Board member Claire Breedlove has been talking with the students from PYC's People with Disabilities and Chronic Condition classes. Please read the articles or click on the links below to listen to our students answer a bunch of questions about what their yoga classes mean to them.
Q&A: with PYC Student Patricia Edith
We thought you would enjoy hearing directly from our students about the benefits of our classes, especially in the current virtual class environment.
Q: What brought you to PYC?
A: In 1997, I developed thoracic outlet syndrome, had to leave my job, and couldn’t even feed myself. I was in lots of pain and on disability. I tried occasional yoga classes but always ended up having a flare up. Then someone suggested a restorative yoga class, and I got a recommendation for JoAnn.
Q: How long have you been attending PYC classes?
A: 3 years. I really trust JoAnn and the assistants. The staff always help me find different ways of doing things.
Q: What do you think are the main benefits of the classes?
A: I love the community, feel so much better, and can do lots of things I used to not be able to do. For example, I couldn’t turn my head to the left before, and now I can.
Q: How have you handled the transition to Zoom classes?
A: I’m glad I have a sense of the class from having been taking classes for a while. I know what I can and can’t do, and I’m not afraid of hurting myself anymore. It’s also kind of nice not to have to drive to Piedmont Ave. I think the breathing in class helps us in the pandemic.
Q: What’s your favorite thing you have learned from PYC classes?
A: Bending from the hips. I do a lot of gardening, and I’ve learned to bend in a way that doesn’t hurt my back. I’ve also learned to improve my posture by opening my heart.
Q: What’s your advice for someone new to PYC?
A: Try it. It’s kind of amazing. You’ll get a really good workout plus people really care about you and care that you don’t hurt yourself. The staff care that there are ways you can adapt. There is an acceptance of people with disabilities and of people’s bodies being different. It is great that people can get the exercise they need without having to look a certain way.
Interview with PYC Student Joel Bernstein
Check out Joel’s conversation with PYC Board Member Claire Breedlove here.
Interview with PYC Student Ramona Arellano
Moving Towards the Light: A Yoga Benefit to Enhance Immune Health and Support PYC!
with Baxter Bell, MD, eRYT 500, C-IAYTonWednesday, February 10, 2021
Missed the class?
It is available to stream online through February 24, 2021, for those making a contribution to PYC.
Click here to donate and your donation receipt will contain a link to the stream,
Baxter Bell, MD, has been actively deepening his understanding of the power of yoga since making the stress-reducing move from a career as a busy family doctor to that of a yoga teacher and medical acupuncturist.
A Certified Yoga Therapist, Baxter is co-author of the book Yoga for Healthy Aging. His teaching has been influenced by many gifted teachers, including Rodney Yee, Patricia Walden, Erich Schiffmann, Richard Rosen, Mary Paffard, TKV Desikachar, and Donald Moyer. A featured presenter of therapeutic yoga classes on the website Yoga U Online as well as in Yoga Journal’s DVD, Yoga for Stress, Baxter has also written articles for Yoga Journal and the International Journal of Yoga Therapy.
Baxter’s teaching involves the integration of therapeutic applications of yoga with his understanding of Western medicine. He serves on the board of the International Association of Yoga Therapists and on the Advisory Council for Piedmont Yoga Community. Until the recent SARS Covid-2 pandemic shutdown, he taught a weekly yoga class for people living with cerebral palsy at Ability Now Bay Area (ANBA) in Oakland, CA.
His teaching emphasizes a healing, nurturing style of Hatha yoga, balancing the desire for action with the need to quiet the mind, emphasizing curiosity and meditation in one’s practice. Baxter’s students know him for teaching with gentle humor, kindness and his close attention to safety in the practice of yoga. www.baxterbell.com
In the time since the tragic killing of George Floyd at the hands of police, the board of Piedmont Yoga Community has striven to process how we can most effectively stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. We hope that the uprising and demonstrations are a turning point in recognizing and addressing our country’s long history of police violence, systematic racism, and injustice towards Black people.
PYC stands against the violence and continuing racial inequities perpetuated against Black people here in the USA, as well as anywhere around the world.