(Class and blog offered by Yoga Farm instructor Neko)
I was so excited when I got asked to teach yoga for the bride to be and her wedding party on the morning of her big day at the John Joseph Inn last Saturday. I called to talk to the bride, Christy, beforehand, to get an idea about what her party’s needs and yoga experience was, and I wanted to know all about the ‘how’d you two meet’ story, so that I could cater my class to their love story.
Christy and Timothy were set up on a blind date at a wedding in 2012. They had many interests in common and became friends first, taking turns visiting each other in NYC and Massachusetts, doing fun outdoor activities together, for a couple of years. Their bond became super strong, and one of Christy’s friends finally said to her, “why aren’t you two dating, you’re clearly made for each other.” It didn’t take long for them to decide that was a great idea. They picked their wedding date a year in advance, so didn’t realize that it fell on the Supermoon Full Moon, which is a very auspicious day!
When I arrived at the John Joseph Inn on a perfect Saturday morning, the party was getting ready to stretch, relaxed and low key, commenting on having a bit too much fun the night before. I set up outside in the apple orchard, with spots in the shade and in the sun. So there we were, wedding party and John, the owner of the John Joseph Inn, in the middle of the apple orchard on a beautiful sunny August day in Lansing, NY, just a couple miles from the Yoga Farm, doing yoga! Surrounded by lambs. With tails! Did you know that sheep are born with tails? Long ones, like cats. It was such a surprise to me. I themed the class “devotion” and had each person set their own personal intention for something they were ready to devote to in their life, guiding them into a meditation of rooting that seed of devotion into the earth thru their feet. Then I had us all hold hands as we each grew a branch, extending out to Christy and Timothy, which carried a blessing for the couple. Then we were ready to stretch!
I had a diverse crowd to cater to, because Christy’s mom had never taken a class before in her life, whereas Christy is a seasoned yogi, having years of practice under her belt. I made a simple and fun class to accompany all levels of experience, offering both Sun and Moon Salutations. Sun salutations heat the body up, where as Moon Salutations cool the body down. Mom did great and Christy and company loved the class as well. My classes always end with an optional head massage (receiving assisted touch during yoga relaxation is my favorite) and everyone gladly accepted, sprawled out under the apple trees, on their yoga mats and blankets.
I left the ladies and one gent with an ease of mind, body, and renewed sparkle in their eyes. Nothing makes me happier than bringing ease and joy to people’s life. I was honored to share in their special day of union and celebration.
Recently in classes and private sessions here at Yoga Farm, some students have said that they are experiencing some back pain, and are hoping that the practice of yoga can help them heal and prevent further injury and discomfort.
Fortunately, for many types of back pain, yoga can be a key component in overall back wellness. Yoga can provide cost-effective, non-surgical support, strengthening and relaxing the muscles of the back, core, hips and legs.
“I would like to express gratitude to the Yoga Farm…in Sept/Oct, I took extra yoga classes (and a gong bath) to work on severe back pain — and it worked! My back is now pain-free and I am back to normal. Many thanks.” — Karen S, Lansing NY
The spine is a complex structure, and it relies on a substantial set of muscles in the back and front of the spine as well as the legs and hips to support it. Back pain of many varieties can result from an imbalance of these muscles. A weak core (abdominals and obliques), can cause back pain. Hips and Hamstrings that are too tight can pull the spine out of shape. Minor curvature of the spine (scoliosis), can lengthen the muscles on one side while shortening the muscles on the other side of the back, resulting in discomfort over time. Poor posture while standing, sitting, driving all can create imbalances in the muscles that hold up the back, eventually causing pain.
In our Easy, Light and Fun classes at Yoga Farm, our sequences are designed to be back-safe. We avoid poses or exercises as much as we can that could create back pain or worsen an existing condition, while examining alignment so that students learn how to practice yoga in a way that is helpful.
In our private yoga therapy, we study the condition(s) of an individual, often with the input of chiropractors, physical therapists, and doctors, and create specialized yoga sequences just for that person. We meet once a week to practice these sequences with the support of an expert and coach the individual in overall back wellness.
Our approach to supporting someone with back trouble in our group yoga classes and private yoga therapy sessions looks at the following key areas:
We lengthen and strengthen the back, legs and hips
We develop core strength
We stretch the hamstrings and quadriceps
We open and relax the hips and shoulders
We breathe into tight and painful areas, circulating healing energy
If you are experiencing pain in the back, hips, or shoulders, yoga can be a key component of your overall wellness. Please let the instructor know when you arrive in class if you have any current discomfort so that appropriate support (using props) and modifications (gentler backbends for example) can be provided for you.
Yoga therapy is the adaptation of yogapractices for people with health challenges. Yoga therapists prescribe specific postures, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques to suit individual needs.
Our private yoga and meditation therapy allows us to work together in a very deep, real, way, in complete privacy and confidentiality.
We have several different levels of engagement that you can tap in to, each leading you deeper into the experience of your own joy, your own wellness, your own contentment.
What is Yoga Therapy good for?
Our yoga therapy adapts the practice of yoga to the specific needs of students with a specific or persistent health problem not usually addressed in a group class.
Private yoga therapy sessions are beneficial for the one suffering from stress, mental or emotional trauma, injury and disease. Below are some of the challenges that yoga therapy sessions can provide support for :
Learning yoga in a simple way
Reducing stress level and cultivating a greater ability to hand stressful situations
Assistance with a life change or new transition
Anxiety or depression
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Body image struggles
Ongoing health problems
Costs and Packages (at Yoga Farm, travel additional)
A 30 minute initial consultation: free
We will meet at Yoga Farm or on the phone, to get to know each other, discuss goals and experience and explore intentions and reasons for engaging private practice. cost: free (at Yoga Farm or phone/Skype)
A single private yoga therapy session: $90 for one session
The initial session is about 90 minutes long, follow-on sessions are about 75 minutes. We start with an intake form and discussion, followed by appropriate yoga, mindfulness and meditation practices, and a wrap up talk at the end for questions and next steps.
Five private yoga therapy sessions: $375 (= $75 per session)
With five sessions planned together, we’ll be able to go deeply into specific yoga corrective yoga sequences tuned for your body and mind. Each session is scheduled at your convenience, and will build on core fundamentals appropriate to your physical and emotional condition. Generally once every week is a good frequency to gain benefit. The five sessions need to be used within five months.
For me, Christopher, consistent practice of yoga has offered a sense of freedom, peace, strength and clarity that I couldn’t even imagine in previously. I have personally experienced pain, injury, persistent bodily stiffness and disease, and a wild, chaotic mind. I have been led through to my own transformation with the help of many patient teachers and guides over the last few years.
I am passionate about translating yoga into a useful form so anyone who applies themselves will be able to transform pain into relief, ease in their body, and peace in their mind. I love giving private yoga lessons to people who are new to yoga, so they can learn a practice at their own pace that suits them perfectly. I am patient and kind and teach in a simple, accessible, understandable way. Read more about Christopher on our bio page.
Private Yoga Therapy with Neko
I practice & teach yoga to find balance inside of myself and with all beings. It is my medicine. My antidote to my over-thinking mind, my emotional ripples in the pond, and my anxious, tired, or stressed out body. It is more than just a physical practice. It connects my mind to my body to my Spirit. And to the Divine. It has deeply enriched my life and I have no doubt in my heart that this is an offering that I am here to pay forward to any and all who seek peace.
In my private sessions, I work from a background that merges my thoroughly researched understanding of pain and dis-ease in the body, with my innate intuitive healing abilities. I have worked as an herbalist and energy healer for over 10 years and specialize in working with women that are suffering from pain or dis-ease related to emotional, mental, physical and/or hormonal changes. Read more about Neko on our bio page.
“I chose to do private sessions with Christopher to improve a thyroid condition using yoga. Christopher is an excellent listener to both the words you say and your body, plus he researches thoroughly and is a gentle instructor. After just one session, I had profound shifts in my energy levels and my brain fog lifted. At the end of the second session when he asked me how I felt, I felt awake and alive. It’s obvious to me that my body responds to yoga the way Christopher teaches it, and the improvements continue to grow and build between sessions. The change holds.” – Janice D. Ithaca, NY
“I began weekly sessions with Christopher two months ago, as a supplement to my usual training routine. With his expert guidance I have already noticed increased flexibility especially the in the back and hips, which has had a positive impact on my golf game and my overall feeling of wellness. His new facility is lovely, spacious and well-equipped”. — George A. Hay, Cornell Law School
“I did a private 3 lesson series because I wanted special sessions customized just for me. Chris did a great job of understanding what worked for me and what didn’t, and was patient with explanations. At the end of my sessions I had learned real tools that I could use in my personal practice that I could have never put together in a group class.” – J.V. Ithaca, NY
“Christopher, you are a distinctly gifted teacher, able to identify sequences ideal for the individual as well as a group. I recall with fondness your assistance with my arm… in that session you were comfortable and able to hold the space for my discomfort, physically and emotionally with tremendous Grace. You were able to let me be with my tears, with no need to run for Kleenex and the belief of, “oh here, tissues, let’s clean up that mess!” You just let me be where I was, silently, so I could move deeper into it, through it. ” – D.H., Ithaca NY
“Christopher specially tailored our meditation and mindfulness session according to goals that my husband and I had set but had not moved towards. We wanted to get back into consistent meditation, and Christopher suggested a 28 day meditation challenge. That worked! We are more than half way through the challenge now, and we can see the improvement in our ability to sit together and clear our minds…and cuddle with gratitude.”– A.F., Ithaca NY