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Beginner’s Yoga and Yoga for Spinal Health Class

January 9, 2017

Welcome to Maleny Mountain Yoga’s Spinal Health Yoga Class. 

My name is Tracy Wootton, I am a qualified yoga teacher and yoga therapist.

I have a background in Nursing and have practised Ashtanga yoga since 1999.

Yoga has been a transformational journey on many levels. Everybody’s experience is unique. For many, yoga classes begin as a means of physical health maintenance, and as the student develops and evolves in their own practice, more subtle transformations often take place. 

 

Since early childhood I have had an interest in Anatomy and Physiology and health. My perspective comes from this stand-point…giving the student an optimal alignment base from which to evolve their own yoga practice. 

 

Pain from injury can accelerate growth, but on the other hand, pain can create obstacles as well. My aim is to assist students to listen to their own bodies and learn how to move according to their own unique physiology, minimising the risk of injury, and facilitating healing.

 

Why beginners and spinal issues in the same class?

 

Many, if not all, who are new to yoga will run into problems at some point if the class does not focus on gentle beginnings. We are always in such a hurry to get instant results, and yoga is no exception. Back pain is a common problem among yogis. Physiotherapists and chiropractors generally are very wary of their clients attending yoga classes because they often see the result of faulty alignment practices. It is rare to find a long term yoga practitioner who doesn’t have a grumbling sacro-iliac joint (hello, me included), or hip issues. I am not saying that these practitioners have a bad practice, it’s just that when yoga came from India to the west, there was very little known about proper alignment. Our bodies are very different from Indian yogis who have been raised sitting on the floor and practising since early childhood.

 

We in the West might have it wrong in so many ways, but we are pretty good at physical science, and we have done some good research on how best to get the most from our bodies while minimising damage. 

So when learning breathing and muscle control from scratch, a beginner enters into yoga with a fresh mind, ready to learn and practise optimally. By starting out with the very basics, the class will lay the best foundations to allow the student to progress at their own rate with a healthy movement pattern that they take off the mat and into the world. By feeling into their bodies, rather than trying to duplicate a posture as they see it, or how it is described by someone in a different body, they learn to notice the body’s signals. They become adept at using “feeling” signals to alter alignment and muscle activation to be creative with optimal movement. They learn to be their own teacher.

 

(If you have had issues/injuries, I advise that you seek the advice of a qualified health professional before attending a yoga class.)

 

I am so grateful to my teachers (too many to mention) for facilitating this wonderful learning ride. As I learn more, my drive to share this knowledge increases. We are all on this path together. I learn as much from my students, if not more, as they learn from me, so I see the classes as being a collaborative exploration and gradual unfolding for the potential in all of us. 

I am attempting to keep the cost as low and reasonable as possible so everyone can benefit. 

 

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