My Wellness Center offers Gentle Chair Yoga as well as regular and advanced Yoga classes and I sallied forth solo – rather bravely I thought – to find out what it was all about.
The class was not at all what I expected. When I’ve done yoga at my annual overnight retreat we’ve been on our yoga mats on the hotel floor and have done stretching poses with Jo offering inspiring messages with each.
We began the class by sitting on a bolster on a chair with our yoga mat stretched out at our feet. Gentle, “new age” music played softly. We gently moved our heads side to side, up and down, and then our arms and hands while the instructor spoke in a smooth, melodic tone that was, in itself, relaxing! Our instructor, D., encouraged us to think about our connection with the earth and to be barefoot – if our feet weren’t cold.
We then did balancing activities standing behind our chairs that I found quite challenging. I hadn’t realized that I no longer balanced on one foot easily, even hanging onto the chair. D. kept reminding us to move only as much or as far as it didn’t hurt and to notice that there might be a difference in how easily or how far each side moved.
Next, we moved to the mats and laid on our backs. We used a yoga strap under our feet and raised our legs, then gently moved them to the right and left. Then we used the strap to draw our knees close to our chest stretching our backs. This felt really good.
Finally, D. had us move pillows under our heads, the bolsters under our knees and a light blanket over our bodies so we could meditate for 15 minutes. I think she spoke and suggested meditating. I went to sleep.
At the end of 15 minutes, the instructor began speaking softly, suggested we roll to our sides and gently push ourselves up to a sitting position. She assumed the prayer position, hummed “om” and then said Namiste. We all nodded and said “thank you!”
I felt relaxed, limber and grateful. I’m looking forward to the next session!!