I guess you could say I have been a pioneer in the teaching of Chair Yoga. When I started teaching in this way back in 2004 it was pretty unusual here in the UK. I was teaching in gyms and community settings and felt passionately that Yoga needed to be for everybody.
Not everyone could get up and down off the floor in a regular class. I began by adapting yoga poses for sitting on a chair. Gradually I stepped out of the frame of postures and became more interested in exploring useful functional movement carried out with awareness. Finding ways of moving which helped people to relieve tension in their mind and body and gave them a feeling of wellbeing. I have been exploring this approach with different groups ever since, deepening my skills in befriending our mind and body. So you are in safe hands.
Since I began offering Chair Yoga there have been major developments in neuroscience and somatic psychology. There is an established link between ‘Adverse Childhood Experiences’ (ACE study) and the trilogy of chronic fatigue, chronic pain and chronic illness. Trauma creates nervous system dysregulation. We are all touched by trauma to some degree, whether it is single event, childhood or the stresses of modern life. But for some people, their life is severely disrupted by PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) or chronic illness which is a symptom of the underlying trauma.
I have been motivated to learn more about nervous system regulation as I had chronic fatigue as a young adult. I felt my life had been shunted into a railway siding. It was a long and painful experience.
After much personal healing, study and training in trauma and the application of Polyvagal Theory, I now hold safe spaces for people to learn about how to regulate and build capacity in their nervous system. I offer trauma informed yoga & neuro-sensory exercises, compassion and mindfulness in a gentle weaving of movement, relaxation and breathing.
There is always time for sharing and supporting each other as we know that connecting with other people as well as ourselves is all part of the healing.
It may be called Chair Yoga, but there are always a variety of options. Standing, sitting on the floor or lying down on a mat, beanbag or sofa. There’s no right or wrong way, just the way that suits you best in that moment.
Here are some words from members of the group.
“Gentle, unassuming and powerful. You're incredibly skilled and I really felt your loving energy, coming from a place of great compassion and presence” Lisa
“Thank you Sally for a wonderful life affirming session. I am in awe of your approach and sensitivity. I feel very blessed to be part of a very special group that you have created and nurtured” Ellen
“Sally addresses individual problems within the small group setting in a warm and caring way, encouraging a mindful approach in everything we do” Ann
We’re are friendly, open group and newcomers are always made very welcome. So do get in touch with Sally on 07738238317 to introduce yourself.
Mindful Chair Yoga is on Fridays 1.30 – 3 pm at Shanti Bee
To read about Sally’s training and experience see https://www.yogaisforlife.co.uk/about-sally/
By Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher Sally Roach
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