoporosis. While he seemed to be on the fence about recommending this new drug, he did have some sage suggestions about making some lifestyle changes to improve your overall bone health. And, of course, regular exercise is highly recommended to prevent bone loss.

What an ideal opening for class today! I brought the newspaper article and Dr. Loren Fishman's book, Yoga for Osteoporosis, with me. First, I gave an overview of Dr. Gott's suggestions. Then I explained that Dr. Fishman suggests 12 daily exercises for improving bone health. We've practiced several of them in the past few months but today we really concentrated on just 4 poses: tree, chair, triangle, downward dog. With emphasis on strengthening our bones, it was amazing how differently we approached the poses. Specifically, tree - which has always been our "go to" balance pose was now a pose for strengthening our legs and arms. The class noticed the difference right away - and I think it brought a new perspective and appreciation for the pose.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Eagle Pose

I was looking at the current issue of Yoga Journal this week and they featured a great in-depth article about the eagle pose. Very cautiously, I decided to introduce it to my class today at The Pars.

We have access to a small library and so, I suggested that we each take a hard-cover book to use as a prop. This piqued the students' curiosity, for sure. What's she going to do with a book? We practiced the arm movements while seated. I told them that later on in the class, we would add the leg movements. So, here's where the book comes in. We placed the book on the floor near our left foot. We then lifted our right leg, crossed at the ankle, and then rested the right toes on top of the book. Voila! This modification made the pose user-friendly for all. I could tell that there was a little anxiety about trying something new - but, what I love about this class, is that they are more than willing to trust and honor their bodies.