Friday, April 1, 2011

No One Gets Turned Away From Yoga - Welcome to YIOM

Today marks the beginning of Yogi's Inspiring Oneness Month. A totally made up movement by the lovely Vegan Asana to gather together a bunch of yogi's to write about yoga and it's impact on not only their life but the life of all those around them. (Read the original idea post here Vegan Asana YIOM ). It's a way to reinforce we really are all connected and my words and actions affect others.

As the universe usually works, I was reminded of this interconnectedness just this week.

I had an elderly woman ask to take my regular weekly yoga class. At first glance this woman was not a candidate for an all-levels group yoga class. She relied on a cane to walk, had inner ear balance issues, arthritis, osteoporosis and a host of other issues.

But my policy is no one gets turned away from yoga.

As I taught the class to my regular group of growing-stronger-everyday yogis, I would show my new friend how to modify what we were doing so she could do the same pose in her chair.

Over and over again I would say "those of us on the floor will.... while those in the chair can ..."

As an added twist, one of the moms brought her son to class with her. So we have a 70-ish year old woman in a chair, a handful of 20, 30, 40 year old women and a 6-year-old boy all doing yoga together.

How cool is that?

At one point I wanted to grab my iphone to take a pic, but my brain was too focused on making sure everyone was able to participate in the practice.

Admittedly, it was a slower-paced class than normal and I did have some self-doubt that my regulars might have been annoyed by the difference.

Instead, almost every one of the class congratulated the woman for doing yoga from her chair and encouraged her to come back again. One even told me she realized at one point that while she was looking in the mirror at her own pose, she realized she was also looking into the mirror of her future self.

At one point we were all little kids who could easily touch our toes. And at some point we will all need some physical modifications and a little help to get up and down from our chair.

But for that hour in that room, together we moved and breathed and let the yoga connect us.


  1. sounds like a perfect class and VERY much like many of mine. lucky lady to have found you

  2. and that is why yoga is the best - the sense of oneness and kindspiritness can be seen everywhere =) what a touching story <3

  3. this is wonderful!

    i have people 24 - 80 in my classes, and yes, that is the experience of such a mix!

    i also remind the more "able" people that, what they see (and can also practice in the class) being done on the chair, is something they could show a friend or famly member that "would like" to do yoga, but "knows" they can't -

    now that more able person in class can tell their friend or family member, oh sure you can, here, i'll do it with you ;-)

    great post, totally a believer in our interconnectedness, thank you...

  4. What a wonderful example of how great yoga is! Thanks for sharing!

  5. What a wonderful example of connectedness! Congrats on the beautiful class!