Melinda Frisch, despite disability, leads Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga classes

Melinda Frisch overcomes Ankylosing Spondylitis through yoga to now teach the disabled exceptional therapeutic yoga classes using Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga and Body Balance Yoga.
Lakshmi celebrating a chair yoga teacher training certification
Lakshmi celebrating a chair yoga teacher training certification
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Chair Yoga
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Lakshmi Voelker


Huntington Beach - California - US

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. - Sept. 20, 2013 - PRLog -- In 2004, Melinda Frisch began her own yoga practice by sitting on a chair in a therapeutic yoga class.  The class included standing at the wall and sitting/lying on the floor, but it was fine with the teacher that she sat on the chair all of the time until she was able to try more things.

She had come to this class in a desperate search for help with the pain and disability caused by Ankylosing Spondylitis, a genetic autoimmune disease.   Before attending, she was planning to buy a cane.  Her body, however, immediately responded to the healing provided by yoga through her wonderful teacher.  She never did buy that cane!

In 2007, she began her training as a Body Balance Yoga therapeutic yoga teacher with Jenny Otto, with whom she eventually earned her RYT 200 (in 2008) and RYT 500 (in 2009), as well as her Body Balance Yoga Teacher certification (in 2009).  She became a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists in 2009.

In 2008, she began teaching therapeutic yoga classes that included chair yoga.  Melinda thought she knew all she needed to know for using a chair in her classes, until…

…in 2010, she studied with Lakshmi Voelker at Kripalu to become a certified Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga Teacher (LVCYT) (, and a whole new world of chair yoga was opened up to her.

Soon after, she began teaching a chair yoga class in which everyone exclusively sat on the chair.

She soon realized that she could easily mesh the principles of Body Balance Yoga into an LVCY class while staying on the chair.

Today, she continues to teach chair-only yoga classes, but she also meshes LVCY principles into her therapeutic classes that include the chair, wall, and mat. Her students in both style classes love the mix of LVCY and Body Balance Yoga.

Melinda’s students have had a wide range of physical disabilities, such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, cancer, joint replacement, fibromyalgia, stroke, and spina bifida.  She just adapts her classes to anyone who wishes to attend.

In 2012, she became an E-RYT 200, and is 450 hours away from becoming an E-RYT 500.

In addition to her LVCY certification in 2010, she has returned five more times to Kripalu to assist (and will be going a sixth time in October, 2013).  The learning never stops.  Her students look forward to her assisting Lakshmi because they know that she always brings back new and wonderful things to teach them.

Melinda states, “My chair yoga students receive all the same benefits as do my other students.  They become stronger, more flexible, and more balanced.  They learn to take better advantage of their breath and to tap into their own healing energy.  I challenge my chair yoga students to move beyond their expectations.”

At age 61, Melinda has been a teacher most of her adult life.  Until June 2011, she taught Spanish to all ages, from 4 to 84, including at the college level her last 14 years.  It was easy for her to adapt her Spanish teaching skills to teaching yoga.

Currently, she is an MS degree candidate in Nutrition and Integrative Health (anticipated completion date is December, 2013), and she has just begun an MS program in Yoga Therapy.  For both degrees, she is studying at the Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) in Laurel, Maryland, which is a university of the healing arts.  She feels that nutrition and yoga therapy make a perfect combination for wellness.
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Tags:Chair Yoga, Teacher Training, Certification, Adapted Yoga, Lakshmi Voelker
Industry:Fitness, Health
Location:Huntington Beach - California - United States
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Page Updated Last on: Sep 20, 2013
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