YOGA FOR THE SEASONED BODY with Monika Andreas
After a lifetime of practicing and teaching yoga, Monika Andreas acknowledges that her body is “seasoned.” She notes, “A seasoned body is one that has been through many seasons of life. In my case, it included marriage, followed by single-motherhood, running in marathons and triathlons, dancing tango every day for five years, grandkids, and most recently having both hips replaced 10 years ago.”
Over the 40 years of teaching experience, Monika has observed that her seasoned body students come to their first yoga class with a tight body. Which often contributes to various aging conditions such as back to neck pain, joint pain, lack of balance (which can increase falling) and a general loss of vitality (which sometimes is due to shallow breathing).
While teaching, Monika tells her students to breather deeply in order to expand their lung capacity. She incorporates gentle strengthening poses to relieve back pain and standing poses to improve balance.
A consistent yoga practice with Yoga For the Seasoned Body™ at any age, is a way to extend the body's capabilities well into elder hood creating balance, strength, and flexibility while releasing stress and increasing health, joy and vitality.
With props, including chairs, blocks and belts, Monika can “move the floor up,” so to speak, so that even people who can’t be on the floor can experience the positive results of the yoga poses. Her students often do a series of modified dog poses off the chair seat if reaching to the floor is too challenging.
Blocks placed under the outer knees, in a modified easy cross-legged position, helps because the legs are supported thus allowing the muscle to release a bit more.
As they depart class, her students often radiate calm, walk straighter, feel more energy, and usually quietly admit, “I really needed that today. I feel so much lighter.”
Monika says, "I do not impose my agenda unto my students. I teach who is in front of me. I ask my students where their aches and pains are before they come to class, so that I can give them what they need to feel better when they leave. I also encourage them to create a daily yoga practice at home."