With so many different types of yoga these days, it’s easy to get confused on which kind to do. But I find it fun experimenting and trialing different forms and seeing what affect (if any) they have on the body and mind.
Having committed myself to doing more yoga (for stress reduction more than anything), I was so grateful to have been invited as a guest at Janie Larmour’s Zen Ki yoga class a few weeks ago. Having read that it was similar to Hatha yoga, I expected a somewhat easy stretching type of class, but it was far from it. The day after, in fact, I was incredibly sore which was probably less likely due to my physical fitness and more to do with my releasing emotional blockages in the body. Fascinating stuff I tell you!
Zen Ki yoga is a Japanese form of yoga based on the 12 major meridians (invisible energy pathways in the body), the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), yin & yang, the seasons, macrobiotics and zen shiatsu.
The aim is to bring your body into balance with the changes of the season to keep you in optimum health. Zen Ki Yoga also addresses specific health issues not only with yoga poses, but a macrobiotic diet specific to organs and meridians.
Janie has been looking after other people’s health for over 20 years. She started off as a personal trainer who quickly become a popular trainer to many high profile clients including Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Collette Dinnigan, Charlie Brown, Marion Hume, John McGrath and Natalie Imbruglia.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Janie after my class. Here’s my brief but insightful Q & A with the inspiring and down-to-earth yogi:
Why Zen Ki yoga?
I was a personal trainer but I also wanted to have my own business. At the time, I was in New York and a yoga teacher had come to my house and I thought, “That’s it! That’s what I’ll do!”. I fell into it, it was pure fate.
How is it different from any other forms of yoga?
It’s kind of like acupuncture except you’re using poses to affect the meridians in the body. For instance, we strengthen specific meridians that help people with digestive issues, or the spine and lower back for back pain.
What’s the mantra or quote you live by?
Gratitude and love. I always tell myself gratitude and love.
Running two studios and teaching can be full-on. How do you unwind after a tough day?
It’s embarrassing, but I’m really addicted to reality TV – especially Housewives of New York! It’s bad and goes against gratitude and love (laughs) but I often deal with serious health issues every day and I love to come home and just watch them fight and go at it with each other.
Can you share an example or two of how Zen Ki yoga has helped people heal themselves?
I have this woman who has spine degeneration and who was in extreme pain every day. Nothing fixed her until she started working with me and now she’s just finished her yoga teacher training. I also have a woman who is completely off Panadeine Forte (she suffered a severe car accident) because she’s been doing Zen Ki yoga. I have thousands of stories like this. But the most popular reasons why people come for Zen Ki is for spine and lower back pain, bladder issues, digestive issues and anxiety.