About Lakshmi Voelker महालक्ष्मी
Lakshmi Voelker, E-RYT500, C-IAYT, YACEP, KYT, AY Ambassador is a certified Kripalu Yoga instructor, a member of the Yoga Alliance and International Association of Yoga Therapists, and holder of other certifications. She created chair yoga and the premier chair yoga teacher training certification.
She has dedicated her life to creating accessible yoga, fun paths to wellness. With her chair yoga, she was able to bring adaptive fitness to those who could not benefit from traditional activities. This might be due to age or limiting physical/mental conditions or environment/location.
Lakshmi created Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga in 1982. It was followed by Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga—The Sitting Mountain Series CD in 1990 and the DVD—Get Fit Where You Sit in 2007. In 2007, she formalized her unique Levels of Flexibility® that she had been using in teaching chair yoga classes to bring this capability to her certification program.
She offers both 1-on-1 and Group Teacher Training Certifications (currently unavailable during COVID-19). She has certified more than two thousand teachers nationally and internationally. This includes healthcare professionals at the Mayo Clinic and The New York City Department of Education. She regularly runs Group Teacher Certifications at the Kripalu Center, The NY Open Center, YogaWorks, Discovery Yoga, and Texas State University (again, unavailable during COVID-19).
Lakshmi has dedicated her life to creating accessible paths to wellness. By creating chair yoga, she was able to bring adaptive fitness and exercise programs to those who could not benefit from traditional methods of physical activity due to whatever limiting physical/mental challenges they might have. Her chair yoga is especially good for disabled and others with fitness challenges.
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She created Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga™ in 1982 when one of her thirty-something students had a flair-up of her arthritis and could no longer get down on the floor to practice Yoga. After her student practiced Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga for several months, she was able to start doing mat yoga again, always keeping her chair nearby.
She has studied, practiced, and taught Yoga and other Eastern disciplines since 1969. From her early years, she integrated these disciplines with Western health concepts. Her focus has always been to improve her students’ health and wellness by making the integration of these disciplines accessible to the broadest audience possible—particularly through levels of flexibility.
Following the success of her CD, she then created the Get Fit Where You Sit!® DVD Video. She made breakthroughs in two areas: extensive step-by-step instruction of each class and providing multiple levels of flexibility so all poses are accessible.
Lakshmi also works extensively as a private Yoga therapist who has developed and taught various therapeutic Yoga classes. She has led Yoga and Zen meditation as well as dolphin swim and whale research retreats in the U.S. and Mexico. She is a published photographer and modeled for the internationally known sculptor, John Kennedy.
Lakshmi was a longtime member of The National League of American Pen Women, Inc. as author and lecturer. She has written numerous papers and articles expressing her years of studies and practices of various forms of Yoga and Eastern disciplines. Lakshmi integrates her intuition and humor into a special experience for her students and community.
Her very first yoga teacher was Anjali Joseph. Lakshmi was 18 when she took her first yoga class with Anjali in an adult education course in Amityville, Long Island, NY. Additionally, Lakshmi has studied with other masters from many traditions-from India, Japan, Tibet, Taiwan, Korea, and China. She also spent 12 years working in a hospital. She has taken the best from the best to create Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga™.
She was given the name MahaLakshmi decades ago by Swami Muktananda of the Siddha Yoga lineage. The Goddess Lakshmi is the revered Goddess of Abundance and Prosperity.