Practicing gentle chair yoga can help you do all three.
Let me show you how.
I sat in my car until I was almost late. My heart was racing as I unrolled a mat at the back corner of the class. I didn’t know the first thing about yoga. But I was pretty sure that people like me didn’t belong in a yoga studio.
I am a plus-sized woman. This big body has always been my “yoga body.” Yoga marketing and the covers of magazines had taught me that only thin, wealthy, hyperflexible, white women practiced yoga, and so there I was in my fat, awkward, tattooed body and my decidedly non-fashionable workout clothing, nervous and waiting for class to start.
Sometimes chairs were in the corner of the room or back in a closet somewhere, but nobody else was using them, so I sure didn’t pull one out.
Back then, there weren’t online videos telling you how to modify poses. There weren’t yogis who looked like me with hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram.
And in class, no one was telling me why I couldn’t step my foot forward between my hands to get from down dog into a lunge or how to get there in a different way, so I had to figure it out myself.
In these yoga classes, I got to know my body. I learned to use yoga props, I learned to use the chair to adapt poses, and I learned that no matter your shape, size, age, or ability, you can practice yoga.
Now I teach yoga full-time. And I understand how to work with humans of all shapes and sizes, especially people who don’t fit the dominant body identity in yoga classes.
The fact is: wellness is our birthright, all of us, and though it might look different for each one of us, we all deserve to find balance, inner peace, and equanimity.
If you’re ready to feel less pain, move your body in a joyful, gentle way, and reduce anxiety and stress, I’ve got an idea for you:
I’ve made it my life’s work to help folks just like you live better in the bodies they have today using the tools of yoga, mindfulness, and self-acceptance.
And I want to invite you to join me on a path toward feeling better in your body, feeling less stressed, and moving your body in a way that feels nourishing, joyful, and free.
I’ve put together a program for you: Chair Yoga with Amber Karnes.
There are 15 video classes built just for folks like you who are ready to get started with yoga in a gentle, affirming way. Plus audio recordings to help you relax and reduce stress.
“I just wanted you to know how grateful I am for your chair practice videos. I recently fractured my foot and was worried I couldn’t move my body until it was done healing. But your chair practices are incredible. My body feels wonderful, but my foot is safe. Thank you so, so much.”
I never believed yoga was something I could do. I didn’t think my large body would be able to move in the way needed to reach the poses. But now I practice yoga everyday and am documenting my journey with raw photos. Without Body Positive Yoga I never would have had the confidence to try yoga let alone share pictures of myself practicing.”
Chair Yoga with Amber Karnes is an online program to help you feel better in the body you have today.
Here are the online video classes you’ll get when you sign up.
You’ll get tips from me on how to make the most of your practice.
Practice along with me so you can get a feel for my teaching and pace. In this video, we’ll do sun salutations while seated in a chair.
If you’re ready to move your body in a way that feels good, reduce your pain, and feel less stressed, then we are ready for you. Just click this button to sign up now!
Once you join, the videos are yours to keep forever!
“Just did the hour-long practice and feel great! After a session like that, I always feel like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz when he gets all oiled and polished up at the Emerald City, everything’s moving again.”
“I just did the hour long class from the first month and really loved it. I haven’t done yoga in a long time and it was just challenging enough, without making me feel defeated.”
I specialize in teaching an adaptive, inclusive yoga practice for diverse body types. I have been doing this a while, in fact I travel the world training other yoga teachers how to work with students of all shapes, sizes, and abilities. I’m also personally in a fat body (I’m a US size 24-ish) so I know what it’s like to practice in a body that doesn’t just fold up in a tiny ball.
My classes are low-pressure, judgment-free yoga. And all of these chair classes are designed with a person just like you in mind!
I want you to know that if you had a bad experience in a class, or if the teacher ignored you, it’s not your fault. Your body is not the problem.
Most likely, the teacher didn’t have the tools they needed to help you take your practice into your own hands and adapt it to your unique body.
But I know how to help you do that, and I can’t wait to help you develop your own strong, stable, vibrant yoga practice.
The coolest thing about body positivity and self-care for me is that in a world that tells us to hate our bodies and that our bodies aren’t worthy, that means engaging in self care is totally radical, rebellious, and revolutionary.
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” -Audre Lorde
Putting our own basic human needs at the center of our lives is radical, especially for women, because traditionally the burden and responsibility for caring and raising children (and by extension our communities) is shouldered by women. This is even more true for women of color, who have spent generations in servitude to others or even as property. Self-care is a radical act.
Living for others is a quality so deeply ingrained in us, that it often translates into the complete abandonment of our own needs, which end up being less important than the needs of our children, partner, family, work, or community.
But self-care is a prerequisite for autonomy, so it is fundamentally important (especially as feminists) that we reject the patriarchal notion that women must neglect themselves in order to serve others.
You deserve to have this care for yourself. And I’ve got your back.
“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” -Eleanor Brownn
But I get feeling too overwhelmed to take time for self-care. I am a solo-business-owner and have a wealth of responsibilities and demands on my time.
I have found the best way to be effective, efficient, and accomplish my goals in life is to intentionally set aside time to take pause, recharge, and build back up my emotional reserves.
You deserve this. If you are feeling the pull to join us, commit! Show up for yourself. Prove to yourself that you can trust yourself and your body.
You can set aside time to move your body. This movement will help you come away stronger and ready to face the world.
I do offer sliding scale and scholarship options for folks with financial hardship. Marginalized folks (people of color, gender minorities, and disabled folks) move to the front of the line when it comes to scholarship opportunities.
Please contact me to discuss by emailing email@example.com.
I put out a ton of free classes and videos so you can get a feel of whether my teaching is right for you. You can even join my membership community, the Body Positive Clubhouse, for 2 weeks completely free. Try out all the classes, see if you like it.
If you’re feeling on the fence about joining this program, please take some time to check out my other FREE stuff: the Body Positive Yoga blog, 7-Day Yoga Exploration, Shore Up Self-Care course, Body Positive Rebellion, and my many free online workshops. If you dig those resources, then you’ll LOVE being part of this.
Any questions? Send a note to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have technical issues or need any other help, just email me at email@example.com and I’ll take care of you.
I hope you’ll join this inner circle of like-minded and like-hearted folks today! We are ready for you!
“I have noticed myself responding not reacting so much & when I do react to situations quite often (not always!) I recognise that I’m reacting & I can tell myself to calm down and take a pause. Brilliant!
And even if I only do a short practice…my body says thank you & sings for a while afterwards. When I’m practicing consistently I make better choices in regard to food & other life things. And that’s a big win!”
“Before I joined the Body Positive Clubhouse and went on a yoga retreat with Amber I was unable to sustain a consistent yoga practice.
But now I feel eager to get on the mat and kick off my day with empowering movement and grounding practices.
I feel like I’m doing yoga with a friend when working with Amber.”
Are you ready to take the first step toward feeling better in your body and feeling more peaceful in your mind? Let’s do this together. You don’t have to do it alone.