September 10, 2013

Upcoming yoga workshops to address health issues


---- — PLATTSBURGH — An upcoming series of workshops will use yoga techniques to help improve a range of medical conditions, including osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

Ellen Saltonstall, a certified yoga instructor with extensive training in various yoga techniques, will offer three sessions over the weekend of Sept. 14 and 15, each workshop focusing on a different aspect of yoga to address specific health concerns.

“The thrust of all my teaching is to empower people and to inspire people to work on their own,” Saltonstall said from her home in New York City recently. “By using variations of classic poses, virtually anyone can do yoga.”

The sessions, which will be held at ADK Yoga, 22 US Oval, Suite 22 in Plattsburgh, are designed for participants of all ages and physical abilities, she added, though she stressed that one session of Yoga for Osteoarthritis will not cure a condition that has been developing for years.

“I’m hoping that people middle age and older who already have range of motion will be able to use these yoga poses effectively,” she explained.

The first session, running from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, is called Self-Massage with Balls for Myofascial Release and uses Kinetic Awareness to massage muscles.

“It’s a practical technique for any age person,” she said, noting that exercise balls ranging in size from a walnut to a melon are used to massage muscles and reduce muscle tension.

“For instance, if you’re standing on the ball with your foot, you’re massaging the soft tissue in the foot and creating freedom (from muscular tension). It promotes more movement, you can balance more easily, and you can feel more stability, more spring in your step.”

Muscle aches are often accompanied by headaches and other body aches, Saltonstall noted.

The program offers techniques that can be used as supplemental activities for physical therapy or other exercise programs, she added.

Kinetic Awareness is a practical and effective method of self-directed bodywork. Saltonstall will have various sized balls for participants to purchase for use at home following the workshop.

The second session, Yoga for Osteoporosis, runs from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Saltonstall uses techniques to safely and effectively strengthen bones and improve balance.

“We’ve creatively designed a program that is appropriate for people who have a diagnosis of osteoporosis or osteopenia,” she said. “It’s designed to provide stimulus to help strengthen bone and also to improve people’s balance.

“It’s a very safe, very effective method,” she said, adding that her program can be catered to any ability level. “I’ve taught people sitting in chairs and lying in hospital beds. We’ve creatively designed programs that are appropriate for all participants.”

The third session, held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Sunday, is called Yoga for Osteoarthritis and is designed to promote healthy circulation inside joints. 

“Through yoga, we can learn how to align the joints for optimal function,” she said. The techniques also help to loosen muscles around those joints and calm the mind so people are less reactive, she added.

“All of these benefits can help reduce joint pain and promote ease of movement.”

Saltonstall has been a practitioner of meditation and yoga for more than 30 years. Her book, “Kinetic Awareness, Discovering Your Bodymind,” was the first publication to look at self-message with ball therapy.

She also published two books with Dr. Loren Fishman, “Yoga for Arthritis” and “Yoga for Osteoporosis.”

As well, she provides yoga-therapy “webinars,” or Web-based seminars, through

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Registration for a single session during the weekend yoga workshops is $60. Registration for both Saturday sessions is $110, and registration for all three sessions is $160.

To register, visit; email; or call 561-2869, Ext. 2. Seating is limited.