*This is a guest article by Debra Moore, a friend of mine and one of our practice leaders for the Blazen Divaz

New year, new you right? Time to read all the inspiring articles and blogs for the new year.

Almost all will include some version of “get moving, keep moving or get out there and do all the things you’ve dreamed”. But what if moving is not as easy as it used to be? It may be time to consider gentle or extra gentle yoga.

I teach extra gentle yoga at the drop-in classes at a local community & wellness center 3 days a week. I get a mix of ages and abilities. Here is what my attendees say they come for:

  • Recovering from an injury – a gentle yoga class can help you improve your flexibility, help you to regain functional strength and improve your balance, prepping you to get back in the game more safely.
  • Stress reduction – a gentle yoga class can help you learn good breathing techniques, relaxation responses, and mindfulness. Chronic stress can cause “fight or flight” syndrome, tight muscles, shallow breathing, poor sleep and inhibit weight loss. Gentle yoga is one way
    to help.
  • Recovering from serious medical conditions – when you have been released by your medical professional to begin exercising on your own, you may want to consider gentle yoga. Unfortunately knees, hips and backs don’t come with a lifetime warranty. Extra gentle yoga can help be a gentle transition back to more normal activities (with permission from your medical professional).
  • Improving balance – many components are involved in developing or maintaining good balance. A gentle yoga class can help with ankle, knee, and hip strength, flexibility and range of motion. It can help develop or refresh neuropathways for muscles to work together better
    (muscle synergy) and provide a safe setting to challenge your balance in a progressive way.

As the instructor, my goals include helping you develop or improve your function, strength flexibility, movement and mental mindfulness thru warming up, stretching and the fundamentals to develop a good base on which to build ( flexibility, core strength, range-of-motion, good posture, mindfulness, breathing, and stepwise learning of the beginning positions/asanas.)

You can get the most from a gentle yoga class by first checking with your medical professional, therapist or trainer as to what is appropriate for you right now, and second by making time before or after observing the class to speak with the instructor about your goals and any restrictions you have. Most instructors are happy to help you get in the right level class and encourage you to do only those things that are appropriate for your level.

Lastly, extra gentle yoga can be relaxing, rejuvenationg and a friendly accepting place to be.


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