Our 4th season of yoga will wrap up at the end of March. Students range in age from 55 to 90-somethings! Many of the yoga students have been attending classes since that first class in 2010 – and regularly practicing yoga has made a huge difference to them. And, many students have commented about the improvements in their balance. Some who were not able to stand on one foot are now doing “tree” pose with ease.
“I have not been able to stand on one foot for quite some time. Thanks to you and your yoga class, I can now stand on one foot – maybe not for long, but I CAN DO IT!!!”
“I have improved my balance 100% since I have been doing yoga.” ~ Joan Brolin
Our class routinely starts with breathing exercises and warm-ups. Here is where we begin to stretch our muscles and work on our flexibility. Stiff neck, shoulders, hips and legs all benefit by gentle, deliberate movements. We start slowly and gradually our range of motion increases.
“I found that yoga released the stress in the muscles of my back and neck. When I left each class, the pain was gone.” ~ Susan Sullivan
“I have seen much improvement in my ability to stretch and pain in my hips has lessened.” ~ Ginny MacDonald
“…my residual neck and shoulder pain from an earlier car accident really improves after gentle yoga.” ~ Trish Flint
In addition to balance and flexibility, yoga offers poses to improve posture and increase strength. Paying attention to how we sit or stand can yield tremendous benefits. We feel better; we look better. And, poses that help strengthen the hips and leg muscles can make it easier for us to “get around” or to climb stairs.
“I feel stronger and more able to do things that I wasn’t able to do before.” ~ Name withheld by request
By far, the “relaxation exercise” at the end of the class is probably what keeps people coming back week after week. While most of us are retired and spending the winter months here in “paradise”, we live in a society that is noisy and busy. To some extent, we all have things that worry us or present some stress. But, if we can find an island of peace in the midst of all this, it can have a calming effect on our lives.
“The best part is leaving your troubles at the door while you practice.” ~Jane Goreham
We practice yoga in a classroom setting. But, the class also follows the simple practice of “karma” yoga – which is based on giving without any expectation of receiving. The class makes generous contributions to the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Last year, we held a very successful “
Diaper Drive”. We learned that there was a severe shortage
of diapers for needy babies. We
collected enough money to buy 8 cartons of diapers and 8 boxes of baby wipes. In February, we held a PB & J Drive. In all, we collected over 30 jars each of
peanut butter and jelly. And, for the
month of March, a cereal drive is underway.
It’s been especially gratifying to me to meet, get to know, and share the practice of yoga with such a wonderful community. See you next year!