Here’s some more detail about September 2020’s online classes
Chair yoga is a gentle form of yoga that can be done sitting on a chair or standing on the ground while using the chair for support. You can still do yoga if you are struggling with limited mobility, balance issues, or stubborn stiffness because without ever leaving your seat chair yoga is both safe and effective. These classes are suitable for all.
Classes are every Wednesday , commencing September 9 from 12.00-13.00.
For those who prefer a less physical and more mind based practice I am offering mindfulness meditation classes. These classes are suitable for all and are every Friday, commencing September 11 from 12.00-13.00.
MAT BASED YOGA
For those of you who prefer yoga on the mat I am offering traditional mat-based yoga sessions-classical yoga postures designed to align your skin, muscles and bones. The benefits include greater strength and flexibility and a path towards creating balance in mind and body. These classes are suitable for beginners and intermediates with lots of different options to accommodate different levels of fitness. Classes are every Friday, commencing September 11 from 9.30-11.
MAT BASED-YOGA & PILATES FUSION (NEW)
Mat based Pilates is ideal to complement the benefits of yoga set out above. The stretching and flexibility benefits of yoga are combined with the core abdominal strengthening exercises of Pilates to provide an all round body workout which explores lots of different options for a more challenging workout. These classes are more suited to those with a reasonably good level of fitness at the intermediate level. Classes are every Tuesday, commencing September 8 from 19.30-21.00
The experience of being a carer can bring many challenges. This talk explores how Yoga can help carers and the practices which support well being.
My experience of teaching Yoga to adults with special needs and the elderly has given me an insight into this topic. I’m also a carer for my son who has Global Developmental Delay and am a Dementia Friends Champion.
You can find the talk on YouTube.
This was published in Spectrum Magazine, March 2017:
My interest in teaching Special Needs Yoga started when my second son was born with Global Developmental Delay – an event which shaped my life and my yoga journey. I realised the potential for Yoga to enrich people with sensory impairments, and I have observed the therapeutic benefits that benefit many individuals.
I have taught Yoga for 20 years at Sense’s TouchBase South East community hub in Barnet. In 2014 I was invited to deliver sessions in Central London as part of Sense’s sports project, Sporting Sense. With new funding from Sport England, these sensory yoga classes continue, and are attended by people with Sensory impairments from all over London.
When teaching Yoga I believe in looking beyond the impairment to the unique potential of each individual. The practice will be modified in accordance with their needs and yoga is adaptable so people are taught in a safe and caring way. It is important to meet people where they are at in the here and now, and teach with trust and compassion.
My approach to people with visual impairment is to speak with a clear and audible voice and to limit external noise so instructions can be followed easily. With hearing impairment, the teacher should be clearly visible with consideration of lighting, position and clarity. Where people are deafblind, the use of touch and vibration are used, and hand on hand support helps people feel the poses.
A typical session would incorporate mobilising joints, limbs and muscles and include a forward and back bend, a lateral bend, spinal twist and balance using props as necessary. Breathing exercises and relaxation would be utilised at appropriate times.
Yoga provides people with an opportunity to detach from their normal day. It’s pleasing to watch students embrace yoga with passion and enjoyment. As they progress, I have observed students practice with care, trust, confidence and a connection with themselves, and those around them.
Yoga provides a perfect antidote to address impairments by inviting change, adaptation and growth on all levels including motor, sensory, emotional, immune and psychological. It reduces stress and reactivity, and helps people to move from survival mode to inner safety, calm and coping.
The physical benefits of Yoga include increased flexibility and mobility. It assists someone who is disconnected, to become more self-aware and acquire a deeper understanding of their body and the environment. The poses can be adapted to different situations, which means yoga is inclusive to everyone, using props such as chairs, blocks and bolsters to aid practice.
People report that yoga makes them feel more healthy and fit, has helped with issues like depression and anxiety, and leads to increased self esteem and confidence. The students have interacted well as a group and keep in touch socially for an overwhelming sense of well being.
Listen to Richard when he was recently interviewed on the Disability Sports Network.He shares his experience on how he teaches Yoga to people with Sensory Impairment and how he adapts the practice to accommodate different situations.
He also explains how people with sensory Impairment benefit from Yoga and their sense of fulfilment and wellbeing from attending sessions. To bring it to life, here’s a video of a class with some of our students.