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Some Gentle Yoga Basics

Gentle Yoga Basics for Easing Into Yoga Practice

We Offer Gentle Yoga classes at the Montrose office.

For those of you who may be curious about what Gentle Yoga is, here are some basics:

What is gentle yoga?

In general, gentle yoga is a way of practicing yoga in order to balance the body and calm the nervous system. You will explore a variety of poses to help you with flexibility and strength, all while using breath and movement to calm the mind.

Is there specific definition, or is it more general?

There are many different types of yoga, and even under the umbrella of “gentle yoga” are different types including hatha, restorative yoga, yin yoga, and yoga nidra, just to name a few. At the classes I will be teaching, we will explore a mix of all of these styles of yoga, depending on who is attending, their skill level, and what is going on in their bodies.

Is it good for beginners?

Yes, gentle yoga typically has a slower pace, which is great for folks who are just beginning a yoga practice. Any experienced instructor like myself will be able to help you modify the yoga poses to fit your ability and your body as well.

How is gentle yoga beneficial?

Gentle yoga is able to mobilize the joints and build strength in the body, as well as correct bad postural or movement patterns while going at a pace that is slow enough for the participant to pay attention to what is going on in their body. It is slow enough for participants to practice with good form.

What are some of your favorite gentle yoga postures?

  • Supta badha konasana - A supine butterfly stretch is a great way to get into the pelvic floor and hip muscles, especially if yoga blocks are used under the knees.
  • Child’s pose - A fantastic stretch for the low back, pelvic floor, and a great way to bring down the nervous system.
  • Viparita Karani - Legs at the wall is great for hamstring flexibility as well as lowering your blood pressure and slowing down the mind.

What is the difference between Gentle Yoga and Restorative Yoga?

In gentle yoga, participants may still engage in a “slow flow” of movement, linking movement with breath and practicing a variety of postures that move from one into another.

In restorative yoga participants use props (bolsters, blankets, blocks), to help the body relax 100% into a pose. Poses are typically held for 3-5 minutes and the participants invited to completely relax the mind and body. Restorative yoga is perfect for those who are recovering from injury, stress, or other body trauma, as instructors are taught to modify each position for each participant until they can reach a full level of comfortable relaxation in a position.

What about Yin Yoga?

There may be longer holds of stretches in Yin style yoga that help the practitioner reach a “deeper” stretch. Props may also be utilized in Yin yoga, however there may be a level of “hurts so good” stretching as participants dive deeper into their poses. Poses are typically held for 3-10 minutes, so there are fewer poses covered in a class than in a gentle flow class. Unlike Restorative yoga, in Yin yoga, there may be a level of discomfort as practitioners advance their stretches.

Whether it’s Gentle Yoga, Restorative Yoga or Yin Yoga, these practices are a great way to slow the mind down while moving the body. At the end of all of these practices there is typically a Savasana pose, otherwise known as Corpse Pose. In the Corpse pose, you are able to rest deeply after your yoga practice. Contact our office to sign up for our yoga classes!

What Our Patients Have to Say

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Testimonial by Y.L. (mom of 2)

After having my second baby via C-section I searched for months to try to find help for my lower back pain and separated abdominal muscles. I finally came across Heather Jeffcoat via a mommy blog. I reached out to her via email and set my first appointment. My first appointment went amazing … she listened to what my symptoms, check my separation and explained to me in detail what the next steps would be. Not only did my abdominal separation go from 3 to about 1 -1/2 but my back has pain has significantly reduced. I’m personally recommending all my mommy friends to Heather!

Y.L. (mom of 2)

Testimonial by A.W., age 32

I wanted to let you know that my pelvic floor held strong and gave me no trouble whatsoever in my trail race this morning (12 miles)! In a way, I felt like I ran better than ever because my core feels so rock solid from all the exercises you have me doing. That was especially valuable on the technical downhill - I just flew down the trail because I had confidence in my balance and form. Thank you for helping me get back to doing what I love.

-- A.W., age 32
(completed Post-partum Renewal Program using the InTone biofeedback/stim unit)

Testimonial by Ann V.

I wish i could give this place 10 stars!! 
I have been suffering from vaginismus for 5 years and never found the cure to it. I had seen an ob/gyn and he diagnosed me with vaginismus and told me i needed a surgery to cure my condition, which i refused to do. He also referred me to a PT that he works with, i had given them multiple calls and they never responded back to me, so i started searching yelp for another PT. I am SO HAPPY I found Heather's office! I was working with Laureen, and with her guidance and techniques i was able to be cured from vaginismus in only 2 1/2 short months!!! I couldn't believe how quickly their program worked for me! I am forever grateful and thankful from Heather, and Laureen! They are the absolute best at what they do!

Read more: Testimonial by Ann V.

Testimonial by Amanda W.

Heather's unique physical therapy program literally changed my life! After years of struggling with vaginismus, a condition that made it impossible for me to have intercourse and very difficult to use tampons without pain, a gynecologist referred me to Heather. I was nervous for my first appointment, but Heather's professional and friendly demeanor put me at ease. She did a great job explaining each technique she was using to help my muscles relax. Heather uses a combination of internal and external stretches and exercises to relax the pelvic floor and build muscle strength. Her specially developed home program helped me quickly recover from an issue that seemed insurmountable before meeting Heather. She was optimistic about my progress and incredibly encouraging. Less than 6 months after my first session, I was able to have pain-free sex for the first time in my life! If you are suffering from vaginismus or any other pelvic floor issues, I highly recommend making an appointment with Heather and reading her book!

-- Amanda W., 2/15/16 via Yelp!

Testimonial by R.M., Age 40

I can’t speak highly enough of the theapists at Femina Physical Therapy and how much they have helped me grow, discover, and love my body. I had had painful sex for my entire life, and didn’t know that there was anything that could be done about it. It was at the point where my husband and I were not having sex for MONTHs, because it was just too frustrating, and I hated feeling like I was the ONLY woman out there who had this problem, especially at my age. I finally brought it up to my doctor because I was turning 40 and my husband and I were barely having enough sex to conceive. And she brought up pelvic floor, PT. I didn’t even know this was a “thing”.

Read more: Testimonial by R.M., Age 40

Testimonial by Rosanna R., age 35

Heather has affected my life in the MOST POSITIVE way and I am forever grateful. My husband refers to her as the "sex doctor" so you can only imagine how happy he is with my therapy outcome.

After the birth of my son I suffered from "Vaginismus", however, at the time I just thought I was broken. My "broken vagina" affected me physically but it was an emotional struggle as well. Many women in my life also suffered with pain from sex after their babies were born so I knew I wasn't alone. They told me they "just got used to it" but I couldn't see myself living that way.

Sex wasn't just painful, it was literally impossible - IT DIDNT FIT!

Read more: Testimonial by Rosanna R.,...

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