Yogadopa classes at Neuromotion Victoria start SEPT 11th!

Yogadopa and Neuromotion Physiotherapy Victoria are running 12 PARKINSON’S YOGA CLASSES Thursdays from 3:30-4:30pm starting September 11th.

I have some research/conference travel on a few Thursdays, so the dates are as follows:

September 11, 18; October 2, 9, 23, 30; November 13, 20, 27; December 4, 11, 18.

Sessions will focus on posture, balance, strengthening the core, opening the chest, flexibility and range of motion.

Classes are $15/session: sign up for all 12-sessions AND drop-ins welcome (please phone ahead to make sure there is space). All equipment and handouts provided. Both persons living with Parkinson’s and care partners welcome! Looking forward to seeing you there!

 
For more information or to register (space is limited!), contact Neuromotion at 250.590.7878 or neuromotionvictoria@gmail.com
see you on your mat. much love
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yogadopa summer workshops!

I’m excited to announce that Yogadopa and Neuromotion Physiotherapy are running TWO YOGA FOR PARKINSON’S SUMMER WORKSHOPS!

Thursday July 17th will cover some core (abdominal) work, focus on postural alignment andgentle opening of the chest... Great for anyone with a stooped posture and will provide some take-home tips!

Thursday August 21st will focus on finding our feet on the floor, work on activating the leg muscles, and building a solid foundation to help with balance… This session will really address balance issues and provide some advice for practicing at-home! 

If you’re unsure, here’s what people have to say about past Yogadopa classes:

“Kate’s classes are targeted directed at PD’ers. Her knowledge base, instructional and empathetic nature make the course fun and beneficial”

“Kaitlyn is a born teacher. She integrates her knowledge of movement, yoga and Parkinson’s into her sessions directly and meaningfully. Creating a positive feeling in the mind and body.”

Please contact Neuromotion Physiotherapy to register or with any other questions! Looking forward to it. Much love.

Tutorial: Forward bend

Forward bends can be done both sitting AND standing. Forward bends create length in the spine, relieve any compression, and can promote introspection.

But, tight hamstrings and physical patterns, such as rounded shoulders (hello, sitting in front of a computer for hours! check out some great info on “un-rounding” your shoulders HERE) can make forward bends challenging!

Forward bends also provide us an opportunity to break these patterns: a fresh perspective!

Senior Kripalu Yoga teacher Cristie Newhart shares these tips for getting the most out of your forward folds:

Alignment is key.

  • The action of forward bends, is to fold at the hip crease, bringing the top of the pelvis forward.
  • Also, think about lengthening the front of the body as you fold, keeping the neck and jaw relaxed, and engage the quadriceps so that the muscles around the knee are stabilized and protected.  Use the support of the abdominal muscles below the navel allow for greater flexibility in the lumbar spine. And, until the hamstrings are sufficiently open, Cristie says that it’s best to practice forward bends with a slight bend in the knees.

Props are your friends.

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  • Standing: Use blocks to help you lengthen your spine if your hands don’t reach the floor easily.
  • Seated: Place a folded blanked, cushion or bolster under your seat to tilt your pelvis forward. Grab a strap (belt, tie, towel!) to help reach your feet.
  • Use props to prevent over-rounding the back, release tense shoulders, and ease locked knees.

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Don’t force it.

  • Forward bends are not about how deep you can go but rather how deeply you can release. Less is more. 
  • Surrender to the present moment, notice the experience, and settle into the breath. As Cristie reminds us, “Honor the body where it’s at—let it unfold at its own pace.”

So, fold inward and find introspection and release. Much love.

Reference:

kripalu.org/blog/thrive/2012/12/10/the-benefits-of-forward-bends?utm_source=Thrive&utm_medium=post&utm_campaign=121012ForwardBend

yoga breathing 101

“…something that is really very poorly recognized in the medical or the yoga literature: that moving your joints is one of the strongest stimuli to breathing properly and deeply. There are little movement receptors inside all of our joints, and they send signals that go directly and indirectly to the apneustic center, one of the centers in the brain that regulate breathing.” (Dr. Fishman)

pranayama-breath

Proprioceptors, nerve receptors in the muscles, tendons and joints, affect breathing. Proprioceptors tell the brain where your body is in space (movement of joints, tendons, muscles), speed and direction and  stimulate part of the brainstem that regulates breath, “apneustic center“.

The “apneustic center“, located in the pons (brainstem), stimulates our “in breath.” Physical movement stimulates an increased depth of breathing, “hyperpnea”.

This connection between bodily movement and improved depth of breathing is important for people who have been previously inactive and notice that their breathing does not respond well to physical stresses (i.e. work load on their body). Systematic movements of joints and limbs in beginner yoga classes, stimulate greater freedom and depth of breath… illustrating body-to-brain connection of the proprioceptors and the brainstem.

Just one more reason to keep moving your body! much love.

Other resources:

Tutorial 3-pt breath

Tutorial alternate nostril breathing

Nina Zolotov (Jan 14/14) Yoga for Healthy Aging

Loren Fishmen Can Yoga Preserve Freedom of Movement?

yoga for rounded shoulders

To address tight and rounded shoulders, something commonly seen in our society, we can use the serratus anterior and middle trapezius to balance and stabilize the shoulders.
In our body, muscles work in pairs – one contracts, and opposing one relaxes (i.e. think about how your biceps and triceps work when you bend your elbow). This means that we need to exercise muscles in pairs.
In rounded shoulders, you can feel your serratus anterior (side rib, pulls scapulas forward) by creating a big bear hug action; you can feel your mid trapezius (middle of shoulder blades) by bending your elbows at side and squeeze your shoulders together.
To realign back to a neutral shoulder, we need to work out tension in the serratus and strengthen the trapezius.
Try the following sequence to bring your shoulders back to neutral:
Crocodile (makarasana)
Lie flat on the floor on your stomach. Your arms should be in front of you, with your elbows just in front of the shoulders. Widen your legs mat width. Squeeze your buttocks together and press into the floor. Lift up in your chest and bend your elbows to clasp each elbow with the opposite palm. Tuck in your chin and gently rest your forehead on your arms. Reposition your body if you need to for comfort. Hold the pose for several breaths and release on an exhale.
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Heartbed
Place a rolled up blanket lengthwise along your mat. Place your hips and lay your spine along the rolled up blanket to open your chest. Bend your elbows and place the back of your palms on the ground (“cactus”).
yogadopa-heartbed-blanket yogadopa-heartbed-prep yogadopa-heartbed-full
Downward dog (ardo mukha svanasana)
Starts on your hands and knees and lift up into downward dog (see “Teaching an old (downward) dog new tricks” for more instructions). Open up front of armpits, press through pad of index fingers, draw your belly in, life through sits bones, ease through side ribs, slide your shoulders down your back, relax your neck (I need to relax my neck in this picture!) and jaw.
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Cobra (bhujangasana)
Lie face down on the floor on a yoga mat with your palms flat, placed beneath your shoulders. The tops of your feet should be flat on the floor. Engage your abs by tilting your pelvis and drawing your belly button toward your spine to protect your lower back. Spread your fingers and press your palms into the floor. Rotate your shoulders back and down – away from your ears. Push your upper body off the floor and straighten your arms as much as is comfortable while keeping your hips, legs and feet planted on the mat.
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Bridge (setu bhandasana)
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Extend your arms along the floor, palms flat. Roll your shoulders back and underneath your body and bend your elbows to 90degrees. Press your feet and back of upper arms firmly into the floor. Exhale as you lift your hips toward the ceiling. Draw your tailbone toward your pubic bone, holding your buttocks off the floor. Keep your thighs and feet parallel and press your weight evenly across all four corners of both feet. Lengthen your tailbone toward the backs of your knees.
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Regular practice will help strengthen and stretch those muscles (traps, serratus) to help you greet the world with a more open chest, deeper breath and fuller heart. much love.
For more info, watch “Trapezius and Serratus Anterior” by Sara Guglielmi on Yoga Internation.

make time for your mat

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Sometimes, for me, it feels like the last thing I have time for today is yoga… and I know I’m not alone in this! Some great advice from Sadie Nardini: Life won’t make space for your yoga practice unless you take it.

Making yoga a “regular” part of your life can help strike a healthy balance between energy and exhaustion, overworking ourselves and just-plain-laziness.

But, what is “regular“? Every body is different and there are many factors that influence our practice on a day-to-day basis. For me, I hop on my mat every weekday morning… I sit and meditate for 5-10mins and everything else is gravy. Some mornings I practice 45minutes of asana and some mornings I lie on my back and struggle to stay awake/aware for 5minutes. I also take a stronger practice ~3 evenings a week.

Any yoga is a victory. I aim for consistency and to challenge myself, in whatever way – mental, emotional, physical – feels right that day. Encouraging growth, one breath at at time. Your mat is waiting! much love.

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yogadopa @ neuromotion… starting April 3rd!

 

 

 

Exciting news!!

I have partnered with Neuromotion Physiotherapy Victoria and will be offering weekly “Yogadopa” classes for persons with Parkinson’s disease starting Thursday April 3rd from 330-430pm at Neuromotion (531 Yates St. Suite 303 Victoria BC).

 The classes will run for 12-weeks (*no class June 19, last class June 26th) and will cost $150 for the 12 weeks or $15/drop in. All equipment will be provided (yoga mats, blocks, chairs), however, participants are asked to bring a towel with them.

Please call (250.590.7878) or email (neuromotionvictoria@gmail.com) Neuromotion to register and guarantee your spot. Space is limited. Visa, debit, cheque or cash accepted (to Neuromotion) for payment.If necessary, please inquire about parking when registering. If wanting to drop-in, please phone ahead to ensure space is available.

 

see you on the mat! much love.

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