Saturday, April 22, 2017

Facebook Group for Yoga Practitioners with Pacemakers/ICDs. Yoga for Healthy Aging Blog post

Facebook Group for Yoga Practitioners with Pacemakers/ICDs. Yoga for Healthy Aging Blog post.

Nina contacted me about an article for the Yoga for Healthy Aging Friday Q&A:  Here is the article!  Enjoy.  Subscribe to Yoga for Healthy Aging.  Great stuff on that yoga site!  Gail
Friday Q&A: Facebook Group for Yoga Practitioners with Pacemakers
Q: One of your readers left a comment on Baxter’s post Friday Q&A: Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICD) and Yoga about a Facebook group for people who do yoga with pacemakers or ICDs. Can you tell me more about it? 
A: For the answer to this question, I turned to the founder of the Yoga for Pacemakers & ICDs Facebook Group, Gail Pickens-Barger. —Nina
A: My cardiologist and I had been watching my slow heart rate for a number of years, and once my numbers got to be more than three seconds between heart beats, I was a candidate for pacemaker insertion. I had my pacemaker implantation in May of 2013. I was taking a break for the summer from teaching my regular yoga class at the gym, but continued to teach my adaptive chair yoga class for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society at the church.
I went on the hunt to find other people who had this surgery and were yoga practitioners and/or teachers. After searching the internet, I came across a yoga therapist who works with the Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease. She had an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) implantation (see LINK). After her surgery, she actually kept up her vigorous flow yoga practice, complete with weight-bearing arm balances. She went on to tell me that one day she was receiving little shocks as she was resting in Child’s pose. She knew that this wasn’t the normal thing to be happening and promptly went to the hospital. She found out then that she had pulled out the leads to her ICD with her continued flow practice and had to have the leads into her ICD replaced. Her advice to me was to avoid weight-bearing yoga poses where you take your arms behind your back (extension), such as Bow pose, Camel pose, Dancer’s pose, and Upward Plank pose.
She also took out the arm balances from her personal practice. Since that time, I did meet a very young lady at one of my recent yoga trainings, and due to her age, she had her ICD placed below her rib cage. Her challenges will be different due to the placement.
After my surgery, over the summer of 2013, I continued to teach the adaptive chair yoga classes. Prior to the surgery, in the adaptive chair yoga class, we’d do 20 minutes of yoga, then about 20-25 minutes of seated dance fitness, sometimes with light weights or not, and then additional balance poses, cool down, and meditative contemplation guided relaxation. After the surgery, I took the seated dance fitness and weights out of the adaptive chair yoga class. (It wasn’t until the fall, that I added those elements back in). And two two weeks after getting out of my arm sling, I went back to teaching my other classes. But I could not do my full range of motion on my left side for over a year.
Then in September of 2014 I created the Yoga for Pacemaker & ICDs Facebook group. I decided to this because I love to share what I learn—I give out handouts all the time in my chair yoga classes, and in the gentle beginning classes that I teach—and I figured that there would be people out there like me, who were looking for resources to help them on their path of continuing their physical practice of yoga. I had my daughter, Amber Barger (and she was a recent graduate of a 200 hour teacher training program) demonstrate the yoga poses with the modifications that I have found to be helpful in my practice and those photos are on the Facebook page.
Yoga teachers and practitioners alike are in the Facebook group, and we get into discussions about alternative ways to do poses. Lately there has been much discussion about Plough pose, Shoulderstand, Legs Up the Wall pose and just in general being inverted in poses.
For me, personally, I have rarely included Shoulderstand, Handstand, Forearm balances, or Plough pose in my practice, so giving those up as not been an issue for me. However, I do like to be inverted. I’ll do Legs on the Chair, Legs on the Resist-a-Ball, and Legs up the Wall. I more recently have purchased a Gravity Pal reclined bench, to allow me to rest in an inclined position. In that position, my pacemaker shifts a bit towards my collarbone, as it does in Downward-Facing Dog pose, but it doesn’t seem to affect it. However, for my beginner clients I have them do Half Downward-Facing Dog pose at the wall instead. And for my chair clients, I have them stand behind the chair and use the top of the chair for their hands in Downward-Facing Dog pose.
For more information like this, come join me on Facebook! Go tohttps://www.facebook.com/groups/691963750892696/ and click the Join Group button and I’ll add you to the group.
—Gail
Gail Pickens-Barger, E-RYT 200, LVCYT, CRYT, YogaKiddos®, Get Fit Where You Sit® Fitness Teacher is a retired IT professional who started teaching yoga in 2001. A graduate of YogaFit International Training System, she currently teaches Beginners Yoga, Kids Yoga, and Adaptive Chair Yoga for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in the Nederland, Texas area. She also has experience teaching prenatal yoga, and teaches yoga privately in people’s homes to help them with their issues of osteoporosis and osteopenia, using Dr. Loren Fishman’s YogaUOnline course, his books, and his DVD’s to assist folks in becoming stronger and more independent in their active older years. You can find her at yogawithgaileee.com or contact her at 409-727-3177.
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Friday, February 17, 2017

YogaKiddos in Nederland, Texas

Lots of YogaKiddos activities this mid-winter at Wesley UMC in Nederland, Texas.  We are gearing up for International Kids Yoga Day in April.  Here are some activities we are doing in preparation for kids yoga on that day!

Top L-R: Tree Pose, Yoga Props, Groundhog Yoga, Yoga Bells/Chimes, Frog in Seated Twist Pose, Valentine Yoga, Heart openers, Chocolate Meditation, Valentine Card Yoga, Giraffes Can't Dance (or can they???) more valentine yoga, and various kiddos doing YogaKiddos!
Tree Pose, Yoga Props, Groundhog Yoga, Yoga Bells/Chimes, Frog in Seated Twist Pose, Valentine Yoga, Heart openers, Chocolate Meditation, Valentine Card Yoga, Giraffes Can't Dance (or can they???) more valentine yoga, and various kiddos doing YogaKiddos!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Are you looking to: Sleep Better, Ease Stress, Lose Weight, Lessen Back Pain? Beginners Yoga, One on One lessons may be the answer!

Are you looking to:  Sleep Better, Ease Stress, Lose Weight, Lessen Back Pain?  Beginners Yoga, One on One yoga lessons may be the answer! Contact Gail Pickens-Barger, to start your efforts of establishing a personal yoga practice.  Remember, You Don't Have to Bend Like a Pretzel or Tie Yourself Up in a Knot, to Experience the Full Benefits of a Regular Yoga Practice!  yogawithgaileee@gmail.com or 409-727-3177
One on One Yoga Lessons to help you start a personal yoga practice to experience the benefits of yoga!


Monday, December 26, 2016

Discover how to: lose weight, ease stress, increase flexibility & strength, lessen back pain, build up bone mass and better balance with Yoga, with experienced & international yoga teacher, Gail Pickens-Barger.

Thank you for coming to my website! I am excited about helping you learn the benefits of yoga and starting you on your path to a regular yoga practice.

Discover how to: lose weight, ease stress, increase flexibility & strength, lessen back pain, build up bone mass and better balance with Yoga, with experienced & international yoga teacher, Gail Pickens-Barger.  Serving the cities of Beaumont, Nederland, Port Neches, Groves & Port Arthur, Tx, Texas.
Why do people come to yoga?
  • Want to lose or maintain their weight.
  • Increase their flexibility and also to increase their strength.
  • Ease their body aches and pains.
  • Reduce their stress in their busy lives.
  • Their doctor suggested that they participate in yoga lessons.
Contact Gail for arranging your first yoga lesson!
You don’t need any previous experience to make dramatic changes in your life in a very short time. It doesn’t matter what shape you’re in right now, yoga is suitable for every “BODY!”
Please call for details.
409 727-3177 or email at:
YogaWithGaileee@gmail.com

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Yoga brings unlikely yogis - Port Arthur News, September 2011

NEDERLAND — At the end her class, Nederland yoga instructor Gail Pickens-Barger asks her students to mediate on how they are unique and “there is nobody like you in the universe.”

Her students suffer from multiple sclerosis, a chronic, unpredictable disease that effects the central nervous system, and none of their symptoms are exactly the same.

Some of her students experience episodes extreme numbness in their limbs.

“It is as if you put a giant foam block around your leg or foot,” Pickens-Barger said.

For some, the disease effects their balance or, in Crystal Chauvin’s case, a day-long jolt of electric pain down her cheek.

All of the students seem to share in one thing: The relief and relaxation of yoga.

“It helps me move better, helps me balance,” said Becky Dry, who has dealt with the disease for much of her life.

“The class helps us get through the day,” added Dry. “I’m ok now but tomorrow I may not.”

Approximately 400,000 Americans suffer from multiple sclerosis and every week 200 more people are diagnosed with the disease, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

There is no known cause or cure for MS. It is only fatal in extreme cases.

MS adaptive yoga is done in chairs for safety but, as Pickens-Barger points out, it can still make you sweat.

“Keep it between easy and ouch,” Pickens-Barger said during one of the stretches. “Far, far away from ouch.”

Pickens-Barger just got back from a two week long chair-yoga training in New York City, where she learned new techniques to allow her students to access the benefits of yoga without completely exhausting their bodies.

One of the biggest problems for people who suffer from MS is balance. Most of the students use a cane or a walker to get from one place to another.

The yoga techniques are designed to strengthen a person’s core muscles which help them balance whether they are sitting down or standing up.

Just as important as the benefits of the exercise and strength-building, is the sense of community and friendship the class brings to each other’s lives.

“It’s a support group also,” said Pickens-Barger.

Lonestar National MS society sponsors the class as well as a 180-mile bike ride from Houston to Austin for cyclists living with multiple sclerosis.

The yoga classes take place every Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Wesley United Methodist Church in Nederland, and the local branch of the Multiple Sclerosis society meets the first Saturday of every month at 11 a.m. at the Medical Center in Port Arthur.

bjanes@panews.com

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Yoga in Beaumont/Port Arthur/Nederland Texas and The Gravity Pal

If you need information about local yoga classes and instructors in the area, please be sure to give me a call at 409-727-3177.  If my classes do not meet your schedule, style, I can forward you onto other instructors in the area!

Nederland, Port Neches, Vidor, Orange, Port Arthur and Beaumont locations.

Oh, been interested and I have to say excited to be getting a Gravity Pal.  Can't wait to do some good ole fashioned yoga on it!  Keep you posted!

http://www.gravitypal.com/low-angle-inversion-tables/  for more information!

Yoga in Nederland, Texas.
See you on the Mat either Thursdays at 10 am or Mondays at 6:15 pm.  No yoga on Labor Day!
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You don't have to bend like a pretzel to do Yoga

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