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Yoga for All

With Kelly Ray Shelton

You may not think "accessibility" when you think of Yoga but Kelly has dedicated her career to making yoga accessible for all. Born and raised in Gaston County, North Carolina, she currently resides in McAdenville with her husband and 6 year old daughter. Kelly is an inspiration. After graduating from American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in NYC, Kelly lived there for 8 years performing in commercials, horror movies, and Voice-Overs. She brings her joyful, empathetic spirit to her Yoga Practice. Her passion is "yoga for all", and she strives to break the stigma that yoga is focused on placing the body in unattainable positions and only allowed for able bodies.

In the mainstream media, yoga is often portrayed as exercise or associated with physical fitness. With such a present message, it's no wonder that yoga doesn't readily come to mind as a practice for someone with limited mobility. But in Kelly's point of view, yoga is about healing and healing is for everyone.

For over 18 years, she's been dedicated to learning and mastering various types of Yoga; including Les Mills Body Balance, where she received a "Distinction" following completion in 2007, the highest grade of certification and later certification in Thai Yoga Mobility Therapy. Her experiences as both a practitioner and teacher led her to "hold space" within her practice for anyone that would like to let go of whatever is not serving them.

Kelly's focus is on the therapeutic benefits and applications of yoga. She loves teaching Chair Yoga and offering people autonomy and independence in their own bodies, even if only for a brief moment. Her classes invite you to embrace the freedom of finding your own way to explore agency over your own practice through breathing, movement, journaling, and/or meditation. Studies support her point of view, having shown that Yoga offers physical and mental health benefits for people of all ages and backgrounds. And, if you’re going through an illness, recovering from surgery or living with a chronic condition, yoga can become an integral part of your treatment and potentially hasten healing.

Often, people with limited mobility are left out of activities or spaces because their access needs are overlooked. Having limited mobility can also lead to feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness or guilt. Colder, shorter days of the winter season can compound these feelings and cause Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. Symptoms of SAD start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Yoga is a great way to combat these feelings through connection of the mind and body. Kelly's idea of "holding space" means having a safe space to make that connection.

We invite you to join us for the last 40 days of Fall to reflect, relax, and refocus with #MeditationalMoments led by Kelly Ray Shelton. Follow @herbanberryapothecary on Facebook and Instagram or search for the hashtag #MeditationalMoments to join us.


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