I remember the moment I came up with the idea of the flip-chip. I was drinking tea on my Wisteria-covered veranda at the time, preparing for my next yoga class and wishing there was an easier way for students to communicate their needs. Like many other yoga teachers I know, I'd long struggled with when to assist and when not to assist. As yoga went mainstream, classes had gotten larger and there seemed to be new faces every week, making it more and more difficult to keep track of individual wishes. I was also seeing a rise in yoga injuries in my day job as a physical therapist. I felt that these injuries would have been prevented if communication in the yoga class had been more open and if students had felt more empowered to set their own boundaries.
Sipping from my favorite teacup, with a beautiful flower motif at the bottom, it occurred to me that a decorative non-verbal signaling device could be the answer. I dwelled over the idea for a couple of years until finally, at the urging of my husband (a professor and entrepreneur), I decided to go for it! Although the flip-chip was initially designed with injury prevention in mind, we have since discovered so many more uses thanks to our customers, who inspire us every day.
The flip-chip gives teachers the confidence to offer hands-on assists at a time when increasing numbers of teachers and owners are resorting to a 'verbal assist only' policy, which is a great shame because for many people, hands-on assists are welcome and very beneficial!
“Many teachers don’t realize that the students most likely to want or need boundaries are LEAST likely to communicate this, including during one-on-one conversations with a teacher. It takes courage for many to feel like they even have the right to refuse touch" ~ Kelly McGonigal, Health Psychologist, Stanford University [Yoga Journal Buzz]
Nina has taught yoga at ACAC Fitness and Wellness Center in Charlottesville since 2005 and has taught at various studios in Virginia since 1997, when she completed an independent yoga study. She's also a practicing physical therapist (Masters of Physical Therapy 1994, B.S. Exercise Science 1990). She has taken Yoga training with Beryl Bender Birch, Leslie Kaminoff, David Swenson, Seane Corn and Gary Kraftsow and many other teachers, as well as a Yoga therapy training with Phoenix Rising (Level 1). Nina also holds a mat (BASI) and reformer Pilates certifications, and is authorized by Yoga Alliance to offer workshops for continuing education credits. She is passionate about integrating the wonderful benefits of yoga and Pilates into her therapeutic practice!
Check out Nina's article Yoga Injuries: Time to Differentiate at Elephant Journal
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