VAIL — At age 20, doctors told Jamie Elmer that after years of dance she had experienced so much disc degeneration in her lower back that she would need a spinal fusion. Fortunately, Elmer — now a yoga and pilates instructor specializing in alignment — did not have the surgery but turned to a physical therapist who introduced her to “gait therapy.” The sessions changed her life; Elmer is pain free and now teaches gait therapy through dedicated yoga classes called YogaStride workshops. Elmer brings her YogaStride class to the Vail Vitality Center on Thursday, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
“In YogaStride, we look at how you move from the ground up, starting at your feet,” said Elmer. “By noticing your physical habits and making improvements, you can make your body stronger, more efficient, more flexible and better able to heal injuries.”
YogaStride focuses on making participants aware of individual walking patterns and improving upon them. Elmer introduces small changes that sink in over time and provides simple, take-home exercises and tools for specific postural habits.
“Light bulbs go on when people realize that the movement patterns they employ standing in line at the grocery store are the same movement patterns they take into every sport, activity and even into yoga class,” said Elmer.
Through this workshop, participants can expect to:
Alleviate back pain and heal plantar fasciatis; sleep better and wake up in the morning optimistic and ready to meet the day; increase energy levels and actually want to go to the gym, play with kids and meet friends after work; reduce recovery time after exercise and minimize soreness and stiffness; feel more balanced and serene; have more moments of happiness and contentment; and be better able to deal with the stresses and strife of daily life.
“This workshop is a great introduction to this way of walking through — and being present in — your life,” Elmer said. “With practice, you’ll create new habits and ways of moving, allowing you to discover new capabilities and a better way of living.”
Through 10 years as a full-time yoga teacher, Elmer has grown her craft and developed a special style of teaching that focuses on safety, strength and healing. Her lifelong study of movement and the human body has taken her from dance, to pilates, to yoga and beyond.
Elmer’s experience includes six years working full-time at Exhale: Center for Sacred Movement in Venice, Calif and teaching and learning across the globe prior to settling in Minturn in 2012.
For information or to register for Elmer’s YogaStride workshop, visit www.vailvitalitycenter.com or call 970-476-7960. The cost is $25 in advance and $30 the day of the workshop.