GSM Yoga & Healing for the LGBTQIA+ Community
I discovered J. Steven Inghram, MS, C-IAYT and current medical student at SCNMAZ on their social media, and after connecting I was soon invited to their yoga class (GSM Yoga) in collaboration with TransEtcetera, an LGBT resource center. GSM is an acronym which stands for “Gender & Sexual Minorities”, a term used to be even more inclusive of the gender diverse students that may attend class. Reading the mission statement of this program, I understood what a wonderful resource Inghram and TransEtcetera had created for the LGBTQIA+/GSM community. Those who identify as queer are more likely to have experienced prolonged stress and trauma in their lifetimes – and of course, current life for many people has radically and abruptly changed since the pandemic. Inghram’s foundation for teaching relies on mindfulness, authenticity, and acceptance – something sorely needed to navigate today’s stressful world events and emotional issues. Inghram has over ten years of experience teaching yoga, and they are sharing their gift by offering this service as an accessible resource to all members of the LGBTQIA+/GSM community.
Class Review: HIIT + Yoga
After not attending a live class for nearly a year, I was excited to formally drop-in on a virtual class with a real, live human. I opted to take both the high-intensity interval training and yoga portions of the class. The HIIT lasted about thirty minutes, and I expected to be totally winded by the end of it. In fact, I had quite the opposite experience – I definitely noticed my heart rate increasing – but it felt very gentle. This was certainly a change from the ultra-intense HIIT that I would take at the gym pre-pandemic era. It felt cleansing but never so intense that it was uncomfortable. We practiced some intensive cardio and ended with plank holds. Shortly after, there was a brief breathwork portion, and then onto the asanas.
The class is ninety minutes long, but as soon as the yoga began I was so relaxed that I started to become disillusioned with time. Inghram guided us through the asanas at a gentle, moderate pace. Although I have personally practiced for many years, the movement never felt too “easy”, just incredibly mindful. At the same time, it was never so difficult that I found myself struggling to keep up or had to force myself into uncomfortable positions. I feel confident that almost anyone could take this class and feel comfortable moving at their own pace, even if they have never particpated in a live class before.
A few minutes after the final pose (shavasana) or “corpse pose”, all participants chatted for a brief period of time in order to get to know each other. Normally, this sort of direct contact with strangers would be uncomfortable for me – but all of my fellow classmates, as well as Inghram were remarkably friendly and easy to talk to.
Class Rating: 10/10
If you are interested in the benefits of yoga, there are a few different articles on my blog which are free resources. I recommend this class to any beginner or seasoned practitioner. Here is some additional information about TransEctetera, Steven Inghram, and GSM yoga.
“*Class fees are on a sliding fee scale from $5-15, although you are welcome to donate more. You also have the option to donate one or more classes as gifts or to others who may not be able to pay but would benefit from the session. Classes are free to GSM youth under the age of 18 (with parental consent) and students with a valid school id.” -TransEctetera Youtube Channel
If you would like to donate to this program, please visit the contact resources below.