The MS Society in Aberdeen introduced Chair Based Yoga to their members over 2 years ago. In these 2 years, many reported improvements in their overall wellbeing through the practice of yoga. The benefits of yoga are experienced and reported instantly and in the long run. We often ponder upon the improvements noticed over time at the end of the class and agree that there is an element of magic in our practice of yoga; an element of unknown that has a positive impact on ourselves or even bigger than ourselves…
Their weekly (mainly) seated practice (chair based) starts with a brief meditation and is followed by a series of asana that that address reduced mobility, postural misalignment and balance. Practice also includes intentional breathing exercises that aim to address compromised breathing patterns, frequently experienced by MS patients. We finish with meditation that promotes relaxation, physical awareness and shifts in life attitude.
Their weekly class doesn’t sound much like sorcery and often resembles other forms of physical therapy, but again we all notice a transformation happening within us, as we practice, without external radical change. Like magic the yoga practice allows us to transform the course of our day, or even more…
Yoga in its core definition is underlined by 4 core principles:
(a) [The] human body is a holistic entity comprised of various interrelated dimensions inseparable from one another and the health or illness of one dimension affects the other dimensions.
(b) [individuals] and their needs are unique and therefore must be approached in a way that acknowledges this individuality and their practice must be tailored accordingly.
(c) [yoga] is self- empowering; the student is his or her own healer. And
(d) [the] quality and state of an individuals mind is crucial to healing.
For those that have been practising yoga for some time the above statements seem natural; for those that never gave yoga a try this may appear unbelievable and magical.
The practice of yoga is indeed empowering, from the being able to place our body in impossible positions to finding stillness when you never thought you would; yoga always has the magical ability to prove you wrong. Yoga reveals to us that we are bigger than our self imposed limitations. In the simple awareness of our breath we can transform the way we mentally and physical feel, like magic; we are indeed one entity made of inseparable layers. The practice of yoga shows us that we are connected with each other; we begin to notice those around us more and come into harmony with our daily living. When we practice we no longer feel like we are fighting upstream, instead, we feel like we can bask in the light of our day… like magic!