Why practice Gentle Yoga? Many people tend to be of the mindset that if they’re going to carve out 60-90 minutes of their day for a yoga class, they better be getting a good sweaty workout in as well. I completely understand, I used to be of the same philosophy. Then something shifted. I started studying yoga therapy more closely, first through the Yoga Therapy Rx program at LMU then found my way to the current technique I am training in, Dr. Linda Lack’s The Thinking Body-The Feeling Mind®. This line of study got me even more focused on alignment and how to truly be mindful about which areas of the body need strengthening, which need stretching, and which need releasing. The result is, my body is stronger and more open than ever before, and I can practice more powerful classes and advanced postures with ease, joy, and freedom from injury.
Don’t get me wrong, I truly love a good flow class. The energy of the room, the powerful and lyrical nature of the movement, the joy and exhilaration of elevating into a more advanced posture, all feel incredible. However, rather than these classes dominating practice, I now take a slower, more gentle approach to my own personal practice as well as to my teaching. The priority now is about maximizing my range of motion so that I can continue to teach, practice, and move with strength and freedom for the rest of my life.
The term “gentle” can be deceptive. I believe a good gentle class incorporates detailed strength work that is not hurried, but very specific allowing for a close examination of one’s body tendencies and how to become a more effective mover. By moving a little more slowly, allowing time for breath, and diving within to feel deep layers of musculature releasing and activating, true healing and change begin to take place. I see it happen all the time with my clients and students. When we take a step back and build from the ground-up, their bodies take on whole new abilities they didn’t previously think were even possible! This is why I practice gentle yoga and why I love to share it with others.
I teach Gentle Yoga and Basics Level 1 classes at Mind in Body and Liberation Yoga. For my complete schedule, please see: http://www.beopenyoga.com/be_open_yoga/Yoga.html
SHARE YOUR VOICE: What are your thoughts and experiences regarding Gentle or Therapeutic Yoga? After reading this, has your perspective changed? Please share in the comments below.