28 at 28: practicing yoga with my dad at Nishkama Yoga

Number 17 on my 28 at 28 list was practice yoga with my dad.

Since my dad’s started his own at-home yoga practice about six months ago, I’ve been pestering him to join me at my yoga home. While he’s been warming up to the idea, I finally had the perfect opportunity to introduce him to the “studio life” as Nishkama Yoga held a Yoga Basics Workshop this Saturday afternoon.

A bit of background on the workshop: Nishkama Yoga Teacher Trainees Lisa and Stephanie come together to offer the community a free Yoga Basics Workshop! Whether you are just starting yoga or have a long established practice, attending a basics workshop benefits us! Nishkama Yoga Teacher Trainees are encouraged to be creative in the ways they teach. Come to a workshop with a brand new approach on learning yoga. The workshop is free so what is there to lose?

We were expecting a sell out crowd for the workshop, so as our studio space filled up…

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…I registered the students along with one of my favorite yogis Bethany.

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Side note: Bethany teaches one mean spin class! Friday night I headed west to Ride+Workout in Lakewood for her EasyRider class. So much fun! There were plenty of smiling faces in the room familiar to the Nishkama family, including my sorority sister Dawn:

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Dawn’s practiced yoga before, but was excited to introduce her boyfriend to his very first yoga class. My blog friend Dean from Thirty Minutes Daily also joined in for the yoga fun that afternoon as he’s also just starting his yoga practice. But I have to be honest as I was most excited for one participant in particular: my dad!!

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My dad was ready to put his yoga knowledge to good use by participating in his first studio session! He proudly brought the yoga mat I got him for Christmas, rolled it out next to mine and was ready to get his yoga on.

Lisa and Stephanie began the class with a moment of seated mediation and then introduced basic breathing techniques including ujjayi breathing. From there, we learned the poses associated with a sun salutation series:

  • Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
  • Urdhva Hastasana (Raised Hands Pose)
  • Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
  • Ardha Uttanasana (Flat Back)
  • High Plank to Low Plank, or “Knees, Chest and Chin”
  • Bhujangasana (Cobra)
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)

They gave us the chance to flow through the series, stressing the importance of marrying the breath with the movement: inhaling to a flat back, exhaling to a standing forward bend, and so on. It felt great to slow down my sun salutation and focus on proper alignment and breathing.

I peaked over at my dad on occasion to see that he was right in step and actually was far more flexible that I expected him to be! He said that he knew all the poses but was hearing the Sanskrit for the first time. I mentioned to him that classes aimed at beginners will emphasize the use of non-Sanskrit terms, but it becomes more helpful to know the Sanskrit as you develop as a yogi.

We also explored other important foundation poses that all yogis should know, including:

  • Warrior 1
  • Warrior 2
  • Chair Pose
  • Tree Pose
  • Seated Spinal Twist
  • Bridge Pose
  • Locust Pose

Lisa and Stephanie reminded us early on that Child’s Pose is always an option when you need it, and were kind enough to give us moments in the pose throughout the two hour workshop:

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It was great to have the teacher trainees (Yolanda & Lisa (pictured above) and Stephanie & Bethany) all working about the room. They helped the students get into proper alignment to ensure we properly learned each pose, as well as helped to deepen our poses – as they are doing in the above photo while students were in child’s pose.

The class ended with a proper savasana and a wonderful moment to reflect on everything we had learned that afternoon. At the end of the class, the room had a buzz about it. The students were ready to continue their yoga journey – many of them mentioning they were planning on attending another class in the upcoming week. I love to see the yogi love grow!

LONG STORY SHORT: Even as a more advanced practitioner, I gained a lot by attending this beginner’s workshop. As for my dad, he was grateful to learn more about the poses he’s been practicing on his own. While attending a studio is great, he’s proof that even a simple home practice can be beneficial. Since starting a 15 minute yoga practice each morning six months ago, my dad swears he has little to no joint pain, even after many years of working a labor intensive job. After Saturday’s workshop, he said feels ready to attend Nishkama’s Yoga Basics class on a regular basis! Here’s to more father/daughter yoga-ing!!

Interested in joining in on the yoga beginners fun? Nishkama Yoga will be hosting a “Yoga 201” workshop on Saturday, February 4th from 12PM to 2PM – and it’s free!! Register on the website (under the Workshops tab) as we’re sure to have another sell out that afternoon!

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7 comments

  1. Jess says:

    I LOVE that your dad has been practicing at home and has learned a ton on his own, that is way cool. Even cooler is that he came to the studio with you and did so well, that is so awesome and such a fun way to bond with your dad. I love it! I also continue to be impressed with your own yoga practice, you are amazing!

  2. jobo says:

    That is so awesome that you went with your dad and he is really getting involved in yoga with you. So great. and I am almost so SO impressed with your yogi abilities 🙂

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