I was honored to teach 9 lovely women last Friday for my first of three sessions of my “Desk Chair Yoga” series. Wow, 30 minutes can really fly by fast. But it was delightful and I got lots of great feedback after the class.
There is a waiting list for the next time around (I will likely repeat this series in March) and a colleague asked me more about yoga today. She said she had been intimidated to try it. She had been overweight for years, and downward dog just didn’t feel good to her wrists or knees. I get it. One reason I became a teacher is that I wanted to be able to modify for those who (like me) may have injuries or challenges where the “average” yoga class is not suitable.
So I began with what I love about yoga: it means union. It is about union of the body and mind, and perhaps the spirit if you are inclined that way. When I introduced my class last Friday I told everyone: your body is the authority on what you do in this class.
Nothing in yoga should cause pain. There may be some discomfort when you are releasing chronically held tension, or a bit of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) as when you do anything new/different with your muscles. However, respecting the principle of “ahimsa” or non-violence is central to yoga. We must have compassion for our bodies, the wisdom encoded within them, and the ways they communicate our needs.
All of this connected with my colleague. Several other colleagues joined the discussion on what they did and did not enjoy about past yoga classes. I am so grateful to share these wonderful practices for calming the nervous system. Remember this:
Your body is the authority. Treat her kindly and as the wise teacher that she is. The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master. Let your body lead instead. 😉