by Robert Fox, Tai Chi & Qi Gong Instructor
According to Wikipedia, “Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice or discipline that denotes a variety of schools, practices and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism (including Vajrayana and Tibetan Buddhism) and Jainism, the best-known being Hatha yoga and Raja yoga.” It dates back to the 6th century BC. It wasn’t until 1980 that yoga became an accepted form of exercise in the western world. My wife and I live in Cambridge Ontario, and we have been life long YMCA members. All kinds of fitness is an important part of our lives. We became certified fitness instructors years ago, and today I still teach aerobics and weight resistant classes at the Cambridge Ontario YMCA.
For the past 5 years, we have lived in Bucerias Mexico for February and March. This year, I decided to offer a yoga class in the Ana Ruth’s hotel, where we live on the roof outdoors. Bucerias is on the Pacific Ocean just a few miles north of Puerto Vallarta. The environment here is perfect for yoga. It seems like there is a yoga class being offer on every street corner. Are these classes being taught by certified yoga instructors? I doubt it. Am I a certified yoga instructor? No. So I advertise my class as “Robert’s mobility class”. Since I have had tons of experiences and courses in Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Creative Movement, Yoga, and since I am a qualified certified fitness instructor, I believe I can offer the participants some helpful exercises. To make the classes even more appealing, they are free.
Back in Canada, I attend at least one yoga class per week and I have also researched yoga extensively on the internet. When I am teaching my weight resistant class back home, I incorporate yoga moves into the hour, and those exercises are appreciated by all. My wife and I have taken two separate courses from a certified Tai Chi instructor in Ontario. We are pretty good at doing the 108 peaceful Chinese moves. I have also been exposed to many Qi Gong classes, and at one time when you didn’t have to be certified in it, I taught it at the Chaplin Family YMCA in Cambridge.
I retired from teaching with the Waterloo Region District School Board 15 years ago. I taught for 33 years at the elementary level. I have a specialist certificate in Drama Education, and have taught many courses in movement. I still use those strategies in my weight resistant classes at the YMCA.
My Friday morning at 10 a.m. class here in Mexico consists of a little Tai Chi, a little Qi Gong, a little yoga, and a lot of Drama. It lasts one hour and we always begin with a warmup and end with a cool down. Of course we stretch a lot and hold poses too. In drama class, back in the classroom, we use to call those poses, tableau. The slow movements were called articulations. Here is a list of what we did today, Friday 13th in Mexico …
- warm up – a) brain gym b) the Owl
- The Golden 8 Energy Balancing Exercises
- The Big 5 – lunge/squat/bridge/pushup/
- Tapping for stress reduction
- Memory Hangers
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Check out our daily blog of life here in Mexico at … buceriasmexico2015.blogspot.