I've always shared the philosophy that yoga should be accessible to all people and where there is structural or physical limitations, that we as yoga teachers should work to modify yoga poses so that these students still receive the benefit of a yoga practice.
Today I'd like to highlight our Tuesday evening yoga class run by Tess. Whilst it is suitable for all yoga levels, you will find Tess provides options for various ability levels from beginner, to prenatal, to advanced practitioner. Her yoga style is both general and gentle, focusing on Hatha Yoga. Linking movement with the breath, Tess can empower you to take your body to places you may not have thought possible, while teaching emotional wellbeing through mindfulness and the wisdom of the yoga sutras.
Tess brings to her class, her knowledge as an occupational therapist working in various areas including pain management and stroke rehabilitation, as well as being remedial massage therapist. These modalities complement her yoga teaching and enables her to assist people with injuries or limitations to participate in an open yoga class.
It is this background knowledge that makes this class much more that 'just a yoga class'. One student who has been coming to HappyBeing for many years recounted to me that through the breath and body awareness she has learnt through yoga, it was highlighting to her that issues surrounding a ongoing hip injury were not getting better. She asked her doctor to order x-rays and it became apparent that there were structural issues she was most likely born with causing the underlying problem. As a regular in my classes, I suggested she to move into Tess' class, temporarily to expand her awareness and to review any modifications in her yoga practice, working with her breath and body withing their limitations, utilising the additional knowledge Tess could bring to her practice.
In following up with my student last week I asked her how her practice was coming along with Tess. She answered, "I feel like I'm re-learning yoga. What I can and can't do with my body and it's wonderful. It feels playful and new.
It reminds me of the T.S. Eliot quote "We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.""
This my friends is living yoga. Working with your body in tune with what it can do and being open to what yoga can bring to your life.
Tess teaches at HappyBeing Yoga on Tuesday nights at 7pm in the Heathmont Uniting Church. Private sessions are also available if you would like to discuss and work through your individual circumstances prior to joining a group class.
These are the musings of Jannin. How I see the interconnectedness of the world through yoga, aromatherapy and nature...