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One of two new classes I am starting this week is “adaptive/therapeutic.”  It’s the opposite of a typical yoga class where the student is expected to keep up with the teacher and the other students.  In this 50 minute class, the teacher is guided by the students needs in the moment.  Time of day and season of the year are also factored in.  “Playing the edge” is an important aspect of the practice in that it helps us open up and evolve.  But everyone’s edge is different.

This is a class for someone who would not be able to (or want to) keep up in a vinyasa power flow type of class.  Perhaps an old injury, chronic illness or extra weight is a factor.  Perhaps there is an emotional or mental issue that is affecting the person’s quality of life.  All are welcome. Or, perhaps the student simply isn’t interested in a fast paced class.

It could just as easily be called a “traditional” yoga class as this is how yoga was practiced and taught until it hit the West.  The class focuses on breathing evenly throughout and moving dynamically in and out of poses before holding steady.  It’s fun to see who shows up.  No two classes are the same.  Each student builds strength, opens the body and relaxes the mind – at their own level.

Have you taken a yoga class like this?  What was your experience?