WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Pam Welch’s home yoga studio is where some come to find their zen.
After dealing with a stressful corporate job and struggles with her own fertility, the Andover yoga instructor got into yoga. Welch left work and returned at age 40, doing yoga once a week. Six months later, she and her husband got pregnant on their own.
“I can tell you if I hadn’t found yoga, I probably would have had a stroke by now or road rage. I mean, I was just so stressed and busy all the time. And yoga truly saved my life,” Welch said.
According to Johns Hopkins, yoga can assist in strength, balance, flexibility, pain relief, heart health and energy levels among other benefits.
Welch teaches restoration yoga, using blankets, pillows and yoga blocks to put yogis in restorative positions, which trigger a relaxation response from the body. Reducing stress can make the body a better environment for overall health, she says. Typically something covers their eyes, so light isn’t a distraction.
“One of the conditions of relaxation is darkness because there’s a part of your brain that when it gets light, thinks you should be doing something,” Welch said.
She describes restorative yoga as doing nothing but intentionally. Often, she will get her clients to agree to start small and work their way up. Welch recalls one particularly stressed-out client that could not sit still, lasting about five seconds before twitching.
“I knew if I said 20 minutes, she would think I was crazy. So I said 10 minutes a day of nothing. And she just looked at me. I said, ‘How about five?’ We finally agreed on three minutes…that’s how high-strung and busy she was,” Welch said.
The woman was able to successfully get pregnant sometime later. Welch began to investigate and create a “yoga for fertility” course based on her own struggles and what she learned.
Whether trying to conceive or heal another ailment, Welch believes in the power of doing nothing intentionally. She says sitting on the couch watching TV or scrolling your phone will not have the same effect.
“It really truly is life-changing. And, you know, immune system-boosting, which right now in this world is a beautiful thing,” Welch said.
Her practice, ZenDog Yoga, is named after an old friend: her late dog, Abby.
“When you would give her treats, she would try and bite you. And I’m like, ‘No, I need zen dog,” Welch recalls.
Abby has since passed on, and now Bodhi, a loveable rescue pup, sometimes makes his way to Welch’s studio.
There are many yoga studios in the Wichita area. Click here for a list.
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