When you hear the word yoga, a lot of people think of what they see on social media: flexibility, handstands on beaches and people contorting their bodies into pretzel shapes. But yoga is so much more than that – it’s about finding stillness in your mind and connecting with your body and breath. The images we see of yoga make it look exclusive – it’s for people who are thin, flexible, fit, and able-bodied – when in reality, yoga should be inclusive and for everyone.
I offer accessible yoga classes, which means I teach chair yoga, bed yoga, mat-based classes, pregnancy yoga and restorative yoga – to enable anyone to practice yoga. My style of teaching is centred around giving people choice and autonomy in their practice. As a teacher, my role is to guide people through a sequence, but give a variety of options so they can find what feels right for them.
Bed yoga? Chair yoga? Yes, you can practice yoga in a chair or in bed! I teach a chair yoga class at a local care home; we sit in a circle in comfy chairs and enjoy some movement and meditation together. I also teach more dynamic chair classes which are great for people who struggle to move from standing to the floor (and back again) easily, wheelchair users, and people who experience chronic fatigue or pain.
Bed yoga is ideal for people who must spend a lot of time in bed, people who have mental health conditions and find it difficult to include exercise into their daily lives, and it’s also great to help you fall sleep or wake up!
Ultimately, if you can breathe, you can practice yoga. Even if it’s just 1 or 2 minutes of being aware of your breath – it’s all part of the practice. If you’ve not tried yoga before because you’re worried that you’re not flexible/thin/fit enough, there are options out there!
Now more than ever, it’s so important that we look after ourselves and practice self-care. I genuinely believe that everyone is worthy of and deserves to find some rest and stillness in their lives, and yoga might be a great way for you to experience that.
Sarah Vallance (She/Her & They/Them)
Accredited Yoga Teacher
Find out more: www.accessibleyogawithsarah.com
Online classes: https://www.patreon.com/accessibleyogawithsarah
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