Introduction to Jojo and Slow Postpartum
3:29 Slow Postpartum is the time after the birth of the baby and the women in taken care of by her community. Time is 30-40 days of complete rest and care: support, nourishment, and time to heal and bond with the baby. Quite common in several cultures around the world.
When a women has a baby, the brain recalibrates and parts of the brain start interacting for the first time as the women becomes a mother. This transformation needs time, care, nourishment, healing, and making connection with the baby. Matriescence = moving from being a woman to being a mother.
8:00 Jojo teaches yoga classes to pregnant women. Yoga is helpful during the birth, and postpartum can also be helped by yoga but in a different form.
9:30 Pregnant and postpartum body are very different. Many new pregnant students coming to a yoga class are beginners. They have relaxin hormone in their bodies which loosens muscles, tendons, ligaments. Have to be careful not to push into the joints, hyperextension. Postpartum body is different: will still have relaxin for weeks or months. Body is very open from giving birth; the pelvic floor muscles have been greatly stretched. Body is open: physically, mentally and spiritually. Can’t do poses that they did before pregnancy for weeks or months. Need a teacher that understands the postpartum body.
13:49 Postpartum mums and bubs classes: very common for someone to be crying either babies or mums. Jojo recommends that they don’t come for at least 6 weeks. Mums are very sleep deprived, hormonal, anxious. The class is for the women; body needs caring, nourishing and yoga can be beneficial. They are told to make the class what they need it to be. Social interaction with other new mums is very important.
17:30 Helpful poses and contraindicated poses during this period. Women may have C-section scars, and/or separation of the rectus abdominus. So very slowly, methodically strengthen the abdominal muscles and pelvic floor. Contraindicated poses include twists, especially deep seated twists and plank because they destabilise the core. Remain careful about pushing into the joints. Poses should close the pelvic area, not stretch it. Shoulder stretches are very helpful because of always holding the baby. Babies naturally do yoga as they stretch and move their bodies.
21:00 Jojo does offer her postpartum doula clients training in meditation. Women in the postpartum class are told to do savasana in any position that they want. They are to come into the present and just be with their baby.
23:08 Body in postpartum needs care, nourishing and support. Find a teacher that is familiar with the postpartum body’s needs. Shouldn’t return to pregnancy, gym or regular yoga classes as they are not suitable for the postpartum body. Your baby is your yoga at this time. Motherhood is a deeply spiritual practice, you learn patience, accept how things are instead of how you want them to be, unlimited and unconditional lovee.
26:15 Returning to regular classes is very individualised. High impact classes not before 6 months, regular classes not for 12 weeks. Listen to your body.
Introduction to Ryan McGraw and Access2yoga
2:10 When Ryan started yoga he did the maximum expression of the pose, because he wasn’t given modifications. He met a teacher who showed him modifications for the poses using a chair, the wall, and props for supporting his body. It brought a new level of understanding and brought more peace to the body. He could more easily bring in the breath to the pose
4:50 He developed an Adaptive Yoga Manual for yoga teachers. It is available on his website (www.access2yoga.com) for everyone. He teaches Adaptive Yoga workshops and contributed a chapter to Yoga and Body Image (2015) that tells the stories of 25 yogis who don’t look like the public perception of yoga.
6:30 In the last 10 years, adaptive, accessible yoga had become mainstream due to the efforts of Mathew Sanford and Jivana Heyman. They are talking and writing about making yoga more accessible. More teachers are becoming interested in accessible yoga as more demographics learn the about the benefits of yoga and want to participate. 1 in 5 people have a disability and others have injuries that need modifications, others are curvy and all may need some modifications.
10:00 Teachers in workshops need to know that yoga can be inclusive. Can adapt poses and still receive benefits. For instance Tadasana (mountain) pose can be done in a chair and the upper body receives the same benefits as if the pose was done standing.
13:25 The accessible yoga ambassadors program came from the Accessible yoga concept to make yoga inclusive. Ambassadors work to make the public aware that yoga can be inclusive. A recent review by Yoga Alliance included people from Accessible Yoga. Ryan was on the Teacher Qualifications workgroup and he hopes that accessible yoga ideas are included in teacher training requirements as a result of this review.
16:34 Three things that a yoga teacher should do to make sure his/her class is inclusive?
Most importantly make them feel safe and welcome in class.
Introduction of Janaki Somaiya and Yogahood
2:32 Yogahood started as a result of the founder’s experience of yoga’s benefits. Janaki is involved because of her psychology training and family interest in yoga. Janaki is a clinical psychologist working primarily with youth with mental health issues and knows the benefits for this population.
4:70 Yogahood is a not for profit organisation, that has partnerships with community organisations and also yoga studios and yoga brands. Community organisations have been approaching Yogahood to bring their classes to the community’s space. Yoga studios and yoga brands can help fund in many ways Yogahood’s activities. Yogahood’s volunteers go to the community sites to offer the classes.
8:00 Volunteer teachers must have 200 hour teacher training and 50 hours of teaching experience to take the 3 day Yogahood outreach training. The class settings are very basic with just mats and some space; learning how to navigate a very different environment in which to give a class is one aspect of the training. The emphasis of the classes is to give people tools to take home and help them cope in their lives. Disadvantaged communities often have no opportunity to access yoga because of financial hardship.
12:45 Benefits to Students: Overall research shows many benefits of yoga. For youth with mental health issues, research indicates that yoga is helpful in stress, depression, etc. Yoga develops the pre-frontal cortex which is where planning, decision making and self-management occurs. This helps in dealing with stressors. Cognitive benefits include improving memory.
16:00 Young people, through yoga, are taught to tune in to their body and choose what they want to do that day according to how their body feels. They learn that is ok to listen to my body and do what it needs and then feel great when I do that.
17:30 Yogahood collects feedback and evaluates their program. Anecdotally, they hear that yoga helps participants manage their stress and better self-regulation among other improvements.
19:00 Yogahood’s training does provide some basic information on what teacher’s might expect when dealing with a wide range of participants with very different needs but can’t provide in depth. Each community organisation provides a person to be in the room during class. The volunteer is only responsible for teaching the class; the community person takes care of any issues that may arise. This is best for the teacher, the organisation and the participants. At the beginning of class, participants are told that the community person is there and if they have some issues to talk to that person.
21:25 Although Yogahood does provide some basic training in the issues that might occur, they also provide mentoring/pairing of a new volunteer with an experienced volunteer. They will teach the class together for a few classes so the new volunteer can receive feedback and get comfortable with his/her role.
23:25 Yogahood’s goals for the future are to provide the service to as many community organisations as possible given resources. It’s mission is to provide yoga to people who have needs for yoga’s tools. Talk therapy has limitations for some clients. It does not encourage thinking about one’s own body to help with the healing. Research on trauma-based yoga shows that trauma basically sticks people in the trauma situation and they keep reliving it. Perceiving everything as a threat and living in the past and can’t physically let go of the trauma. Talk therapy may have them move mentally beyond the trauma but something has have help them move physically beyond the trauma.. They must ground themselves in the present which yoga does very well. Yoga increases the links between body, mind, breath. Yogahood is offering outreach training for new volunteers in early December.
31:45 Yogahood asks the volunteers to go into the community and work with people with high needs. Can be quite daunting for a volunteer. Yogahood offers wellness sessions for the volunteers to help them with their self-care and to maintain a balance in their lives. The wellness sessions may be a restorative yoga class, yin yoga, sound healing, massages.
Introduction – Amber Karnes and Body Positive Yoga
2:40 Consent, Agency, Body Sovereignty
Consent: There is culture around touch in yoga. Many people don’t want to be touched. Only uses touch in cases of safety or to point out certain things the student may not understand. How to ensure a consent mindset is to set a focus that the student and teacher are working together but student controls what the body does. Touch is not optional; students are the experts concerning their bodies. Each pose is an enquiry about your own body and you have agency about what your body will do. Models of Consent: must an enthusiastic yes, consent cards, students understand what adjustment means and how it might be done, students have the right during any part of class to refuse touch. Amber is interested in any other techniques from the listeners about how they handle consent.
14:20 Agency – Amber has practiced yoga in a fat body for 15 years. Originally, she couldn’t find a teacher to modify her poses to accommodate her body. She had to create her own practice to make it work for the body she had. Loved the benefits of yoga so she figured out a lot on her own. Large-bodied individuals, disabled students need modifications. Not here to fix someone or someone’s body, we are offering tools to empower students to do yoga. We need to learn how to teach others since we were trained to teach other yoga teachers in our teacher training. If the student leaves with a successful experience, then they will probably return.
22:10 Tips for studio owners, teachers to make the space inclusive. Is it physically accessible for people disabled or elderly or injured? Is it financially accessible? Do you offer scholarship opportunities or subsidised rates? Letting others who can afford to pay above the rate to help those who cannot pay. Do you have diverse teachers? Are students going to see someone like them? What kind of photographs do you use in your marketing? Yoga language or?
What is the purpose of the Asana? Can you duplicate that purpose with modifications, props or other asanas if the first asana is not appropriate?
30:45 How did yoga help Amber make peace with her body? Recommended by her physical trainer to do yoga on the off days since it would burn calories but wasn’t considered exercise. Went to her first class and she was the only bigger bodied person. She attended the class and left when it was over and noticed that the negative self-talk started which meant that at some period before it had stopped. She felt so good afterwards that she returned to class. Yoga made a huge difference in her emotional state. Found a teacher who could help. She had been fighting against her body, but yoga gave her the tools to partner with her body and accept her body.
38:38 Body Positive Movement – get to a place of acceptance and peace with the body. Free of emotional energy in not fighting the boy. Yoga is the best tool for self-regulation.
Yoga for All Teacher Training – 35 hours online at www.yogaforalltraining.com
www.accessibletraining.com 3 day in person training in several places around the world.