Nidra sleep? Add Yoga Nidra Practices to your nightly routine.

Nidra sleep? Add these Yoga Nidra practices to your nightly routine!

Nidra Sleep? Add nightly Yoga Nidra Practices to your night routine!

Benefits of Yoga Nidra.

Great for Beginners to meditate, those of us needing guided rest for better sleep, easing of pain, and more.

So just to provide a little bit of context, and a little bit of predictability, our Yoga Nidra or our Guided Rest Practice is a form of guided meditation. Still, there is nothing for you to do, except to listen and follow the guidance of the teacher’s voice.

Aside from being relaxing, restorative, and restful, studies have shown that yoga Nidra can also:

  • ease insomnia
  • decrease anxiety
  • alleviate stress
  • reduce PTSD, chronic pain, and chemical dependency
  • heighten awareness and focus
  • transform negative habits, behaviors, and ways of thinking
  • foster feelings of peace, calm, and clarity
  • reduce stress
  • improve sleep
  • help heal trauma
  • reduce chronic pain
  • plant seeds for future growth

Create an account and book a class on Veterans Yoga Project Online Yoga Studio.

Playlists:
Yoga Nidra Meditation Videos:

Yoga Nidra Practices from VYP Yoga Teacher Gail P-B.

Rain Sounds for Sleeping Videos:

Rain sounds to ease into slumber

Easing into sleep with Soothing Rain Videos and Yoga Nidra Meditation Practices:

Both Rain and Yoga Nidra Practices playlist

Veterans Gratitude Week Fundraising Class with Gail Pickens-Barger VYPBootsOnTheGround #VeteransGratitudeWeek #VGW2022Veterans

Join Gail Pickens-Barger, on the 10th of November at 10AM to 11AM Central Time, LIVE on Zoom for this ONE-hour Chair Yoga Class to benefit Veterans Yoga Project Gratitude Week (8AM PT | 11AM ET).

  • 20 minutes of seated chair yoga postures
  • 20 minutes of seated cardio fitness routines
  • 20 minutes of strength, balance, guided rest/relaxation & gratitude practice

Yoga Nidra Series for October

Need Yoga Nidra Resources? I have three Yoga Nidra’s to put onto your playlist. Enjoy

October I Yoga Nidra – 43 Minutes
https://youtu.be/jOcW1yPoyP8

Yoga Nidra Practices to ease anxiety, lessen stress, reduce chronic pain and ease into slumber.

October II Yoga Nidra – 42 Minutes
https://youtu.be/e5k0Znceldc

Lessen anxiety, reduce monkey mind, and ease into slumber with Veterans Yoga Project Yoga Nidra Practices.

October III Yoga Nidra – 42 Minutes
https://youtu.be/bix-O8cytPM

Ease into slumber with a Veterans Yoga Project Yoga Nidra Practice. Taught by VYP Yoga Teacher, Gail Pickens-Barger

Gentle Yoga for Healthy Backs – Beginners Yoga on Veterans Yoga Project Online Studio Site

Gentle Yoga for Healthy Backs – Beginners Yoga on Veterans Yoga Project Online Studio Site

Studies show that yoga is effective in assisting with lowering back pain.

National Institutes of Health – article on Yoga eases moderate to severe chronic low back pain

Boston University study finds it’s as good as physical therapy for relieving lower back pain

NPR – National Public Radio reports – study finds yoga can help back pain, but keep it gentle with these poses, as heard on Morning Edition.

There are even some guides in this article!

Science Daily Reports – Yoga helps back pain among veterans! –
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170725154211.htm

Time Magazine states Yoga works as well as physical therapy for Back Pain –
http://time.com/4825261/back-pain-yoga-physical-therapy/

Consumer Reports – Try Yoga for Back Pain

New Back Pain Guidelines from Consumer Reports – https://www.consumerreports.org/back-pain/new-back-pain-guidelines/

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

Original article HERE

Friday Q&A: Facebook Group for Yoga Practitioners with Pacemakers
Yoga for Pacemaker/ICD Facebook Group Moderator, Gail Pickens-Barger
Yoga for Pacemaker/ICD Facebook Group Moderator, Gail Pickens-Barger


Yoga for Pacemaker/ICD Facebook Group Moderator, Gail Pickens-Barger
Yoga for Pacemaker/ICD Facebook Group Moderator, Gail Pickens-Barger

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

Yoga for Pacemaker/ICD Facebook Group Moderator, Gail Pickens-Barger
Yoga for Pacemaker/ICD Facebook Group Moderator, Gail Pickens-Barger

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.

Gail’s Teaching Schedule for Fall 2022

Here’s my teaching schedule for Fall 2022


Wednesday 12:30 PM CST on VYP-Classes. Sign up for a free account at least 1 hour prior, to book and verify your email the first time. Free – Gentle Yoga for Beginners and for Low Back Pain

Fridays 10:30 AM at Lakeside Best Years Senior Citizen Center
  • Wednesday 12:30 PM CST on Wellness Living Online. Sign up for a free account at least 1 hour prior, to book and verify your email the first time. Free – Gentle Yoga for Beginners and for Low Back Pain https://tinyurl.com/vyp-classes
  • Wednesday 6:15 PM CST at Wesley UMC, Nederland, Texas. In-Person Class. $10. Door opens at 6:00 PM. Call 409-727-3177 on any additional questions.
  • Fridays at LakeSide Best Years Senior Citizen Center – 10:30 AM
  • Sunday 7:00 PM CST on Wellness Living Online. 45 Minute Yoga Nidra Class. Sign up thru: https://tinyurl.com/vyp-classes
  • Private Yoga upon request.
  • Zoom Corporate Classes upon request.
  • A PDF guide to my Gentle Yoga for Low Back Care Classes.
Gentle Yoga for Low Back Care with Gail

WEDNESDAYS at 12:30 PM CST – Join VYP yoga teacher, Gail Pickens-Barger, for 60-minute gentle yoga practice for easing back pain. Gail incorporates all five mind-body tools of VYP Mindful Resilience: Breathing, Meditation, Mindful Movement, Guided Rest, and Gratitude.

These tools help us breathe easily, focus clearly, move freely, rest deeply, and remember what is working in our lives. As a result, we become more resilient in the face of both ordinary and extraordinary challenges.

To help ease any regulars into classes, please invite them to
A) create a Wellness Living account with us,
B) visit the Classes page on our VYP website to see an integrated look at what we are offering online both daily and weekly, and/or
C) stayed tuned online with us through social media for announcements.

Here is the direct link for the VYP page resource with our classes:

https://veteransyogaproject.org/vyp-classes/

Yoga with Gail. In-Person and Online Yoga. Nederland, Beaumont Texas
Yoga with Gail. In-Person and Online Yoga. Nederland, Beaumont Texas

September 2022 – New Yoga Class with Gail Pickens-Barger

Wednesday at 6:15 PM | 45 Minute yoga class | Held at Wesley UMC/NederlandTX | 3515 Helena Avenue, Nederland, Tx 77627 | Bring $5 and a food items for our Back Pack Food Ministry. 409-727-3177
Wednesday at 6:15 PM | 45 Minute yoga class | Held at Wesley UMC/NederlandTX | 3515 Helena Avenue, Nederland, Tx 77627 | Bring $5 and food items for our Back Pack Food Ministry

$5 | 45 Minute Beginners Yoga Class | Back Pack Food Item | Wednesdays at Wesley UMC/Nederland, Tx.

  • Meats & Stews (pop tops)
  • Breakfast items
  • Packaged Noodles
  • Canned Vegetables (pop tops)
  • Canned Fruits (pop tops)
  • 100% Juice Boxes
  • Staple Milk
  • Healthy Snacks

Look for the Pop-topped individual items

Questions? Complaints? Comments? Complements? Let me know.

If you have chronic neck or back pain…

If you carry stress in your neck and shoulders (not that any of us do…!)

If you wake up feeling listless and sore, wondering what is going on with your body anyway…

Discover the natural, safe, and enjoyable way to get relief from the above, as well as achieve the following benefits:

…cope better with stress, both daily annoyances and monumental life changes.

…feel happier and more energized.

…increase physical strength and flexibility, no matter what your age or physical condition.

…feel more creative – and like you have more time for your creative projects.

…feel relaxed and at-ease in your body and in your life.

People you know may be amazed at the transformation in you.

They’ll want to know the secret.

It’s not a pill…or a drink….

In fact, it’s not a gimmick at all.

It’s just that you’ve discovered the ancient secret that has relieved pain and stress for millions of people.

It’s yoga.

You may have a picture of yoga as a bunch of hyper-thin women doing crazy bendy pretzel poses in tight clothing.

Nope.

Physical yoga is instead a combination of physical stretching, strengthening and toning poses, breathing techniques, and deep relaxation practices that are accessible to everyone and every-body.

It’s a system of healing the body that has worked for thousands of years.

You’ll feel the benefits after just a few sessions. Sessions are available either in a class setting or privately in your own home, whichever is a better fit for your lifestyle.

For more information, contact Gail Pickens-Barger at Yoga with Gail, 409-727-3177
or visit us at www.yogawithgaileee.com

How to ease back pain with gentle yoga with Gail Pickens-Barger
How to ease back pain with gentle yoga with Gail Pickens-Barger

In-Person and Online Yoga Practices with Gail

Online Low Back Care Yoga Class with Gail Pickens-Barger
Wednesdays at 12:30 PM CT | Sundays at 7:00 PM CT
Online Low Back Care Yoga Class with Gail Pickens-Barger
Once a month yoga on Zoom for Veterans Yoga Project. Second Monday/Tuesday of the month.
Adaptive Yoga for Beginners at Lakeside Event Center in Beaumont Texas.  FriYAY's Yoga at 10:30 AM CT.  Use of the chair is optional.  We do 2-3 Chair Yoga Dance practices, prior to starting the 10:30 AM class.  Then afterwards we do a 10 minute indoor walking workout to those who wish to participate.
Adaptive Yoga for Beginners at Lakeside Event Center in Beaumont Texas. FriYAY’s Yoga at 10:30 AM CT. Use of the chair is optional. We do 2-3 Chair Yoga Dance practices, prior to starting the 10:30 AM class. Then afterwards we do a 10 minute indoor walking workout to those who wish to participate.
Coming up! Day change for our In-Person Evening Yoga. Moving to Wednesday Night, coming in September. 6 PM CT at Wesley UMC, Nederland, Texas
Adaptive Yoga for Beginners at Lakeside Event Center in Beaumont Texas.  FriYAY's Yoga at 10:30 AM CT.  Use of the chair is optional.  We do 2-3 Chair Yoga Dance practices, prior to starting the 10:30 AM class.  Then afterwards we do a 10 minute indoor walking workout to those who wish to participate.
Yoga with Gail Pickens-Barger

Yoga Classes in Jefferson Mid-County, Texas. Nederland, Port Neches, Port Arthur, Tx.

Yoga in Nederland, Port Neches, Port Arthur, Tx. Jefferson Mid-County

Got your yoga classes and locations listed here!  My classes and schedule don’t fit everyone’s schedule, so I thought I’d list out all the yoga that I know of here in Mid-County. (Beaumont &  Orange listings at the end of this post.)  Summer/Fall 2022

Starting 2022: Beginners Yoga on Tuesday night in Nederland, Texas. $10 held at Wesley UMC/Nederland, Tx.  6:00 PM CT.  Call Gail for additional information, or just show up with a yoga mat, a couple minutes prior to class starting. 409-727-3177.

Wednesdays: 12:30 PM CT.  Free Yoga on Veterans Yoga Project Online Yoga Studio.  Taught by local teacher, Gail Pickens-Barger.   A Beginners’ Gentle Yoga for low back care class.  Great for beginners and those with back challenges.  Linke below for getting a free account, then book the class. https://veteransyogaproject.org/vyp-classes

Fridays: 10:30 AM at Lakeside Best Years Senior Citizen Center.  Yoga. 60 minute class.  Free for Beaumont residents, come a bit early if you are not a member of the center, to register.  $4 fee for non-residents, and come a bit early to register.  Please wear a mask into the facility and into the yoga room.  Once you are stationed six feet apart, you have permission to take off your mask.

Nederland, Texas

Yoga Private lessons available
upon request
409-727-3177
yogawithgaileee@gmail.com
https://yogawithgaileee.com

Exygon Health and Fitness 
1001 Nederland Avenue, Ned. Tx
409-729-2592
Bring a yoga mat. $15 drop-in fee, included with monthly membership.
http://exygon.com/

PowerHouse Gym in Port Neches
Monday & Wednesday 6:30 PM $10 drop-in fee, comes with membership
Hatha Yoga Class

 

YMCA of Port Arthur 
6760 9th Avenue, Port Arthur, Tx 77642
409-962-6644
Yoga Tuesday/Thursday at 10:00 AM
Friday – 10:00 AM  – SilverSneakers YogaStretch
$15 drop-in fee, included with monthly membership
http://ymcasetx.org/health-well-being-fitness/

Individuals:

Gail Pickens-Barger – Private Yoga instruction in your home or place of business, 409-727-3177 or Contact Gail


SETX (Southeast Texas) Yoga for Veterans

Benefits of Kids Yoga by OmazingKids!!

Benefits of Yoga for Kids - YogaKiddos with Gail Pickens-Barger
Benefits of Yoga for Kids – YogaKiddos with Gail Pickens-Barger

 

More benefits of Yoga for both kids and adults. Benefits of Yoga for Kids - YogaKiddos with Gail Pickens-Barger
More benefits of Yoga for both kids and adults. Benefits of Yoga for Kids – YogaKiddos with Gail Pickens-Barger

Great infographic  by Angela Moorad from OMazingKids Yoga

Yoga Kid Pose Chart

Free Yoga on Wednesday

Free Beginners Yoga Class on Wednesday at 10:30AM PT | 12:30AM CT | 1:30PM ET

We invite you to VYP’s Gentle Yoga class every Wednesday at 10:30am PT | 12:30pm CT | 1:30pm ET with VYP Teacher, Gail P-B. The focus for this Gentle Yoga class is to help manage lower back pain.

Save your spot here: https://veteransyogaproject.org/vyp-classes/

#VeteransYogaProject

#MindfulResilience

#VeteransHelpingVeterans

#FreeYoga

#GentleYoga

#thatthat new #chairyogadance with Gail

Created a new #ChairYogaDance routine to #thatthat by #PSY #Suga of #BTS Get your cardio fitness in, even seated on the chair. Inspired by PSY & Suga’s song and music video. Thank you!

Chair Yoga Fitness - Gail Pickens-Barger

I thought, maybe this routine could be done seated on the chair. That way my folks who are challenged with their cardio fitness, could also enjoy dancing to this great song! Thanks #PSY and #Suga of #BTS for creating this great song and music video.

View original post

Yoga in Nederland & Beaumont, Texas

Teaching yoga in Nederland and Beaumont Texas 2022. Online and In-Person Beginners Classes. Gentle Yoga for low back care classes, Yoga Nidra, and more.

Sunday 7:00 PM Online Yoga Nidra. Tuesday 6:00 PM $10 Beginners Yoga in Nederland, Texas. Wednesday 12:30 PM Online Gentle Yoga for low back care yoga. Friday 10:30 AM Beginners Yoga at Lakeside Event Center in Beaumont Texas. Over 21 years of teaching experience, come join Gail Pickens-Barger.
Gentle Yoga can do that?  Why,  yes it does.  Join me either for my in-person classes in Nederland or Beaumont Texas, or join me online!  Yoga with Gail Pickens-Barger
Gentle Yoga does that? Yes, it does!
Yoga classes available on my youtube channel too!
Classes are available on my Youtube channel too! Search Yoga with Gaileee or #yogawithgaileee

Wednesday & Sunday Yoga Nidra Guided Rest & Relaxation Meditation Practices with Gail

Hello all!

Here are this past week’s Yoga Nidra Guided Rest and Relaxation Practices that I conducted for Veterans Yoga Project.

Wednesdays is a 30-minute practice.

Sundays is a 49-minute practice including setting intentions, benefits of Yoga Nidra Practice, along with Richard Miller’s iRest poem.

After doing the practices, I’d appreciate a filling out the survey.  The things I’m always interested in are if your pain level is less, and your anxiety or stress levels are lessened.

Thank you, and I hope this is helpful to have additional access to these practices.

Gail Pickens-Barger

Survey:

30 Minute Practice of Yoga Nidra

30 minute Yoga Nidra Rest & Relaxation Meditation Practice with #VYPfamily Gail Pickens-Barger

48 Minute Practice of Yoga Nidra

48-minute Yoga Nidra Practice, including the benefits of regular practice, what is Yoga Nidra, Richard Miller’s iRest Poem. With #VYPYogateacher Gail Pickens-Barger

Yoga Nidra aka Yogic Sleep

I am now teaching a weekly 45 minute Yoga Nidra Class for Veterans Yoga Project. Join me Sunday nights at 8 PM ET, 7 PM CT and 5 PM PT.

One of the Veterans who recently took this class with me told me that she had considerably less pain after taking this class. She thanked me for sharing this Yoga Nidra practice with her. That was so sweet of her to share!

Practice Mindful Resilience

Other Yoga – Port Arthur, Port Neches, Nederland, Groves, Beaumont, Hamshire Fannett 2022

There are a lot of yoga teachers and places to take yoga in Jefferson & Orange county Texas. I’m listing the ones that I know about. Please leave me a note if you know of others. Thank you. Sometimes my offerings do not match your schedule or yoga style. I teach yoga for beginners with an emphasis of easing back challenges. Gail Pickens-Barger 409-727-3177

Again, to start off this conversation, I only teach three public classes a week. So I try to keep in the know of what is also out there besides what I offer.

Mid-Jefferson County – Yoga

Port Neches: Arata teaches two classes over at the PowerHouse Gym. Check out their schedule for drop-in fees, dates, and times. You might be able to get a guest pass to check out the class. Arata has just recently received his Veterans Yoga Project training and is excited to help our local veterans. Go check him out!

Port Neches Library: Free chair yoga by one of my students, Ms. Carol. Wednesdays at 2 PM.

Carol Juneau teaching chair yoga at the Port Neches Library! Wednesdays at 2 PM!

Port Arthur: YMCA of SETX. Pam teaches three yoga classes during the day at the “Y”. Two are mat yoga classes, and the third one is the Silver Sneakers Yoga Stretch class. There is a new young lady also teaching a meditation class on Saturdays. Check out their online schedule for details.

Port Arthur Library. In the past prior to covid, one of our local yoga Kemetic Yoga Teachers, Tiffany taught this class. Make inquires again to yoga at the library!

Yoga with Gail. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays

Nederland: Gail Pickens-Barger (me) – The third week of March, I am going back to teaching in-person Gentle Yoga for Beginners: 6 PM Tuesdays at Wesley United Methodist Church in Nederland, Texas (no yoga 2nd Tuesdays, Aggie Moms meet then, so I will teach this class online that day). I teach a once-a-month online yoga class through Veterans Yoga Project on Second Tuesdays. Online I teach every Wednesday, a free yoga class for the Veterans Yoga Project, and Friday’s teaching in Beaumont at LakeSide Event Center.

Nederland: HotWorks: Behind the Schooner restaurant. Go check out their website for details.

Nederland/Port Neches: We have several new instructors, who have received their teacher training that lives in Mid-County. Be on the lookout for their classes at the CrossFit locations here in Mid-County

Nederland – Exygon Health and Wellness Center. Mike and Doneene teach yoga on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Additionally, there is choreographed yoga, BodyFlow that Lori teaches Mondays & Wednesdays. Additionally, there are several BodyFlow classes during the day. BodyFlow is also offered at the Beaumont Exygon. Again, go to their website to find out class times. BRING a YOGA MAT!. You can also get a three-day guest pass, or go check out their classes during launch week.

Orangefield, Texas YogaVibe Studio – Lauren Cowart has this great yoga studio offering a variety of yoga classes and varied instructors.

Yoga Near Me - Nederland Beaumont Texas with Experienced Yoga Teacher Gail Pickens-Barger
Yoga Near Me – Nederland Beaumont Texas with Experienced Yoga Teacher Gail Pickens-Barger

Beaumont: Wow lots of instructors and venues.

Events: Cattail Marsh in Beaumont, Texas. Saturday Yoga. Check the Facebook page for registration.

Events: Barefoot Yoga. A twice-three times a year yoga festival is held on the lawn at the Event Center, Downtown Beaumont. Look this one up on Facebook.

Events: 5 Under Golf Center Yoga. On Saturdays once a month, various yoga teachers teach on the driving range over on Hwy 90/College Street. Look at SETX Events for dates/times/prices

Events: Goat Yoga. Held as a fundraiser in the late fall. Put on by the Nederland Recreation Center.

Events: International Kids Yoga Day – with Gail Pickens-Barger. First Fridays in April.

Events: Veterans Gratitude Week during two weeks in November. Fundraiser yoga for the Veterans Yoga Project

Events: Yoga at the Port Neches Brewery

Events: No Longer Limited Duty Yoga provided by Veterans Yoga Project local instructors. Free for participants. Gail and Arata teach these classes.

Events: Country Club Yoga. Yoga at the Brentwood Country club in Beaumont. Again, look thoroughly at the Facebook page to find events.

Events: SouthEast Texas Yoga Festival – put on by Celeste Robles. A yearly event of an intense three days of yoga.

Beyond Triangle Therapeutic Fitness – in Beaumont, Texas with a couple of yoga classes on their group exercise schedule.

Beaumont Power Yoga – Nicole runs this studio with a lot of class times and teachers. Again, go check them out! When I first moved to the area it was American Power Yoga.

Exygon in Beaumont with their BodyFlow choreographed classes.

Fe-SIO Relax and Stretch Studio in Beaumont, Texas. Go check out Erin, Sara, Melissa and more with their yoga classes and events!

Health and Wellness Center in Beaumont, both pilates, body focus, and yoga.

LakeSide Event Center – Best Years Senior Citizen Center. Both Celeste, Trisha, and I teach yoga/stretching classes for the City of Beaumont. Plus there is Tai Chi here, in addition to Zumba Gold! You’ll find the activity schedule on the Facebook page.

Lamar University – Yoga classes are regularly held at the Shelia Umphrey Rec Center!

Love Yoga Beaumont Studio – great teachers, great selection of classes.

Sound of Soul Yoga – with Ellen Aldrich – Check out her studio

Worlds Gym in Beaumont

Church Yoga at Unity Church, Trinity Methodist Church – Beaumont Texas.

And for a bit of travel, yoga in Sulfer, Lake Charles. Some great teachers and studios!

March 2022 News – Yoga in Beaumont & Nederland, Port Neches, Texas – Yoga Classes

March 2022 News – Yoga in Beaumont & Nederland, Port Neches, Texas – Yoga Classes – 409-727-3177

Teaching three public beginners yoga classes a week during the month of March 2022.

  • NEW – In Person Tuesday Yoga . Starting Third Tuesday in March. Held at Wesley UMC, 3515 Helena Avenue, Nederland, Texas. $10
  • Every Wednesday – Free Beginners Yoga – gentle yoga for healthy backs class – sponsored by Veterans Yoga Project online. To gain access to this free class please visit Veterans Yoga Project website to create a free online studio account to take my Wednesday 12:30 PM Central Time yoga class. Have on hand a strap, block, yoga mat. Optional access to a chair or wall. You can use a long towel and a small pillow instead of a strap/block. Sign up HERE on Veterans Yoga Project.
  • Every Friday 10:30 AM – Beaumont Texas – In-Person beginners yoga class, held at the Best Years Lakeside Event Center in Beaumont. Free for Beaumont residents, non-residents pay $4 for this weekly class. Please come early first time to register at front desk and to fill out yoga registration form. If you have a yoga mat please bring it. There is yoga equipment, but it is first come, first served. Poses can also alternatively be done seated on the chair. Click on Lakeside Center and view the many activities provided!
Coming soon in March In-Person Yoga Tuesdays 6 PM

Benefits of Yoga for Kids & Teens

• Strength, flexibility, and balance

• Concentration, focus, and attention

• Inner strength and body awareness

• Confidence and self-esteem

• Creativity and imagination

• Awareness of breath

• Relaxation and self-control

• Feeling of well-being and respect for others

Conditions Improved By Yoga, Self Reported – from "Yoga As Medicine" Book by Timothy McCall, M.D. ~ Gaileee

This article bears worth repeating! Look at all these conditions that Yoga helps you with!

As I am getting deeper and deeper into one of the books that we are to read for the YogaTherapy course, I am amazed at all the benefits of a regular yoga practice can do for folks. And I’m a yoga teacher. (The more you teach yoga, it seems the more you want to know….and need to know!)

Please read on for more information about “Yoga as Medicine” book (excellent!)by Timothy McCall, M.D. http://www.drmccall.com/ ~Gail Pickens-Barger

Yoga appears to be effective in the treatment of a wide variety of health conditions. In Timothy McCall, M.D. Book, “Yoga As Medicine”, he goes on to say: We’ll be reviewing the scientific evidence later but, for now, let’s see what people who’ve tried therapeutic yoga have to say. In 1983 – 84, the London-based Yoga Biomedical Trust, run by Robin Monro, PhD, surveyed twenty-seven hundred(2,700) people, most between the ages of thirty-one and sixty, who used yoga therapeutically. To be included, participants had to have practiced yoga for at least two hours a week for a year or longer. Though the number of people with some of the conditions in question was small, the results (see the table below, and in Dr. McCall’s book, Table 1.1) were impressive:

  • 98 percent of back-pain sufferers found yoga helpful
  • 90 percent of cancer patients
  • 82 percent of people with insomnia
  • and 100 percent of alcoholics

The lowest success rate in the survey was for women with “menstrual problems,” two out of three of whom found that yoga helped.

Table 1.1 Conditions Improved by Yoga, Self-Reported

Medical Condition     Number of               Percentage Helped
People Reporting               By Yoga

Alcoholism               24                          100%
Anxiety                 838                           94%
Arthritis &
Rheumatic Disorders     589                           90%
Asthma or Bronchitis    226                           88%
Back Disorders        1,142                           98%
Cancer                   29                           90%
Diabetes                 10                           80%
Duodenal Ulcers          40                           90%
Heart Disease            50                           94%
Hemorrhoids             391                           88%
High Blood Pressure     150                           84%
Insomnia                542                           82%
Menopausal Disorders    247                           83%
Menstrual Problems      317                           68%
Migraine                464                           80%
Neurological &
Neuromuscular Diseases  112                           96%
Obesity                 240                           74%
Premenstrual Syndrome   848                           77%
Smoking                 219                           74%

Source: The Yoga Biomedical Trust, London

Imagine how much you’d be hearing about a new drug that could accomplish even a fraction of this. Nevertheless, (it is Dr. Timothy McCall’s)it’s my experience that few in the medical community or the general public have any conception of what yoga has to offer. Part of the problem, (Dr. McCall) I’m convinced, is that many people who could benefit from yoga shy away due to misconceptions about what it is and isn’t, or who can do it and who shouldn’t.

Those subjects to be addressed in a different post.

Here is a NEW link about the 117 conditions benefited by Yoga by Dr. Timothy McCall!
117 Health Conditions Helped By Yoga!

Enjoy the updated info!

Teaching Online Yoga Wednesdays at 12:30 PM Central Time.

Starting second week of March 2022, Wednesdays mid-week yoga class on Veterans Yoga Projects, shifts to a half hour later. 10:30 AM PT, 12:30 PM CST, 1:30 ET

Gentle Yoga with Gail Pickens-Barger. Yoga to help ease back pain, lessen stress, increase flexibility, build bones, better balance, and have higher quality sleep. Next class sign up. https://tinyurl.com/TueYogaGail
Gentle Yoga with Gail Pickens-Barger. Yoga to help ease back pain, lessen stress, increase flexibility, build bones, better balance, and have higher quality sleep. Next class sign up. https://tinyurl.com/TueYogaGail
Tuesday Yoga for Easing Back Pain with Gentle Beginners Yoga with Gail, in-person classes starting 3rd week of March 2022.
Tuesday Yoga for Easing Back Pain with Gentle Beginners Yoga with Gail

Interesting Study: New Study Adds Growing Evidence that Yoga and Meditation Can Reduce Chronic Pain. I can attest to that study, as it has helped me with my chronic back pain!

https://www.yogauonline.com/yoga-research/new-study-adds-growing-evidence-yoga-and-meditation-can-reduce-chronic-pain

The study echoes previous findings on the benefits of yoga and meditation for chronic pain published in 2016 in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association.

“The bottom line is that patients are seeking new ways to cope with chronic pain and effective non-pharmaceutical treatments are available,” says Dr. Marske. “Our findings show meditation and yoga can be a viable option for people seeking relief from chronic pain.”

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/10/201001133227.htm

This just in. Yoga Eases Moderate to Severe Chronic Low Back Pain - Yoga with Gail
This just in. Yoga Eases Moderate to Severe Chronic Low Back Pain – Yoga with Gail

From the “Art of Noticing”…

Typatone! Here’s what Gentle Yoga for Low Back Care with Gail, sounds like!

http://typatone.com/m/5jsjAbO5ze

Gentle Yoga with Gail Pickens-Barger. Yoga to help ease back pain, lessen stress, increase flexibility, build bones, better balance, and have higher quality sleep. Next class sign up. https://tinyurl.com/TueYogaGail
Gentle Yoga with Gail Pickens-Barger. Yoga helps ease back pain, lessen stress, increase flexibility, build bones, better balance, and have higher quality sleep. Next class sign up. https://tinyurl.com/TueYogaGail

Yoga Gifts to make for your students!

Love to use my essential oils to make holiday gifts for my yoga students.

You’ll need:

  • Lavender Essential Oil – I recommend DoTerra’s brand of oil.
  • Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • Aromatherapy Inhaler Sticks
  • Roller Bottles either 5 ml or 10 ml.
  • Fractionated Coconut Oil
Top gifts to make for your yoga students — Yoga with Gail

Create an aromatherapy inhaler stick! On the go use, of your favorite essential oils.

I like to do separate ones for Lavender, Wild Orange and Peppermint.

Drop 15 drops onto a cotton wick, insert and shut into the aromatherapy tube, label your stick and use!

Aromatherapy Inhaler Stick!
15 drops will do!

Gift Guide for the Yoga Person in your Life!

Top Gifts Under $50 for the Yoga Person in Your Life

My favorites, that your yoga person in your life, probably does not have and would REALLY appreciate are the following:

  • Lavender Essential Oil Roll On for better sleep and great relaxation at the end of the day. Retails for $20. Well worth getting!
  • Resistance Loops to add to your yoga practice
  • Stretch Out Strap for better grip in yoga postures that use a strap
Gifts for under $50 for the person who does yoga in your life. Stretch Out Strap, Resistance Fit Bands and the Lavender Essential Oil Roll-On Bottle are everyone’s favorite new yoga gear!

Yoga and Kids Photography by David C. Turnley

Gail demonstrating "Snake" or Cobra Pose in the YogaKiddos Class at Wesley
Gail demonstrating “Snake” or Cobra Pose in the YogaKiddos Class at Wesley
YogaKiddos teacher, Gail Pickens-Barger demonstrating - Active "Flamingo" balance pose in the YogaKiddos class.  Photography by David C. Turnley
Active “Flamingo” balance pose in the YogaKiddos class. Photography by David C. Turnley
Grace and Gail demonstrating the "big breathing" technique in our YogaKiddos Class - Photography by David C. Turnley
Grace and Gail demonstrating the “big breathing” technique in our YogaKiddos Class – Photography by David C. Turnley
Miss Rachel and Gail demonstrating "Giraffe" Pose in our YogaKiddos Class - Photography by David C. Turnley
Miss Rachel and Gail demonstrating “Giraffe” Pose in our YogaKiddos Class – Photography by David C. Turnley

Key findings in the 2016 Yoga in America Study – conducted by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance

Yoga is gaining popularity. The number of American yoga practitioners has
increased to over 36 million in 2016, up from 20.4 million in 2012. 28% of all
Americans have participated in a yoga class at some point in their lives.

Yoga Journal & Yoga Alliance Study in 2016

Yoga is for everybody. There are more male and older practitioners than ever
before (approximately 10 million male practitioners and almost 14 million
practitioners over the age of 50 – up from about 4 million men and 4 million 55+
year olds in 2012).

Yoga Journal & Yoga Alliance Study in 2016

Yoga supports the economy. Yoga practitioners report spending over $16 billion
on yoga clothing, equipment, classes and accessories in the last year, up from
$10 billion in 2012.

Yoga Journal & Yoga Alliance Study in 2016

Yoga is appealing. 34% of Americans say they are somewhat or very likely to
practice yoga in the next 12 months – equal to more than 80 million Americans.
Reasons cited include flexibility, stress relief and fitness.

Yoga Journal & Yoga Alliance Study in 2016
Gentle Yoga for Low Back Care – for Beginners and those of us with back challenges.

Top Two Reasons People Come To Yoga?
To Increase Flexibility and Reduce Stress.

Top Two Reasons People Come To Yoga - From the Yoga Alliance and Yoga Journal 2016 Study - Yoga in America
Top Two Reasons People Come To Yoga – From the Yoga Alliance and Yoga Journal 2016 Study – Yoga in America

Come try a free yoga class with me. I teach this class live on Wednesdays at 1 PM Central Time. Click on the above button to claim a free Mindbody online account, then “book” the class that I teach on Wednesdays.

Don’t worry, if you cannot make the live class, you can get a link to our current recorded yoga classes. I have about 10 yoga for healthy back classes in the studio!

Questions? Complaints? Comments? Complements? I want to know!

Yoga Photographs by David C Turnley

David C. Turnley Photographer. Yoga with Gail Pickens-Barger
David C. Turnley Photographer. Yoga with Gail Pickens-Barger
David C. Turnley Photographer. Yoga with Gail Pickens-Barger
David C. Turnley Photographer. Yoga with Gail Pickens-Barger
David C. Turnley Photographer. Yoga with Gail Pickens-Barger
David C. Turnley Photographer. Yoga with Gail Pickens-Barger
David C. Turnley Photographer. Yoga with Gail Pickens-Barger
David C. Turnley Photographer. Yoga with Gail Pickens-Barger
David C. Turnley Photographer. Yoga with Gail Pickens-Barger

Exercise: A Promising Factor for Protecting Against COVID – Top 8 Indoor Walking Workouts List by Gail

I subscribe to Experience Life Magazine. One of the better overall health and fitness magazines out there. I posted about this article a bit back on my Facebook Newstream.

Exercise: A Promising Factor for Protecting Against COVID
A regular fitness routine may help protect those diagnosed with COVID against hospitalization and even death.

Exercise: A Promising Factor for Protecting Against COVID

Source: Exercise: A Promising Factor for Protecting Against COVID

During the pandemic, I turned to YouTube and walking outdoors for that little extra push of getting my 150 minutes in each week.

Here’s my list of favorite YouTubers, plus a sample of their workouts.

My top indoor cardio workouts

  1. Reps to the Rhythm #repstotherhythm
  2. Brand Fitness #brandfitness
  3. Get Fit with Rick #getfitwithrick
  4. growwithjo #growwithjo
  5. yes2next #yes2next
  6. Sharon’s Hill #sharonashill
  7. Up to the BEat Fit #uptothebeatfit
  8. Walk at Home by Leslie Sansone #walkathome #lesliesansone

Course I love me some yoga too!  

A new report by Kaiser Permanente and UC San Diego says people who exercise regularly have less severe outcomes of COVID-19 infections.

Here’s the video links to try for yourself!

1. Reps to the Rhythm
2. Brand Fitness
3. Get Fit with Rick
4. growwithjo
5. yes2next
6. Sharona’s Hill
7. Up to the BEat Fit
8. Walk at Home with Leslie Sansone
My top 8 favorite Walking Indoors YouTuber Channels!

Steve Ross of Maha Yoga (Inhale Yoga fame) now on Dr Oz.

Steve Ross Happy Yoga  TV Inhale Program
Steve Ross Happy Yoga TV Inhale Program
Steve Ross of Maha Yoga, formerly of the Oxygen Channel show Inhale, a bud of Dr Oz. Showing in 10 minute segments Basic, Energizing, Strength and Balance and Relaxation Yoga. Go Check it out on the Dr Oz Website!!!

Four different videos on Dr. Oz’s website to enjoy!
1. Basic Flow Yoga with Steve Ross from Maha Yoga.

2. Energizing Yoga with Steve Ross from Maha Yoga.

3. Strength and Balance Yoga with Steve Ross from Maha Yoga.

4. Relaxation Yoga with Steve Ross from Maha Yoga

My music playlist from when Steve Ross did the Oprah’s Oxygen TV Channel – Inhale – Enjoy the list!

Yoga Clothing, Gear and Prop Sewing Patterns

Yoga Clothing, Gear and Prop Sewing Patterns

Great Yoga Mat Bag Tutorial.  It is like a large long tote bag! Scroll down a bit, since it is on the Archive website.

You can catch these patterns on sale from various places, JoAnns, Hancocks, Hobby Lobby. Sign up for the newsletters, or read the weekly ads online.

So here are the Yoga Clothing/Props patterns that I have…there may be more…

Simplicity Sewing Pattern 3583 - Make your own yoga gear - Yoga with Gail
Simplicity Sewing Pattern 3583 – Make your own yoga gear – Yoga with Gail

McCall’s MP260 or M4606- including yoga mat bag & Blanket. Two tops, two length jackets, and yoga pant. Still for sale on Ebay.

McCall’s M5664 – Halter Yoga Top, Cap, Sleeveless Shell, Yoga Jacket, Crop and Long Yoga Pant. On McCall’s website, out of print, but you probably can find it in the stores still.

McCall’s 4261 – Sports Bra Top, Long Sleeved Top, Long Skirt (?), Mat Bag, Crop and Long Yoga Pant and Yoga Jacket. (Girl standing in Tree pose.)

New place for yoga clothes ==> Little Rag A Muffin Site

From Simplicity:

Simplicity 3583 – Yoga Accessories: Strap, Eyebag, Mat Bag, Meditation pillow, Zafu, Neck/knee roll and Bolster.

Kwik Sew – Known for a lot of dancer type clothing, and now Yoga/Pilates patterns.

Kwik Sew 3497 – Variations on yoga tops.

Kwik Sew 3498 – “Girls” yoga pants!

Kwik Sew 3115 – Spaghetti Strap Yoga Top, Shell Top, Capri, and Long Yoga Pant.

Kwik Sew 2723 – Racer Back Yoga Top, Boy Shorts, Runners Shorts and Jazzy Yoga Pants.

Kwik Sew 2632 – Long-Sleeved Tied Top (dancer inspired), Leotard & Long Jazzy Yoga Pant.

Kwik Sew 2722 – Unitard with either spaghetti straps or keyhole back. Short or Pant Length.

Oh, yeah, the only thing I’ve made is a large and small bolster, yoga mat bag, eye pillow, blanket and lots of zafu’s!!!

Using my Singer Featherweight to make a Zafu Meditation Yoga Cushion. Yoga Mat, Bolsters and more! Yoga with Gaileee
Using my Singer Featherweight to make a Zafu Meditation Yoga Cushion. Yoga Mat, Bolsters and more! Yoga with Gaileee

117 Health Conditions Helped by Yoga

117 Health Conditions Helped by Yoga

Permission granted by Dr. Timothy McCall to share this pdf.

117 Conditions Helped by Yoga. Permission granted to copy and share this information. Yoga as medicine. As found in scientific studies as of June 2019. Yoga with Gail
117 Conditions Helped by Yoga. Permission granted to copy and share this information. Yoga as medicine. As found in scientific studies as of June 2019. Yoga with Gail

Here is the link to this PDF and the scientific studies supporting the health conditions helped by yoga.

117 Health Conditions Helped by Yoga
117 Health Conditions Helped by Yoga.

I teach weekly gentle yoga for low back care classes for the Veterans Yoga Project. Book my class on Wednesdays to get some sweet relief of easing back pain.

Help relieve your back pain with these top 5 yoga poses

I’ve got a short list of the Top 5 things you can do – to ease back pain – It’s Yoga.

This is just a short list. Work with me to find your easing of back pain solution with a gentle yoga class for healthy back’s class! Gail Pickens-Barger, ERYT200, RYT500, NACYT, Get Fit Where You Sit Chair Yoga Fitness Instructor 409-727-3177

Contact Me to help you find a solution to easing your back pain. It’s Yoga! Gail Pickens-Barger 409-727-3177.

Sign up for a Free Yoga Class for Gentle Yoga for Low Back Care on Mindbody Online through the Veterans Yoga Project. It’s Free!

Wednesdays at 1 PM CST Time.

StarFruit ZaZen Zafu ZaButton Meditation Cushion

Zafu Star Pillows - Yoga with Gail Pickens-Barger
Zafu Star Pillows – Yoga with Gail Pickens-Barger

StarFruit ZaZen Zafu ZaButton Meditation Cushion! Cool.

Look what my mom made me after I took a photo of one at Lex Gillan’s Advance Yoga training in 2013. Cool!

#privateyoga
#privateyogawithgaileee
#IlovewhatIdo
#privatelesson4yoga
#1-409-727-3177

Additional information on making your own Yoga Props! DIY Meditation Pillows.

Sew your own yoga accessories, mat wrap, mat bag, zafu meditation pillow, yoga bolsters and more.

You know Simplicity pattern company (which you can find at Hobby Lobby, JoAnns Fabrics and online) has come out with patterns for making bolsters, cushions, yoga mat bags and such, but there is a wealth of info out there on the web to help you make your own yoga props.

Using my Singer Featherweight to make a Zafu Meditation Yoga Cushion.  Yoga Mat, Bolsters and more!  Yoga with Gaileee
Using my Singer Featherweight to make a Zafu Meditation Yoga Cushion. Yoga Mat, Bolsters and more! Yoga with Gaileee

I made my yoga mat bag out of upholstery material.  I didn’t need to use any lining material because my upholstery fabric was very thick.

Yoga Mat Bag Tutorial, like a long tote bag.  I made this one.

The Yoga Mat Bag Sewing Instructions. Brought to you by Yoga with Gail
The Yoga Mat Bag Sewing Instructions. Brought to you by Yoga with Gail

Make those meditation pillows (zafu’s)

 

Some of the websites that listed how to make the seated meditation pillows are no longer on the web, so I’ve included the instructions onto this page. Here’s a little PDF I created based on these long ago lost internet instructions. Sewing a Meditation Cushion

Additional Meditation Pillow Instructions - Making the Pleats
Additional Meditation Pillow Instructions – Making the Pleats

 

Zafu Meditation Pillow Instructions
Zafu Meditation Pillow Instructions
Old original meditation zafu instructions
Old original meditation zafu instructions

 

Constructing a ZaButton Meditation Cushion
Constructing a ZaButton Meditation Cushion

How to Make a Zafu and Zabuton

Posted by Som on Monday, March 13, 2006

Whether you’re looking for some comfortable, casual seating or want to make your meditation sessions more pleasant, a zafu and zabuton are wonderful things to have around the house. Zafu and zabuton are traditional Japanese cushions used for meditation; the zafu is a circular pillow with pleated sides, and the zabuton is pretty much just a large, flat pillow. You can order them online for $40+ each, but it’s cheaper and more satisfying to make your own at home.

Zafu with a Zabutton meditation cushion
Zafu with a Zabutton meditation cushion
Crossed Legged on the Meditation Zafu & Button
Crossed Legged on the Meditation Zafu & Button
Side view of sitting on the Zafu & Button.  Tilts pelvis forward making for easier seated position.
Side view of sitting on the Zafu & Button. Tilts pelvis forward making for easier seated position.

(I don’t have the best meditation posture, but you get the idea of how the cushions work. The zabuton is a little small for me, because this is one I made for a friend who’s shorter than I am.)

The zafu elevates and cushions the pelvis, and the zabuton cushions the knees and ankles. This position facilitates better posture, eases joint and back pain, and may help one achieve deeper longer meditation sessions. As long as you’re making one set, why not make two? Keep the extra set for guests, give it to a friend who meditates or has back problems, or donate it to your local Zen center or Buddhist temple.

About the materials: I chose to use a cotton/polyester blend for these because it’s cheap and easy to clean with a wet rag; these aren’t something you can just throw in the washing machine. When I’m more settled in my meditation practice, I’ll probably make another set out of some heavy silk, perhaps adding some colorful embroidery or sashiko stitching.

As for filler, I used organic pillow-grade buckwheat hulls for the zafu and plain ol’ polyester stuffing for the zabuton. Kapok would be a better choice for both, but it’s fairly expensive.

Click below for full instructions on how to make the zafu and zabuton.
Zafu
Materials:

  • Cotton/polyester blend fabric, 2 yards (note: 2 yards is enough for two zafu)
  • Pillow-grade buckwheat hulls, 5 lbs.
  • Zipper
  • Sewing thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Hand-sewing needle, pins, scissors
  • Iron, ironing board, and water spray bottle

Sewing a Meditation Cushion. That’s what I started with, but I had to tweak it a little for my own use. I recommend downloading it even if you’re going to use my instructions, as the illustrations in the PDF are quite helpful.

Cut a strip of fabric 65″ x 7″ (there are a few extra inches in the length for fudging purposes.) Cut two circles 13″ in diameter – I used a 13″ round serving plate for my template, but you could also make from cardboard using a compass and a pencil.

Pleat the long strip of fabric: measure 4.5″ inches from one end and mark. Make two more marks 3/4″ from the first. Measuring from your center mark, repeat the process every 4″ until you have 14 pleats marked. Fold, iron, and pin the pleats (since the iron setting for polyester blends usually isn’t high enough for steam, use a water spray bottle for best results.)

On the end, you started pleating at, fold back the fabric 1/2″ and iron. Begin pinning the strip of fabric around one of the fabric circles. When you get to the end, you’ll have a few extra inches of fabric. Fold back and iron. Pin your zipper in place on the folded ends of the fabric, making sure to cut and secure the zipper at least 1″ away from the top and bottom of the fabric to allow room for sewing. Use the sewing machine and a zipper foot to sew the zipper in place; hand-stitch the remaining seam of the side strip width. Trim the extra fabric behind the zipper.

Using the sewing machine, stitch the side fabric strip to the first circle of fabric with a 3/8″ seam allowance. Then pin and sew to the second circle. Trim the extra thread, remove any remaining pins, and turn the pillow.
Stuff as much buckwheat hull as you can into the pillow. This is a little tricky, as buckwheat hulls are tiny and quite devious. Also, they really hurt under bare feet. Fill it as much as you can, shake it down, and fill some more. I used almost all of the 5 lbs. of buckwheat hulls I purchased. Once it’s full, try it out. You may find that you’d be more comfortable with more or less filling – hence the zipper. (And, I’ll admit, I’m terrible at blindstitching. The zipper is my way of cheating.)

If you want to make your circles a different diameter, here is how you calculate where to place your pleats and how long a strip of fabric you need: Multiply the diameter of your fabric circle by pi (3.14159.) This will give you the circumference; for a 13″ diameter, I got a 40.84″ circumference. Add 1″ for the zipper seams (=41.84″.) For 14 pleats, each 3/4″ and using 1 1/2″ of fabric, add 21″ (=62.84″.) Add a couple of inches for fudging purposes, so you’ll be sure not to run out of fabric and have to start all over again (=65″.)
To determine where to put your pleats, take the length of your fabric strip, minus the 1″ of seam allowance and 2″ or so for fudging allowance (in my case, 62″.) Divide by 15 (=4.13″.) Round off as best as you can (=4″.) Remember to add your 1/2″ seam allowance for the measurement before the first pleat (=4 1/2″.)

Zabuton
Materials:

  • Cotton/polyester blend fabric, 1 1/2 yards
  • Polyester, cotton, or kapok stuffing, ~2 lbs.
  • Sewing thread, machine, etc.

Cut two rectangles of fabric, 32 1/2″ x 27 1/2″ (if you’re over 6′ tall, add a few inches to both dimensions. You need it to be big enough to accommodate you when sitting cross legged with your knees comfortably cushioned on the zabuton.) Note: Cutting a straight line that long can be difficult. In order to make sure that my cuts are indeed straight, and that I end up with 90o angles, I use the pulled thread method for cutting straight lines in the fabric.

Pin the rectangles together and stitch around the edges with a 3/8″ seam allowance, leaving an opening about 4″ wide on one side for turning and stuffing. Make sure to backstitch at the corners and on both sides of the opening. If you like, you can stitch a small curve on the edges or add a rise, but it’s not necessary.

Turn and stuff. A word about polyester stuffing: it’s tempting to just grab wads of stuffing and jam it in there without a care in the world, but you’ll end up with a lumpy, unusable pillow. Take the time to do it right. Grab a handful of stuffing and pinch off little pieces. You can make a big pile of pinched stuffing and then stuff the pillow by the handful. You’ll use a lot less stuffing this way, and your zabuton will be nice and fluffy – not lumpy.

Once the zabuton is stuffed to your liking (I stuffed to about a 2″ rise,) stitch the opening shut. To keep the stuffing from shifting about too much, tuft the zabuton. I added four tufts, each about 8″ from the corners toward the center of the pillow. To tuft, take a sewing needle and an 18″ length of thread. Double your thread and pierce both layers of the pillow; pull the needle through, but leave a few inches of thread on top. Bring the needle back through both layers of pillow near the first stitch. Pull both ends of the thread tight and tie it off carefully. Clip the extra thread. And you’re done!

Other links for sewing up your yoga props

List of  Sewing Patterns for Yoga Clothing and Sewing  Yoga Gear

Sew your own Yoga Mat Bag Sewing Instructions 

Sewing your own yoga gear. My nice long yoga mat bag from upholstery material, plus yoga straps for the handles. Zafu Meditation seat cushions (pillows) made from denim. I've had the mediation pillows for year, they have held up nicely! Yoga with Gail. 409-727-3177
Sewing your own yoga gear. My nice long yoga mat bag from upholstery material, plus yoga straps for the handles. Zafu Meditation seat cushions (pillows) made from denim. I’ve had the mediation pillows for years,, they have held up nicely! Yoga with Gail. 409-727-3177

Props and Gear for your Yoga practice . . .

Props and Gear for your Yoga practice.

Sewing your own yoga gear!  Yoga with Gail.  Love using my Singer Featherweight to make yoga gear!
Sewing your own yoga gear! Yoga with Gail. Love using my Singer Featherweight to make yoga gear!

Sew if you have any sewing ability, you can make these items for your Yoga practice.

  • PDF of Sewing a Meditation Cushion Here are the instructions.
    • Zafu

      How to make a Zafu

    First, what is a zafu? It’s a cushion to sit on during sitting meditation.

    Do I need one? Nope.

    Having said that, here are some instructions which I borrowed from a wonderful web site called No Zendo. Unfortunately they are no longer online.

    The following information was originally published by the Zen Center of Los Angeles and was found in one of their fine books, entitled “To Forget the Self: An Illustrated Guide to Zen Meditation” by John Daishin Buksbazen. Unfortunately, this book is now out of print. It is gratefully presented here as a help for those getting started on their own.

    SUGGESTED FABRIC

    A sturdy material such as a cotton/polyester blend

    SUGGESTED FILLING

    Kapok fiber, although buckwheat hulls can be used for those who prefer a firmer seat

    BASIC PIECES

  • Length of cloth 59 inches long, 6 inches to 9 inches wide (depending on how high you would like your cushion to be).
  • Two circles of cloth, each with a diameter of 11 inches to 13 inches (depending on how large around you would like your cushion to be.)
  • STEP 1.
    Pleat the length of cloth. There should be fourteen 3/4 inch pleats, 3 inches apart. To pleat:
    a) Beginning 6-1 /2 inches from the left edge of the length, make three marks, 3/4 inch apart, thus marking out the first pleat:

    cushions1

    Three inches after the first set of pleat markings, make the second set, as indicated above. Continue doing this till you have 14 pleats. When you finish, the last pleat marking should be 3 inches from the right edge. (If you wish to have narrower pleats, of course, simply increase the number of pleats.)

    b) Next, iron the pleats and pin them. They should all be folded and ironed in toward the left-hand side. For each set of pleat markings, fold the third in toward the first as shown, and then pin as shown at below:

    cushions2

    STEP 2.
    Now, having completed the first step, take the right edge of the pleated strip cloth and pin it to the left end of the strip, 3-1/4 inches from the left edge:

    cushions3

    STEP 3.
    Mark each circle of cloth at four equidistant points. Turn pleated length of cloth inside out. Pin each circle to the pleated strip, one circle to the top edge and one to the bottom edge, at each of the four points:

    cushions4

    STEP 4.
    Next, ease (pin) all the pleats in to the circles, top and bottom. Sew the circles to the length of cloth:

    cushions5

    STEP 5.
    Turn inside out and stuff with kapok or buckwheat hulls (through opening in the side that the zafu will have) It’s best to use a lot of stuffing material. Kapok will slowly compress with use and buckwheat hulls eventually breakdown:

    That’s it!
    You could sew a zipper in the opening or simply sew it closed. Sewing a Meditation Cushion

    Instructables instructions on making your own meditation pillow.

http://www.michiganbuddhist.com/seiza – original site is missing. Here is what I saved over the years.  Sewing a Meditation Cushion

I used some cotton material that I had around the house. I used this same concept, to cover a neck roll that I had so that I could also use this in restorative yoga poses.

Here’s another link for making a stuff sack, or a cover for your cylinder shaped bolster…

p.s. Update, a sewing pattern from Simplicity 3583 – Bolsters, Meditation cushion, neck roll, eye pillow, yoga strap.  Wait till Hobby Lobby or JoAnn’s have their sales and snatch this pattern!

Simplicity Sewing Pattern 3583 - Make your own yoga gear - Yoga with Gail
Simplicity Sewing Pattern 3583 – Make your own yoga gear – Yoga with Gail

Sewing your own yoga gear, yoga mat bag, meditation pillow

Sewing your own yoga gear, yoga mat bag and meditation pillow

Here are some of the things I’ve used my Singer Featherweight 221 and my Pfaff Sewing Machine for yoga gear.

Using my Pfaff and Singer Featherweight Vintage sewing machines, I've made many items for my yoga practice.  Yoga mat bags, bolsters, zafu meditation cushions and eye pillows.  Yoga with Gail.
Using my Pfaff and Singer Featherweight Vintage sewing machines, I’ve made many items for my yoga practice. Yoga mat bags, bolsters, zafu meditation cushions and eye pillows. Yoga with Gail.

I used the tutorials listed on my site for making these #zafu #meditationpillows

Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine - Yoga Gear & Props Sewing. Yoga with Gail
Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine – Yoga Gear & Props Sewing. Yoga with Gail

#sewyogagear
#zafumeditation
#yogamatbag
#yogawithgail
#lovewhatido
#yogagear
#diyyogaprops

DIY Sewing your own yoga gear!

Yoga Mat Bag – sewing instructions

Yoga Mat Bag – Sewing instructions

Yoga Mat Bag Sewing Instructions.  Click and Read.  Yoga with Gail
Yoga Mat Bag Sewing Instructions. Click and Read. Yoga with Gail

Yoga Mat Bag How To DIY instructions.

This project uses Amy Butler’s Love fabric collection and knew it would be perfect for our yoga tote.  Updated:  I’ve taken off the instructions on this post as the  original instructions here as it is finally back out there on the web.

Our generously-sized bag will hold your mat, towel, yoga chimes and more. We recommend choosing a heavier-weight fabric for the bag so it’s sturdier and wears well. Amy Butler’s Love collection has several home decor weights from which to choose. Your lining can be regular weight. I used upholstery fabric, and I didn’t have to use a liner fabric when I made this bag.

The Yoga Mat Bag Sewing Instructions.  Brought to you by Yoga with Gail
The Yoga Mat Bag Sewing Instructions. Brought to you by Yoga with Gail
  1. Contributors Project Design: Alicia Thommas and Sample Creation: Jacqueline Smerek

Love this pattern.  Had to find it off of Archive.org to get the instructions!

Like my little Singer Featherweight 221?  Go on over to my Featherweight Site at:

Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine - Yoga Gear & Props Sewing. Yoga with Gail
Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine – Yoga Gear & Props Sewing. Yoga with Gail
Sew sew sew!!

RestoraFlow Yoga. Sequences to help ease upper and lower back pain by Sara Varona

 

Restoraflow Yoga Sequence for Easing back pain. Gentle Yoga for Low Back Care with Gail.
Restoraflow Yoga Sequence for Easing back pain. Gentle Yoga for Low Back Care with Gail.

Sara Varona, of BuildYourYogaBusiness.com created this sequence to assist in easing your lower and upper back pain. She gave me permission to post it on my display at my recent Yoga Booth at a Health Fair.

She also shows on her website, the different things that she does in helping a client in their private yoga practice. Here is her video listed at the end of this specific ezine going through the poses pictured on the right.

I took lots of notes, taught these sequences to my various yoga classes, and people noticed how much better their backs felt after going through the sequences. It is a 40 minute google video, to get your pen an pencil ready, take notes, practice and come back and back to this wonderful sequence of yoga poses.

The model in the photos is one of my daughters. She is in the process of training to be a yoga teacher. She is already a wonderful Ballet teacher. She has also taught tap, modern, jazz and creative dance.

Enjoy!

Start or Re-Start Your Yoga Practice – 15 good reasons to get you started

Count on Yoga.  Looking for a reason to start practicing (or restart your practice)? 

 

   1. Flex Time. 

Improved flexibility is one of the most obvious benefits of yoga.  During your first class, you probably won’t be able to touch your toes, never mind do a back bend.  But if you stick with it, you’ll notice a gradual loosening, and eventually, seemingly impossible poses will become possible.  You’ll probably notice that aches and pains start to disappear.  That’s no coincidence.  Tight hips can strain the knee joint due to improper alignment of the thigh and shinbones.  Tight hamstrings can lead to a flattening of the lumbar spine, which can cause back pain. And inflexibility in muscles and connective tissues, such as fascia and ligaments, can cause poor posture.

   2. Bone Zone. 

It’s well documented that weight-bearing exercise strengthens bones and helps ward off osteoporosis.  Many postures in yoga require that you lift your own weight.  And some, like Downward- and Upward-Facing Dog, help strengthen the arm bones, which are particularly vulnerable to osteoporosis fractures.  In an unpublished study conducted at California State University, Los Angeles, yoga practice increased bone density in the vertrebrae.  Yoga’s ability to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol may help keep calcium in the bones.

   3. Worry Thwarts.

Yoga lowers cortisol levels. If that doesn’t sound like much, consider these facts.  Normally, the adrenal glands secrete cortisol in response to an acute crisis, which temporarily boosts immune function.  If your cortisol levels stay high even after the crisis, they can compromise the immune system.  Temporary boosts of cortisol help with long-term memory, but chronically high levels undermine memory and may lead to permanent changes in the brain.  Plus, excessive cortisol has been linked with major depression, osteoporosis (it extracts calcium and other minerals from bones and interferes with the laying down of new bone), high blood pressure, and insulin resistance.  In rats, high cortisol levels lead to what researchers call “food-seeking behavior” (the kind that drives you to eat when you’re upset, angry, or stressed).  The body takes those extra calories and distributes them as fat in the abdomen, contributing to weight gain and the risk of diabetes and heart attack. 

   4. Breathing Room.

Yogis tend to take fewer breaths of greater volume, which is both calming and more efficient.  A 1998 study published in The Lancet taught a yogic technique known as “complete breathing” to people with lung problems due to congestive heart failure.  After one month, their average respiratory rate decreased from 13.4 breaths per minute to 7.6.  Meanwhile, their exercise capacity increased significantly, as did the oxygen saturation of their blood.  In addition, yoga has been shown to improve various measures of lung function, including the maximum volume of the breath and the efficiency of the exhalation.

   5. Pain Drain.

Yoga can ease your pain.  According to several studies, yoga postures (asana), meditiation, or a combination of the two, reduced pain in people with arthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other chronic conditions.  When you relieve your pain, your mood improves, you’re more inclined to be active, and you don’t need as much medication.

   6. Connective Tissue.

As you read all the ways yoga improves your health, you probably notice a lot of overlap.  That’s because they are intensely interwoven.  Change your posture and you change the way you breathe.  Change your breathing and you change you nervous system.  This is one of the great lessons of yoga:  Everything is connected – your hipbone to your anklebone, you to your community, your community to the world.  Such interconnection is vital to yoga.  This holistic system simultaneously taps into many mechanisms that have self-perpetuating and even multiplicative effects.  Synergy may be the most important way of all that yoga heals.

   7. Joint Account.

Each time you practice yoga, you take your joints through their full range of motion.  This can help prevent degenerative arthritis or mitigate disability by “squeezing and soaking” areas of cartilage that normally aren’t used.  Joint cartilage is like sponge; it receives fresh nutrients only when its fluid is squeezed out and a new supply can be soaked up.  Without proper sustenance, neglected cartilage can eventually wear out like worn-out brake pads, exposing the underlying bone.

   8. Flow Chart.

Yoga gets your blood flowing.  More specifically, the relaxation exercises you learn in yoga can help your circulation, especially in your hands and feet.  Yoga also gets more oxygen to your cells, which function better as a result.  Twisting poses are thought to wring out venous blood from internal organs and allow oxygenated blood to flow in once the twist is released.  Inverted poses, such as Down Ward Facing Dog, Standing Straddle Splits, Headstand, Handstand and Shoulderstand, encourages venous blood from the legs and pelvis to flow back to the heart, where it can be pumped to the lungs to be freshly oxygenated.  Yoga also boosts levels of hemoglobin and red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues.  And it thins the blood by making platelets less sticky and by cutting the level of clot-promoting proteins in the blood.  This can lead to a decrease in heart attacks and strokes since blood clots are often the cause of these killers.

   9.  Heart Start.

When you regularly get your heart rate into the aerobic range, you can lower your risk of heart attack and relieve depression.  While not all yoga is aerobic, if you do it vigorously or take flow or Ashtanga classes, it can boost your heart rate into the aerobic range.  But even yoga exercises that don’t get your heart rate up that high can improve cardiovascular conditioning.  Studies have found that yoga practice lowers the resting heart rate, increases endurance, and can improve your maximum uptake of oxygen during exercise – all reflections of improving aerobic conditioning.

   10. Strength Test.

Strong muscles do more than look good.  They also protect us from such conditions as arthritis and back pain, and help prevent falls.  And when you build strength through yoga, you balance it with flexibility.  If you just lifted weights, you might build strength at the expense of flexibility.

   11. Spinal Rap.

Spinal disks – the shock absorbers between the vertebrae that can herniate and compress nerves – crave movement.  That’s the only way they get their nutrients.  If you’ve got a well-balanced asana practice with plently of backbends, forward bends, and twists, you’ll help keep your disks supple.

   12. Standing Orders.

Your head is like a bowling ball – big, round, and heavy.  When it’s balanced directly over an erect spine, it take much less work for your neck and back muscles to support it. Move it several inches forward, however, and you start to strain those muscles.  Hold up that forward-leaning bowling ball for 8 or 12 hours a day and it’s no wonder you’re tired.  And fatigue might not be your only problem.  Poor posture can cause back, neck, and other muscle and joint problems.  As you slump, your body may compensate by flattening the normal inward curves in your neck and lower back.  This can cause pain and degenerative arthritis of the spine.

   13. Sugar Show.

Yoga lowers blood sugar and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and boosts HDL (“good”) cholesterol.  In people wit diabetes, yoga has been found to lower blood sugar in several ways:  by lowering cortisol and adrenaline levels, encouraging weight loss, and improving sensitivity to the effects of insulin.  Get your blood sugar levels down, and you decrease your risk of diabetic complications such as heart attack, kidney failure and blindness.

   14. Space Place.

Regularly practicing yoga increases proprioception (the ability to feel what your body is doing and where it is in space) and improves balance.  People with bad posture or dysfunctional movement patterns usually have poor proprioception, which has been linked to knee problems and back pain. Better balance could mean fewer falls.  For the elderly, this translates into more independence and delayed admission to a nursing home or never entering one at all.

   15. Loose Limbs.

Do you ever notice yourself holding the telephone or a steering wheel with a death grip or scrunching your face when staring at a computer screen?  These unconscious habits can lead to chronic tension, muscle fatigue, and soreness in the wrists, arms, shoulders, neck, and face, which can increase stress and worsen your mood.  As you practice yoga, you begin to notice where you hold tension:  It might be in your tongue, your eyes, or the muscles of your face and neck.  If you simple tune in and pay more attention to these areas, you may be able to relieve some tension.

To see all 38 ways yoga can improve your health and well-being click on over to the Yoga Journal Website. http://www.yogajournal.com/health/1634

 Online Beginners Yoga with Gail — Work with me!

15 reasons to start your regular yoga practice.  Yoga with Gail
Beginners Yoga with Gail Pickens-Barger, over 20 years teaching experience! 409-727-3177

Option 2 – Getting Started with Yoga.

Tired of back pain?
Doctor says to try yoga?
Need to better your balance?
Need to build  your bones to keep your independence?

Hardest part sometimes is getting started.  I can help you with that.

I can get you started on discovering how yoga can help you with your issues! Book a 20 minute phone call with Gail!
I can get you started on discovering how yoga can help you with your issues! Book a 20 minute phone call with Gail!

Contact Gail with this form, and I will arrange to talk to you about starting your journey into what yoga can do for you!

Questions? Complaints? Comments? Complements?  I want to know!

What my students have to say….

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Weekly in-person yoga classes with Gail Pickens-Barger.  Beaumont or Nederland Texas
Weekly in-person classes at WesleyUMC/Ned. Tx. $5 or $10

Option 1 – Gentle Yoga for Low Back Care.

Tired of back pain?

Try a Gentle Yoga for Low Back Care Class with Gail.  Currently, I teach four public classes

  • Wednesdays at 12:30 PM CST – Wellness Living.  Get an account, download the app, if using a smart device, and sign in and book a class at https://veteransyogaproject.org/vyp-classes
  • Wednesdays at 6:15 PM CST – In-person yoga class 45 minute beginners at Wesley UMC/Ned. Tx $5 with food ministry items or $10.
  • Fridays at 10:30 AM CST – Yoga at Lakeside  at the Best Years Seniors Citizen Center in Beaumont Texas. $4 for non-residents for “vintage” persons.
  • Sundays at 7:00 PM CST – Wellness Living. 45 minute Yoga Nidra class.  Sign up at: https://veteransyogaproject.org/vyp-classes

Questions? Complaints? Comments? Complaints?  I want to know!  See you in class.  A weekly healthy back class!

Two weekly in-person yoga classes.  One in Nederland Texas then other in Beaumont Texas.  Call Gail 409-727-3177
I teach two weekly yoga classes in SETX TExas

Yoga for Veterans – Veterans Yoga Project

Yoga for Veterans – Veterans Yoga Project – Nederland, Texas

PTS(D) AND YOGA? WE CAN EXPLAIN.

IN THE U.S. ESTIMATES OF PTS(D) AMONG VETERANS ARE:

PTSD Infographic. Yoga for Veterans. Yoga with Gail
PTSD Infographic. Yoga for Veterans. Yoga with Gail

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

You have questions? We’ll do our best to answer them.

WHAT IS VETERANS YOGA PROJECT?

Veterans Yoga Project is an educational and advocacy organization dedicated to improving the health and well being of military veterans through yoga and meditation practice. Working in partnership with veterans, active-duty military personnel, student veteran organizations, and other non-profit organizations, Veterans Yoga Project supports recovery and promotes resilience among veterans who are living with post-traumatic stress or other trauma issues.

WHAT IS VETERANS GRATITUDE WEEK? 

Each year, VYP hosts two annual fundraisers, VYP Gratitude Week and Light-A-Candle Memorial Day, supported by donations from yoga classes, individuals and organizations. Held the three weeks surrounding Veterans Day, VYP Gratitude Week encourages yoga studios to host donation-based classes to support veterans in a tangible way. In many cases, these classes have brought together veterans and civilians in an environment where veterans can share their military experience with their community.

HOW DOES YOGA HELP VETERANS?

While magnified by media reporting, only 30% of veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or trauma-related issues. Practicing yoga can undo the nervous system dysfunction that underlies PTSD symptoms.

WHY SHOULD I GET INVOLVED WITH VYP GRATITUDE WEEK?

Less than 1% of Americans have ever served their country, however, veterans experience a disproportionately high suicide rate. VYP Gratitude Week is a way for those who have not served to both give back to veterans in a tangible way and to better understand the challenges of military service.

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO HOST A DONATION-BASED CLASS?

Our goal for 2019 is to host 500+ classes in all 50 states. We can use all the help we can get to raise awareness and encourage participation.

How is the money raised from VYP Gratitude Week used?

Veterans Yoga Project is an IRS-recognized 501(c)(3) charitable organization and depends upon the support of donors to take care of veterans in need. 100% of the proceeds will go to VYP’s mission to support recovery and resilience to our veterans, families and our communities.

VYP AMBASSADOR


Gail Pickens-Barger, Yoga for Veterans Project Ambassador #vypfamily
Gail Pickens-Barger, Yoga for Veterans Project Ambassador #vypfamily

GAIL PICKENS-BARGER | NEDERLAND, TX

Gail Pickens-Barger is a yoga teacher with over 20 years of teaching experience.

She first used yoga during the birth and pregnancy of her first child.  Fifteen years later, became a yoga teacher.  Gail’s 200 hours was through YogaFit International Training Systems, and more recently her 500-hour certificate was through Lex Gillan’s The Yoga Institute.  Gail recently finished a Yoga Nidra course through Wise Owl Yoga and the Mindful Resilience for Trauma Recovery through the Veterans Yoga Project. Currently, Gail is studying to become a Low Back Care Yoga Teacher through the Yoga Vista Academy.

In addition to teaching a weekly beginner yoga class and a chair yoga class, Gail teaches a free Kids Yoga class to the Pre K class at her church and teaches Adaptive Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Gail originally came into contact with the Veterans Yoga Project, after reading an article on Baxter Bell’s Yoga for Healthy Aging Website.  In the article, it talked specifically about volunteering to provide a free yoga class for veterans and to raise funds to support the Veterans Yoga Project during Veterans Gratitude Week.  Gail likes to do karma yoga for raising funds for local food missions, raised funds for church playground equipment, Girl Scouts and such, and the providing free class for veterans and raising funds seemed like a worthwhile effort.

So for the past five years, Gail has hosted several classes to benefit the Veterans Gratitude Week for VYP.

More recently Gail was contacted by the local VA to present chair yoga to the vets in the Beaumont/Orange Texas area.  In doing so, Gail came into contact with Brianna Renner, who assisted her tremendously in providing a class format, that would present the 5 tools that VYP uses in providing classes.

Gail has gone onto doing the Mindful Resilience training provided by Veterans Yoga Project and hopes to in the near future provide a weekly class to area veterans.

Yoga Kiddos Slide Show from the Yoga Kit for Kids

Grace loves copying the poses from the cards from the Yoga Kit for Kids.  Here is a slide show of the poses from Yoga Kit for Kids.  Love it!

YogaKiddos with Gail