About a decade ago...
Nina was preparing for her next yoga class and wishing there was an easier way for students to communicate their needs. She'd long struggled with the question of 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. She was also seeing a rise in yoga injuries in her day job as a physical therapist. She felt that these injuries would have been prevented if communication in the yoga class had been more open and if students were empowered to set their own boundaries.
Peering into her favorite teacup with its beautiful flower motif, it occurred to her that a discreet, non-verbal signaling device could be the answer. She dwelled over the idea for a couple of years until finally, at the urging of her husband, Giles (a professor and entrepreneur), she 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 wonderful customers, who inspire us every single 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, nurturing and 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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