I am in the process of working toward receiving my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training Certificate at Maha Yoga Center in Bridgewater, MA. I felt it was something I could personally benefit from as well as continue to use in my counseling practice working with children, adolescents, and adults. Part of this training entails taking workshops and classes along with teaching yoga in class with other students in the program. I have been using yoga over the past 20 years to help manage my own symptoms of anxiety and stress. It has been such a wonderful tool for me creating inner peace and calm in my mind, body, and spirit.

My yoga instructors in my yoga camp class have been reminding us of what yoga means. Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind. It means, simply, that yoga is a state in which the mind is not cluttered with thoughts not based in reality. When the mind is clear of clutter, it is as if more space opens up creating more room for insight. Yoga is about leaving all egos at the door. It is not a competition. It is not about how strong or flexible you are. Yoga is the practice of creating peace within the mind and body by performing poses and stretches while using breathing techniques. Again, it is about finding inner peace and connecting within, it is not a competition. Love and respect your body for what it is capable of doing.

Below I have outlined some breathing techniques and chair yoga poses I use in my own yoga practice. Start off slow and be patient with yourself.

Breathing Techniques:
Counting the Breaths
Rhythmic Breathing
Moving with the Breath
The Complete Breath
Experiencing the Breath

Focusing Attention through Yoga Postures and Movement:
Modified Chair Sitting Arm Reach
Chair sitting arm swing
Chair sitting Triangle
Chair sitting Sun Salutation


Dr. Melissa Samartano, PhD.,LMHC, RYT