I know. You’ve tried classes at the gym or the hot yoga or power yoga studio and thought to yourself “I’m never going to be able to keep up with the rest of the class.” Or, you stayed with it long enough to get up to speed but got injured. Or, you found yourself being sore for 5 days afterward. Maybe you actually prefer to do a practice on your own at home but are never sure if you’re “doing it right.” And fitting an hour or more into your life every day (or even once a week), simply isn’t going to work for you. There’s a lot of hype about how it’s good for you—but you just haven’t found something that fits.
Viniyoga specifically recognizes that there a different practices needed at different stages of life. And, if you’re in the “householder” or “elder” phase your practice needs to be different from the “youth” or “student” phase. Breath Centered’s classes are geared to older students. Individual sessions and yoga therapy allow for development of a home practice, fitted to your specific needs and goals—and in a length of time that suits your lifestyle. You really can do a 15 or 20 minute practice that’s beneficial when it’s specifically designed for you.
Aromatherapy is the use of fragrant essential oils to benefit body, mind and spirit. In an aromatherapy massage session, the massage oil includes a freshly-blended mixture of essential oils especially formulated for the client's needs. This type of session is only available in a 90 minute length to allow time for client assessment, selection of oils and blending, followed by a traditional English-style aromatherapy massage that may include Swedish, lymph drainage, and acupressure techniques.
Shiatsu differs from Western massage in that it views the human system as moving, flowing energies that, when performing optimally, allow the person to be healthy in body, mind, and emotions. When out of balance, energies may stagnate in certain areas and result in physical issues, such as pain or stiffness, or in mental/emotional issues, such as anxiety, insomnia, fear, or sadness.
The work is performed with the recipient on a mat on the floor or a low table, wearing loose-fitting, comfortable clothing. The therapist uses hands, forearms, knees, and feet to apply varying levels of pressure in general ways or to more specific points. Shaking, rocking, and stretching are also part of the treatment, depending on the client's needs. No oils, creams or powders are usually applied, although a small amount of oil may be used on the face or hands if skin is particularly dry.
In addition to shiatsu and acupressure techniques, the session may include some myofascial release and trigger point work.
Insomnia and osteoporosis are so common these days, if you don’t have both, you’re likely to have one or the other (and you’re lucky if you have neither). Often pills or other treatments are prescribed and, while they can be effective, you might have concerns about the side effects of treatment.
A good night’s sleep is one of the most important things to maintaining health, since much cellular repair happens at this time. And having good posture and movement can go a long way toward preventing the typical hunched-over, shuffling gait that often accompanies aging and osteoporosis.
Somatic movement approaches to these two problems aren’t well-known, but they can be very helpful to many people. Rooted in the Feldenkrais Method, but drawing additional exercises from yoga, meditation, and NASA science, the Sounder Sleep System and Bones for Life provide some new ways to deal with these age-old problems.
You want to try massage or some kind of bodywork—but you’re not fond of the idea of taking your clothes off to do it. Or, you’re okay with taking your clothes off for the oil massage with proper draping with sheets, but your past experience hasn’t been consistent, since you were never sure if you could ask for more or less pressure or speed of work from the therapist.
Not every kind of bodywork is right for everyone. Some people need a good deal of pressure or movement to get through the tension while others need a lighter touch or a patient practitioner who will spend the time to get through a layer at a time. We’re adults here and my feelings will not be hurt if you ask for deeper or lighter or slower work. You’re old enough to know when you’re not getting what you need and with bodywork and I want to provide it in a way that helps your sore muscles and stressful mind feel better.
For those who prefer to keep their loose-fitting clothing on, shiatsu massage is done that way on a mat on the floor or on a low table. Aromatherapy massage uses Swedish and acupressure techniques and a custom-blended carrier oil with essential oils added to suit your needs. For either, you’ll express your goals before starting work. The work can adapt/change during the session. And if I can do better next time, I want to know how!
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If you’ve tried group Pilates mat classes in a gym or tried to follow them with a video, the exercises might have seemed really hard. Often, the warm-ups are too short for stiff joints and the progressions are too quick from easy to hard exercises. Besides that, it is actually true that the mat exercises that use body weight and work against gravity are, in many ways, harder than those done on machines. Joseph Pilates originally developed his exercises and equipment for rehabilitating soldiers injured in wartime. Only later did he work with young dancers and athletes with the matwork. But the exercises and resistance equipment is perfect for older students to build and maintain strength, balance, and symmetry. You can start with a group class or opt for personal training.