Teaching to special populations and why it is so rewarding

A guest blog post by Denise Darby, VYC Ambassador 2019

Have you every thought or heard someone say that they “aren’t flexible enough to do yoga”, “aren’t the yoga type”, or are “too old for yoga”?

As a yoga instructor, I hear this all of the time. Don’t get me wrong, I totally get that most of us (myself included) don’t feel that we meet the Instagram yogi cookie mould, and that that, in some way or another, makes us “less than” the ideal yogi. So…we avoid yoga, thereby getting stiffer, older and less willing to ever do so…eek!

What I love about working with diverse and/or special populations is that we get to see ourselves in a new and refreshing light. Although we may not classify ourselves as “flexible”, when we come together on our yoga mats, we get to see where our body finds flexibility and an opportunity to realize why (yes there is almost always a good and valid “why”) we may not be flexible in other areas.

I love working with students in non-typical yoga settings such as recovery homes, addictions centres, and justice involved youth. These groups remind me of how much yoga offers and how much these populations can benefit from yoga practice.

I also enjoy working with prenatal momma’s, and in a Corrective Movement Therapy setting (think Physiotherapy but more empowering to the individual). When our bodies go through drastic change and or trauma, yoga is a brilliant tool to bring us back, to restore our healthy movement and to rebalance.

Yoga is so much more than a wild posture snapped and posted on Instagram. Yoga is movement, connection and leaning to love our beautiful, beautiful bodies.