WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Pam Welch’s home yoga studio is where some come to find their zen.
After facing a stressful corporate job and struggling with his own fertility, yoga instructor from Andover took to yoga. Welch quit work and returned at age 40, doing yoga once a week. Six months later, she and her husband became pregnant on their own.
âI can tell you that if I hadn’t found yoga, I probably would have had a stroke or road rage by now. I mean, I was so stressed and busy all the time. And yoga really saved my life, âWelch said.
According to Johns Hopkins, yoga can help improve strength, balance, flexibility, pain relief, heart health, and energy levels, among other benefits.
Welch teaches restorative yoga, using blankets, pillows, and yoga blocks to put yogis into restorative positions, which trigger a relaxation response from the body. Reducing stress can make the body a better environment for overall health, she says. Usually something covers their eyes, so the light is not a distraction.
âOne of the conditions for relaxation is darkness because there’s a part of your brain that when it’s daylight thinks you should do something,â Welch said.
She describes restorative yoga as doing nothing other than intentionally. Often times, she will force her clients to agree to start small and move up. Welch remembers a particularly stressed client who couldn’t stand still, for about five seconds before contracting.
âI knew if I said 20 minutes she would think I was crazy. So I said 10 minutes a day with nothing. And she just looked at me. I said, ‘What about five?’ We finally agreed to three minutesâ¦ that’s how nervous and busy she was, âWelch said.
The woman managed to get pregnant some time later. Welch began to investigate and create a “yoga for fertility” Classes based on her own struggles and what she has learned.
Whether it’s trying to conceive or curing another disease, Welch believes in the power of doing nothing on purpose. She says sitting on the couch watching TV or scrolling through your phone won’t have the same effect.
âIt really changes your life. And, you know, boosting the immune system, which right now in this world is a beautiful thing, âWelch said.
His practice, ZenDog Yoga, is named after an old friend: his dead dog, Abby.
âWhen you offered her treats, she would try to bite you. And I’m like, “No, I need a Zen dog,” Welch recalls.
Abby has since passed away, and now Bodhi, an adorable rescue puppy, occasionally visits Welch’s studio.
There are many yoga studios in the Wichita area. Click here for a list.