Stretching the Mind and Body

Active Older Adults (AOA) SilverSneakers Yoga Stretch with Louise.

“Now, as a 26-year-old, I thought this class would be easy, at least easier than BODYPUMP. This is the wrong mindset to have. All classes have varying difficulties based on skill, and let me tell you, I am not flexible – AT ALL.

When I walked in to the 9 a.m. class, there were people smiling back at me, probably, mostly, wondering why a younger female is in a SilverSneakers class. Fret not, while I stuck out like a sore thumb, they were most welcoming.

Yoga Stretch at Ransburg YMCAEveryone was seated in a chair, which I thought was weird. When I think of Yoga, I think of people standing, stretching, or laying on the ground – never do I think of them in a chair.

When the class began promptly at 9, we started with breathing exercises followed by simple stretching of the upper body – arms, core, and neck – all from a seated position.

Louise made sure to let people know it’s a ‘do what you can class’ and for people not to overexert themselves.

As the class progressed, we moved our backs away from the chair and worked on lower body stretching. This is where I struggled. As I said before, I’m not a flexible human. When Louise asked us to bring our knees to our chest, I panicked a little, but remembered her saying ‘do what you can.’

Toward the end of the time slotted for SilverSneakers Yoga Stretch, Louise had everyone stand and was really excited for what she had to show me, as a visitor, next.

You may know that most older adults don’t move as well as most younger adults – which is why this class is geared toward the older generation. Louise referenced the ‘younger yogis in the park’ before showcasing what the class has been working on for a few weeks – a yoga flow.

They moved from various warrior positions to the next, effortlessly. Louise just smiled with joy as her pupils showed off their skills.

Soon after, the class came to an end. I felt relaxed, stretched out and welcome.

While I went into it with the wrong mindset, I was still challenged a little and got my heart-rate up a bit.”

So, what are you waiting for? Try Yoga Stretch with Louise or try the next Chelsea Challenge class: Nov. 14, 9 a.m. Zumba with Kathy.