Chair Yoga for Men

Senior Men’s Yoga has moved to a new time; 7am on Wednesdays.  Yes it’s early, and there was some grumbling from the regulars used to the afternoon time.  But, it’s a great way to start the day.  We’re also shifting the focus slightly and rebranding the class as Chair Yoga for Men.

Chair Yoga is a general term that simply means we are modifying poses and exercises to make them more attainable.  Postures are done seated on the chair or the chair is used for support (as needed) during standing and balancing poses. Chair YogaThe chair allows for greater stability to help you feel supported and safe.  Just as important, basic body mechanics of postures are retained no matter the individual’s circumstance.

You don’t have to sit cross legged on the floor to do Yoga!

In addition to a good stretch, chair yoga participants have reported better breathing habits and improved sleep patterns, reduction of stress and more ease in their body.  Chair Yoga for Men is suitable for seniors, people working with an injury and guys with a little extra in the middle.  Beginners are welcome.

Yoga at Fitness Over Fifty does require a Fit Class Pass at an extra cost to members.  But, you do not have to be a member to take the class.  And, first class is free.  Come check out Chair Yoga for Men at the new time.  If you have additional questions, contact André at 541-760-9122 or andre.alyeska@gmail.com.

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Men’s Yoga – November Update

Some Housekeeping and Good News!

First, I’ve mentioned this after some classes, but it bares repeating. This year marks the first summer where classes haven’t dropped off. There is now a large enough group of guys that even if the most regular can’t make it, we’ll still have 4-5 guys on Mondays. Senior Men has a smaller group, but is very committed. I appreciate all of you, those who’ve been with me since the beginning and those who have joined recently.

Second, we will have class Monday evening on Veterans Day, FOF is open. And, we will have class as usual the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. If you haven’t been for a while, we’d love to see you! Men’s Yoga – Mondays at 5:30pm and Senior Men’s Yoga – Wednesdays at 2:30pm.

The Gospel of the ToltecsToltec Traditions

As you know, I’ve been reading deeper into Totlec traditions. I enjoyed Don Miguel Ruiz’s popular book The Four Agreements and am familiar with the authors related to Carlos Castaneda. But I wanted more background on the origin of the Toltec concept of intent.

One of the books I tracked down and have been reading from in class is The Gospel of the Toltecs. I’ve reviewed it here.

I find that the Toltec philosophy of intent parallels the Yogic focus of concentration. One of my favorite passages from the book: “Do not allow the scattered ashes and the crossroads to give you orders.” In other words, do not allow a past failure or the simple presence of a new choice to distract you. We clear away the clutter to attain the correct perspective. It’s often easier to talk about these concepts than to effect change. But that is why we practice!

Paul Grilley

Paul Grilley with friend.

Paul Grilley on Anatomy

I first came across Paul Grilley at Kripalu, where I got my certification. They used a section from his video Anatomy for Yoga during our training. Grilley is committed to helping people understand how their body works and why forcing the body into an “ideal” of the pose can cause injury. His contention is that we don’t often allow for skeletal variation and misunderstand tension and compression as expressed in poses.

Grilley recently responded to an article written by William Broad who has been examining injuries from Yoga both to Men and Women for several years. Broad has been criticized for generalizations and inaccuracies. However, I like how Grilley drills down simply in his response.

As Yoga instructors, we often say “listen to your body” or “back off as needed.” But this explains why pushing will actually do more harm than good, if we’re working against what the body can do.

Men’s Yoga Wednesday after Labor Day?

Hey, everyone… The Willamette Wellness Center/FOF is closed on Labor Day (Mon., Sept. 2nd).  However, I’ve booked the room for Wednesday, September 4th at 5:30pm.  I’ll need 3-4 solid commitments to go ahead and offer the class.

PS: This poll feature is new to me.  Post that you voted?

Finding our own expression in Yoga

Recently, I had trouble interpreting one of my student’s responses. “Jack” is the husband of a friend of mine. They had a private session with me at another studio a year ago, and that was that until I bumped into them a few months ago. We catch up. I find out that while she dropped out of Yoga, he had not, and has continued on. So I invited him to my Senior Men’s Yoga class.

men at gymJack checks out the class, enjoys it and signs up with a 15 card pass. This is great. He fits in well with the guys and this has been a hard class to establish. However, around this time I lose a couple of newer fellows for various health related reasons. Jack has had two hip replacements and he is still taking class from “Becky,” an experienced teacher I very much like and respect.

Well. This combination does nothing for my pervasive insecurity and leads me to wonder if Jack is getting anything out of my class. So I checked in with him briefly at the end of class and he indicated he was fine. Yet he must have sensed my angst, and gave the query more thought, because later that day he sent me an email. And that led to us chatting after class the following week. Continue reading

Men’s Yoga – April Update

Gentlemen,

I’ve got a brand new computer and it’s loaded with up to date programs. I’ve revamped the web site and am using a new email program. However, along with the ease of a new and fast computer, I’m confounded by a machine that does all sorts of things I don’t actually want it to do! It has been a fount of frustration. Plus, I’m spending way too much time online again.

So, I’m a Luddite, right? Technology is baaaad. No. I practice and teach Yoga. Continue reading

Men’s Yoga new location, adds senior’s class

Starting in January, my Yoga for Men classes will move to the Willamette Wellness Center / FOF at 6735 SW Country Club Drive, Corvallis, Oregon. It’s a very nice space.  They have blocks, but folks should bring their own mats, if possible.  And the price is quite reasonable (price updated, January 2013):

$9.00 – drop in         $7.00 – 15 class pass ($105)         $6.00 – 30 class pass ($180)

Beginning Men’s Yoga – This class introduces Men to Yoga and establishes familiar routines for the continuing student to build competency.  The class is active and can offer a work out to those who desire it, but it also includes a focus on alignment, breathing and relaxation. Mondays from 5:30-6:30pm

Beginning Senior Men’s Yoga – This is an accessible class that focuses on the set up of basic and attainable postures and breathing exercises.  We use a chair for balance and comfort and classes end with deep relaxation. Wednesdays from 2:30-3:30pm

Please note, while both classes are labeled “beginner” a main focus of these “men’s” yoga classes is to foster community among men.  So, any level is welcome.

Fight disease with balance

Fighting Parkinson’s disease with exercise, balance: Not strictly Yoga, but certainly challenging and strengthening the mind/body in ways similar to Yoga.  And the story is local, Dr. Blatt is right here in Corvallis.  I don’t know Dr. Blatt personally, but I like his approach:

“It is time to challenge conventional expectations about what Parkinson’s disease and other neurological diseases are supposed to do to us.”  He is quite clear, however, that he used exercise and medicine to “maintain good physical function in spite of the disease.”

For more information you can check out his website and additional articles:

http://www.exerciseforparkinsons.com
Active healing: Exercise class serves Parkinson’s patients