Wheelchair yoga lessons

Sa Ta Na Ma. Sa Ta Na Ma. Sa Ta Na Ma.

Marianne repeated these beautiful words after Diane in our chair yoga class yesterday.

Birth, Life, Death, Rebirth. A mantra meant to remind yoga practitioners of the cyclical nature of life and of our breath. A tool to focus our mind on our breathing. Deeply relaxing. You can sit in a wheelchair or on a yoga mat and steady your breath and your mind.

Diane, a yoga teacher from Newton, MA, has recently started a practice called Sit With Yoga. She brings her practice to seniors citizens, and now, to us too . Chair yoga is accessible to all, not just the twisty-bendy types in the yoga studios.IMG_3447

Marianne learned the very basic history of yoga, first, that it started over 5,000 years ago in India by monks who were meditating to still their minds. Because they found it hard to sit still for so long, the monks added body poses as a way to further focus their minds. B.K.S Iyengar, in India, took the poses further and added the concepts of alignment as a way to strengthen his own body and powers of focus.


Lions’ breath, cat and cow pose, namaste, twists, shavasana, and my favorite, goddess pose. All poses I’ve done on my mat in yoga class, and all poses that can be done in your wheelchair or chair.IMG_3430

Namaste means “the light within me salutes the light within you.” It’s how we end our chair yoga class. Thank you, Diane, for this gift of yoga and accessibility on a snowy, cold January afternoon.

Trip Interrupted: Mad River Barn in VT will have to wait, unless you get there first…

Although a major snowstorm on a Thursday night after December break means an extended school vacation, we were sorry to miss out on our weekend in Waitsfield, VT at the Mad River Barn.

This B&B in Waitsfield, VT was recently bought and renovated – complete with a wheelchair-accessible room and bath, which we were hoping to review this weekend. Even better, the inn is very close to Sugarbush and the  Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports program at Mt. Ellen, and a much more affordable option than the Sugarbush Resort.  The inn has a restaurant, pub and game room and is in the heart of Mad River Glen – a great location for a long weekend away from Boston.   I spoke at length with Heather, the owner, who spent a lot of time with me on the phone and was then more than understanding when we had to cancel at the last minute due to inclement weather.  (Getting stranded in a snowstorm with a teenager in a wheelchair is an experience I hope never to have!)

We’ll re-schedule our stay there but if you go before me, please post on TravelByWheelchair’s FB page!