Blind and Low Vision Yoga

Blind and Low Vision Yoga


MALE ANNOUNCER:
This is an
AMI This Week Short Cut. WOMAN:
I’m Viviane Forest for
Accessible Media. I’m here tonight in downtown
Edmonton trying something totally brand new for me. It’s a class specially designed
for blind people and visually-impaired.
It’s a yoga class. And to know what I’m going to
expect and figure out, I’m with Sarah Perritt.
How’s it going, Sarah? You’re the instructor
of this class. I am. So what are we
going to do tonight? SARAH:
Well, we’re here right now
sitting on a yoga mat in lotus pose. And we’re about to start
our yoga class. And beginning to move with
the rhythm of our breath… What should I expect
from the class? Well, first of all,
you should expect that this is a space
of no judgement, just like any yoga class
that you would be going to. We have yoga mats here for
people who don’t have their own. And we are
doing traditional yoga. So, we’re using a combination
of breathing and body movements to build strength
and stability, and balance in the body. VIVIANE:
What’s the difference between
teaching visually-impaired, compared to a regular group
of yoga. SARAH:
I find that for this class
to be more beneficial to the students
with sight impairment, I really have to hone
my skills as a teacher in my use of visual cue. Coming up to standing.
Shaking out the arms and legs. You guys are amazing… I do some hands-on
assists as well. Just to draw some
body awareness and spatial awareness
with the students, and finding that comfortable
spot in executing the poses. VIVIANE:
The class is presented by the Alberta Sport and
Recreation Association for the Blind,
also known as ASRAB. SARAH:
Stacking the hips
one on top of the other. WOMAN:
Hi, my name is Brieann Baldock. I am here to participate
in yoga tonight. I don’t know what I would do
without yoga, to be honest, for a week. I am a high-performance athlete
and I’m a university student, so I kinda need the relaxation
and the stretching out. VIVIANE:
So, do you find this class
really is different than a regular yoga class, because it’s specialized
for the visually-impaired? BRIEANN:
Our instructor’s
actually really good with being very descriptive
with all of their movements. She tells us what leg to put
out, what arm, exactly where we’re supposed
to be positioned, where our head’s
supposed to go. So, I kind of am able
to understand where I’m supposed to be place and my
body’s supposed to be mechanic. MAN:
I’m Lorne Webber. And I’m here to participate
in ASRAB’s Blind and Low-Vision
Yoga Practice. Balance is something, that as
somebody who’s totally blind, it’s a huge struggle for me. So, I feel that yoga has made an
improvement in that area. I find that it helps me in a lot
of other areas as well. You know, especially
for relaxation. I come here always
after a day of work. And I find that this,
it always relaxes me, no matter what’s going on. I always feel
a lot more at peace, and my body feels
less stressed, and I think my mind feels
less busy after coming here. SARAH:
Squeezing those
hands together… Now that the class is just over,
I feel way way more relaxed and I got a very good stretch
out of it. I highly recommend yoga
to anyone, that you have vision or not. If you would like more
information, please visit… For Accessible Media,
I’m Viviane Forest. Namaste.