I started teaching yoga for arthritis classes this year and am now I into the 3rd season of sessions – how time flies!
I am teaching a class made up of students with existing arthritis conditions like ankylosing spondylitis, and beginners who are looking to begin their yoga journey. I also teach students who, in the past, had stopped yoga due to surgical procedures and now wish to practice yoga again. My full respect goes out to this group of students as they have put in time and effort to keep fit and healthy by attending the weekly yoga classes. My Yoga for Arthritis class started with only 5 students, but today, we have a total of 13 people attending. When some of the students first heard of Yoga for Arthritis, they decided to attend a class out of curiosity, and had no intention of staying for more. However, they felt that they benefitted from the class, and became regular students.
With the understanding of each student’s physical strength, the Yoga for Arthritis classes are constantly fine-tuned. This progressively helps the students to experience the strengthening of muscles, and the flexibility of joints. It also provides a good level of mobility, allowing students to perform movements without restriction. Adjusting the classes to suit our students allows the stability to maintain control of joint movement or position by coordinating actions of surrounding tissues and the neuromuscular system.
The techniques taught in Yoga for Arthritis classes help to bring students’ awareness to their body movements by teaching them to focus on their breathing – their inhales and exhales. Parts of the body which have been neglected are slowly opened to “consideration” as the students continue to practise yoga. Students feel a gradual sense of freedom and relief as mobility and stability unlock better body movements.
Life does not come with a guidebook or instruction manual. We live and create guidance with our wisdom, strength, determination, inspiration and courage to make changes.
It is never too late to make changes regardless of your age. Don’t dwell on the small things in life. Focus on what’s really important and how you can get what you want out of it. Stay true to yourself and align your thoughts and actions as one. Stay fully present to who you are and do not be influenced by your environment.
Keep away from negative energy and feelings like jealousy, anger or impatience. Be in an environment where you can project positive thinking and actions, be around people who enhance these positive feelings.
In Sanskrit, the word yoga comes from the root ‘yuj’ and, in simpler words, yoga means “combined” or “union”. For me, practicing and teaching yoga has helped me to align my thoughts and actions, breath and body movements, health and aging, and love and compassion into one. It is amazing to be able to feel this way and it is possible for anyone.
Take your first step.
Sign up for a class with us at Yoga for Arthritis and discover the joy in practising for the first time and gradually turning the regular practices into self discovery of your body, mind and, most importantly, your soul wellbeing.
“Those who live passionately Teach us how to love. Those who love passionately Teach us how to live.” – Yogananda