Hello, my name’s Tracy Harris, and I’m from Summerhouse Yoga and Wellbeing. I am going to be holding an introductory session for chair yoga for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) over Zoom on Wednesday 24 February 2021 at 11:15am. This session aims to introduce MS-UK’s new chair yoga classes that will be commencing in March 2021 for those who are new to yoga, as well as those who have practised yoga before.
Chair yoga is a practice of simple exercises that you can do daily to help move, strengthen and stretch your body, while expanding your breath and calming your mind, free from the everyday ‘chitter chatter’.
Yoga is not just for bendy, flexible people as is sometimes wrongly portrayed in the media. It is an all-round approach that adapts well for seated practice to help with strength and flexibility in body and mind.
It helps us to focus and concentrate, find peace, contentment, and balance our emotions. Yoga is a hugely beneficial practice for everyone, but particularly for those who face serious life challenges every day.
Chair yoga is a fantastic modern form of yoga, accessible to all, and has all the benefits of a traditional yoga practice. It is a gentle form of yoga and you will be encouraged to work within your own ability and at your own pace.
The word ‘yoga’ means ‘to yoke’ or connect body, mind and soul and bring about a feeling of contentment.
Some of the benefits of yoga include
- Improves energy, strength, flexibility and balance
- Calms the mind
- Boosts immune system
- Ease anxiety
- Improves sleep
- Improves clarity and focus
- Be in the present moment, not worrying about the future
If you sign up for the course you will learn a variety of breath practices to improve breathing patterns, enhance lung capacity, balance emotions, and relieve stress. You will learn movement practices for the upper body and the lower body.
We will also take some standing practices for those that can, holding onto the support of a chair, table or wall. These will focus on strengthening practices and simple supported balances to help with confidence and ability when standing or walking. For those that cannot stand, Tracy will offer seated alternatives throughout. You will also learn some concentration and meditation techniques that help to find peace and contentment.
Knowing these techniques of chair yoga and applying them for just a few minutes a day can quickly restore a sense of balance, focus, and allow you to regain your sense of wellbeing.
You can join the course at any time. Although there will be progression from week to week, each class will stand alone so you can join in anytime.
If you think that yoga is not for you because you physically cannot get up and down off the floor, then think again. Feedback from our information session in August included
“It was really good. I found it very relaxing and the stretches were really well targeted for problem areas.”
“Tracy was great, explaining and demonstrating the different stretches, movements and mind focusing so well. I really felt that I was beginning to visualise getting my ‘brain messages’ through to the muscles on my MS weakened side… I loved it and I'd definitely be up for more!”
“I really enjoyed this morning’s yoga with Tracey. I felt relaxed after the session and my back felt a little easier. I do hope that this is something that can be carried forward with our MS group.”
“I liked the whole session. She was both professional and friendly”.
“That was an amazing session! Definitely look forward to more.”
For the taster session, you will need
- A sturdy chair, preferably without arms. A dining room chair would be perfect. A wheelchair with brakes on is fine, especially if the arms can be removed (but not an office chair on wheels)
- A firm block, book or cushion to put under your feet if your feet don’t touch the floor when you are sitting back into the chair
- A cushion to make the chair comfortable (optional)
- A blanket for resting at the end (optional)
- Try not to be disturbed – turn notifications off on your phone
You’re in good hands
Tracy is a fully qualified and experienced British Wheel of Yoga Teacher. She has been teaching yoga for 13 years to many students of varying abilities. Tracy has worked with people and families facing challenges, including people with MS, people living with or recovering from cancer, heart conditions, motor neurone disease, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, bi-polar disorder, anxiety, asthma, and recovering from stroke. One of Tracy’s passions in teaching yoga is to adapt practices so that everyone can learn techniques to add to their own ‘wellbeing toolkit’ to use anytime they would like.
Find out more about chair yoga sessions