Natural Health By Jenn

I believe that each of us has the ability to be happy and healthy, naturally.



Yoga Classes

I am happy to announce that Fall registration is now open for Yoga Classes at the Wilmot Contre.  I will once again be teaching 2 classes.  Monday mornings is the assisted yoga classes for seniors and Wednesday morning will be yoga for everybody. Continue reading “Yoga Classes”


Yoga and Diabetes

I was asked to give a lecture on Yoga and Diabetes so I thought I would share a condensed version here!

Approximately 25 million people in the United States are living with diabetes; researchers across the country and abroad are searching for feasible methods of control.  In 2011 3.4 million people died due to complications caused by high blood sugar levels. It’s time to take control!  Continue reading “Yoga and Diabetes”

Aging Gracefully

Body, Mind and Spirit

Maybe I’m just getting sentimental in my old age (39) but the last few days have seen me reflecting.  Not quite sure what brought it on but here I am.  Yes; I admit I am usually quite emotional but today more so.  This morning I teared up listening to the Kinky Boots  (song: Raise You Up) soundtrack!  Haha, even I have to laugh at myself for that one!   Continue reading “Aging Gracefully”

Teacher Training

Gentle Yoga For Aging Bodies

Expand your teaching repertoire and make yoga accessible to an ever growing demographic!  Learn how to sequence with a chair and other props!

 This training looks at how the body changes with age and how to adapt yoga asana for these changes. Continue reading “Teacher Training”


Anodea Judith’s latest book takes us on a physical journey across the chakra planes. Her words dance like magic across the mind taking you deeper into a brand new practice space.

Whether you have been practicing yoga for a few days or a century this book allows for a deeper, physical understanding and connection to the chakra system.  Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW – ANODEA JUDITH’S CHAKRA YOGA”

50 Hour Senior Gentle Yoga Teacher Training

Now enrolling for a September 2015 start date!  

The course will run 5 days spread out over 5 to 10 weeks.  I will set the actual dates closer to the fall and will consider the timetable from participants wishes.

To enroll or learn more contact KW Yoga Therapy
Cost is $600 plus HST

This is a sample outline of what a Senior Gentle Yoga Teacher Training day would look like.

Day 1: Introduction

  1. What is yoga for seniors?  How does it differ?  Why do we need it?
  2. Overview of the 5 days
  3. Homework expectations
  4. What is expected of the practical exam
Morning Practice
  1. Talk about the flow of the class
  2. Why did i choose the postures that i did?
  3. Was there a natural flow/progression to the class?
  4. Was injury or ailment discussed?
  5. What would you do differently?
Discussion on the back body
  • What is the back body
  • discuss lines of fascia
  • injury of the back body that may prevent or hinder physical activity
Ailments to be discussed 
  • Vision changes; cataracts, glaucoma,
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Spondylarthropathies (arthritis of the spine)
While vision and cardiovascular problems are not related to the back body they are important to discuss here because they affect the ability to fold forward.  
Injuries and diseases related to the hips, pelvis and spine will be discussed in greater detail here.

Practice the postures
  • What postures are related to the back body
  • how can these be modified to account for common injury or ailment
  • hands on? to touch or not.  When is it safe to assist a senior and how much force to use

Closing the Practice

  • breath techniques
  • meditation? or savasana 

Introducing Teacher Training!

We are happy to announce that KW Yoga Therapy & Counseling has been accredited by Yoga Alliance and will now be offering Teacher Training’s.

At KW Yoga Therapy we believe in quality education, by recognizing different learning styles and keeping class sizes small we ensure every teacher achieves their greatest potential.  Trainings are led by Dr. Jennifer Heard DNM, DHS, RYT.  Dr. Heard has been recognized by the World Organization of Natural Medicine as a leader in Humanitarian service as well as being accredited by the Board of Natural Medicine as a Yoga Therapist.  All trainings offer a holistic healing approach recognizing the unique individual’s ability to find balance.

Current Offerings for yoga teachers or yoga teachers to be:

  • 50 Hour Senior Gentle Yoga (can be combined into the 200 hour program as the focus)
  • 100 Hour Senior Gentle and Chair Yoga
  • 50 Hour Emotional Yoga & Meditation (great for counselors and people working in mental health)
  • 200 Hour Gentle Yoga Teacher Training (Hatha Yoga with a Gentle Somatics focus)
Current Trainings for non-yoga teachers:
  • 50 Hour Emotional Yoga & Meditation 
  • Mindfulness Training
  • Mindfulness for Classrooms 
  • 100 Hour Meditation Master 
All of these trainings can be facilitated at a location of your choice or at the Embodied Energy studio in Waterloo, Ontario.  Dr. Jenn and her team are happy to travel anywhere around the world!  

Assisted Yoga For Healthy Aging

Health concerns of the aging population

During the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s there was an increase in the number of pharmaceuticals used by every age group.  Medical doctors, that used to tell you to have a good night sleep and eat your vegetables to cure the common cold, started prescribing drugs.  Three decades of misuse have shown us the long term effects. 
Coming out of the Great Depression people put more faith in earning a “decent living” than into their health.  They worked longer days, took more over-time to ensure the build up of a “nest egg” that would see them through any further economic problems.  This led to the idea of a “quick fix” something, anything that would get people better and out of bed faster so that they could return to unhealthy working environments.  Factories and offices where air quality was not a major concern.  Where you stood or sat for extended periods of time completing repetitive motions that lead to wear and tear on joints.
As the Baby Boomer generation ages we are seeing an increase in diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, obesity, high cholesterol, arthritis, gout and bone degeneration…the list can go on!  We have more debilitated seniors now than in history and the number is only increasing. 
Not only are our elderly aging with more concerns but also our children are being born with more health concerns, autism spectrum disorders, allergies, asthma, nervous disorders etc.  Today’s youth will age with even more problems unless we start teaching alternatives.  
Yoga has ancient roots, it was not the same practice we know it as today.  Ancient yogis used asana (yoga postures) to correct imbalances they felt in the body and mind.  It was part of a whole health system (Ayurveda) used to bring freedom from mental and physical dis-ease.  Now as more people turn to natural medicine the benefits of yoga are being scientifically researched, what is discovered is that the ancient yogis were right!  They had discovered cures for hypertension, arthritis, digestive disorders and more without the use of modern science.  

Gentle yoga for general healthy living

With the use of modern science we can benefit from their great wisdom, by proving the “why’s” and “how’s” of yoga workings.  Knowledgeable practitioners can create health plans which include asana to heal the body without the use of pharmaceuticals.
Any form of physical exercise has health benefits, walking gets fluids moving, it promotes weight loss and supports healthy cardiovascular functioning.  Weight lifting increases muscle mass, supports bone health and stabilizes weak joints.  Yoga goes a step further!
Yes you get all the benefits of cardio and weight training with one activity however yoga has that little bit more.  The mental component that helps ease stress, anxiety, induces a state of relaxation, a downshifting of the nervous system.  It is here that we see the greatest health benefits.  Yoga offers both a physical and mental workout.  It gives us the tools to find self-love.  To discover compassion and acceptance. 
So how does this help the aging population?  Many age related dis-eases are a combination of mental and physical stress build-up.  The scientific community calls this psycho-somatic; the physical manifestation of psychological problems.  By retraining the mind and body relief is brought without recurrence.
As mental wounds are healed and the body is strengthen symptoms begin to disappear.  Physical activity allows for the physical release of stress.  The mental aspects of yoga allow for psychological healing through self-love and compassion.  Yoga allows people to work through limitations on both the physical and mental level.  Discovering strength and flexibility of body while working through it mentally can be translated into daily life.  Where people can recognize their strengths and weaknesses and use this knowledge to their advantage, learning and growing no matter the age.

Assisted yoga for therapeutic results

When dealing with seniors we are often looking at years of physical stress.  Assisted yoga is the best form of exercise in this scenario.  Tools like chairs, benches, straps, blocks and others can be used to modified postures and provide balance as seniors build strength. 
I have been teaching assisted yoga to seniors for several years now and I have witnessed people that could barely stand on their own build strength and balance so that they are able to move through an hour long yoga class without relying on the provided props.  
  • One client used a chair for every posture, even those on 2 feet, for the first year of practice now she flows through standing balance postures without reaching for the chair or wall.  
  • Last winter I had a lady thank me because she was able to dress on her own for the first time in 2 years!  
  • Another has told me they are able to reach into their higher shelves, ones they had stopped using and are now able to use again.  
  • I love all my students but i had a soft spot for one very quiet lady; over the years she slowly opened up until one day she had the courage to tell me that my classes had helped her come out of a long term depression.  That she now laughs freely and friends have commented on the difference in her.  She is enjoying her grandchildren, participating in community activities, for the first time, ever!  

Every day I walk into my senior classes I am offered a new insight into a way that yoga has helped them.

The ability to give back daily functions that were thought to be lost is an amazing feeling.  The best gift anyone has ever given me has been the smiles I see when a posture is attained that was thought to be too hard! 

Yoga provides the tools to heal, to reclaim independence.  Why not use it?!

Managing Tourette Syndrome with Yoga

book coverOver the past 2 years I have been studying the use of yoga to calm and manage tics associated with Tourette’s.

The purpose of my study was to show an alternative method for treating Tourette Syndrome; yoga practice combined with a controlled diet. Yoga, meditation and breath technique, when used correctly, can reduce the occurrence/frequency of misfires by the central nervous system. The regular practice of yoga will strengthen and support the small muscles which help support/control the body. Meditation eases the mind, brings focus and teaches control of the body. Breath technique ensures proper oxygenation of the small & large muscle groups

By giving people choice in therapy they can reduce the need for pharmaceutical control of motor tics associated with Tourette’s. The drugs currently being used for treatment cause a large number of adverse side effects that can reduce quality of life, cause physical damage to major organs, lead to alternate syndromes which themselves are then medicated, further complicating things. My book “Yoga Therapy for the Management of Tourette Syndrome” looks at yoga, meditation, breath and diet as they relate to Tourette’s control.
This work shows glimpses of actual people and how Yoga Therapy helped them. There are basic yoga poses, meditations and breath techniques that can be done at home by most people. It is my hope that this work provides an alternative to pharmaceuticals and brings a measure of relief.

Yours in Health, Peace & Joy
Dr. Jennifer Heard DNM, DHS, RYT

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: