Welcome to the Yoga for Arthritis monthly blog series that features our YFA members hard work, dedication, & passion. Without the ongoing efforts of these standout members, we would not be where we are today.
Why were you personally drawn to Yoga for Arthritis?
I took yoga for 35 years but I really only began to pay careful attention in the last two years of that when I needed a knee replacement due to overuse, misuse and osteoarthritis. I had excellent training thru a physical Therapy/Yoga center for the year prior to the replacement and the year after. I now have two knee replacements. Their training helped me to understand the biomechanics of alignment and mindful movement and strength building, that is the form of yoga I wanted to share and when I heard Dr. Moonaz present on line I knew that was my fit, that was the kind of Yoga I needed to teach and the group I wanted to work with.
How has Yoga for Arthritis impacted your daily life?
The Yoga is my life, my daily life, my teaching and my avocation, All my teaching is influenced by my training in Yoga for Arthritis and Dr. Moonaz's and Ann Swanson's training as well as my first powerful Yoga teacher, Angela Sullivan who is well versed in the biomechanics of yoga. I don't think of my myself so much as a yoga teacher as being a yogi in terms of my daily yoga practice and meditation, how I eat, how I conduct myself in the world.
What lessons have you learned through your Yoga for Arthritis journey?
First and foremost that it is a total healing process for the mind and spirit and the body. I began to know Yoga as more than just a physical program. then I began to learn to trulls "see" my students as a whole person and to help them accept where they are in this moment. I learned to help them get in touch with their own range of motion and learn to move in a non harming way to strengthen and maintain mobility. To do the very best you can with what you have today, to live joyfully.
Let us know when and where we can find your classes?
I teach drop-in classes and two workshops on zoom as well as a chair yoga class thru Olli. The drop in classes are Tuesdays at 10 am and Wednesdays at noon PST. Contact me through my email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through text or phone at( 775 ) 870- 2092 for more information or a zoom link. The next 8 week workshop which meets twice a week will begin in January dates and times to be announced. To join the chair yoga class through Olli you can go to their website at: www.olli.unr.edu. This class is free to Olli members so you need to go to that website and join.
You can find more information about me through www.theyogacenterreno.com and www.carsoncityyoga.com.
I began teaching yoga in Reno in 2016. My focus on the biomechanics of yoga began in 2013 prior to knee replacement due to arthritis I had taken yoga in various forms since 1980, but only really began to pay attention when I needed a knee replacement due to overuse and osteoarthritis. It was at this point that the work I was able to do with physical therapists and Angela Sullivan ,the yoga teacher, at Ascent Physical Therapy in Carson City , Nevada, for the year prior to the surgery and the year after gave me the grounding for what I wanted to pass on, In 2016 I completed basic training in Yoga for the Special Child . This introduced me to Integral Yoga and Adaptive Yoga which I began teaching with Kathy Randolph at The Yoga Center in Reno, Nevada. I earned my 200 hour RYTC Yoga teaching training certificate under Amy Joytir and Kelly Gordon with Angela Sullivan as my mentor in 2017. Then I heard and saw Dr. Moonaz presenting online and I knew that was it: It was exactly what I needed to say and how I wanted to teach. From then I just couldn’t get enough ; I just kept wanting to learn more and go deeper and pass it on.
I went to specialize in Yoga for Arthritis under Dr. Stephanie Moonaz, in Boston, completing Level I Yoga for Arthritis in 2017 .Then mentored with Ann Swanson, whose book , Science of Yoga ,had already been one of my Yoga Bibles. I completed Level III training in 2020 with Dr. Moonaz . I was blessed to have had the zoom teaching tutorial with Ann Swanson also in 2020. This really helped me when it became necessary to go online. In 2020 I began taking my classes onto zoom classes . These are classes which grow out of my own experience, practice and training. Presently I teach two drop -in classes , a Karma chair class through Olli ,(Osher Life long Learning Institute) at www.olli.unr.edu and the 8 week workshop which I offer twice a year, once in the Fall and once in the Spring beginning in Jan uary. You can email me for more information at email@example.com
My classes offer a simple yoga with modifications for special needs and an emphasis on the biomechanics of yoga and the relationship of mind , body and spirit. I encourage students to discover how to feel the poses and the alignment in their own bodies , how to make the practice their own and how to integrate breath, movement and the meditative aspects of yoga in a healing manner.
My Beginning Yoga is a one hour class that works slowly and mindfully through the basic movements of Yoga. It is designed to build strength , flexibility and mindfulness . It is appropriate for beginners to intermediate students with arthritis or for those who just need or want a gentle class.