Shree offers a wide variety of classes for everyone. Especially for seniors. Several reports have shown that yoga balances a senior’s self esteem as it works on the mind, body and soul. Most classes at Shree are safe for seniors often with minimal modifications.
While anyone of any age is welcome to any class at Shree, the more senior friendly classes, to help with ease of balance, pain, and mobility are the restorative, chair class, Level 1, and back care classes. The restorative offerings are Sundays at 5:30-7:00 pm with Rob, and Thursdays at 5:30-7:00 pm with Suki. Restorative classes, where no experience is necessary, support seniors by offering gentle postures that relax and calm the body and mind. The level 1 classes, which are on Monday and Fridays from 9:30-10:30 am with Kari and Saturday n12:00-1:00 pm with Liz, are excellent choices for seniors, or anyone looking for the foundations of yoga. Sonya’s back care classes on Wednesdays at 5:30 -7:00 pm and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:30 –11 am, are specialized back care classes, but at the same time are excellent for overall relaxing and body awareness. Liz’s chair class, which is on Thursdays from 1:30 – 2:30, works to accomodate seniors by using a chair to support poses, thereby making asanas more accessible. This month we are featuring a few of our long time Shree senior students who answered some questions about their experiences with yoga and how it helps them on and off the mat. The students are Rick Bull, Betsy Roth, Edle Anderson, and Bill Whaley.
What classes meet your needs at Shree?
Rick: The classes that meet my needs are the Monday and Friday at 9:30 and Sonya’s classes. I enjoy the instructors’ approach to yoga.
Betsy: I like the chair yoga, because it allows me to do yoga again. I need the chair for stability and modifications of poses. Love that the chair helps me meet my needs for balance and mobility and strength.
Edle: Chair yoga is my favorite. The chair is a really good support and I feel like I’m getting a really good workout. The chair is a great comfort.
Bill: Sonya‘s classes on Tuesday and Thursday meet my needs for fundamentals from inside out. Classes on Monday and Friday with Kari for building strength. Kelly’s classes help me as well.
What keeps you coming to yoga?
Rick:I enjoy the yoga community and a good routine, plus it’s a great way to start the day.
Betsy: I feel better when I leave and I really enjoy it and it’s good to get out of the house. I like that there’s a class that I can participate in. I like the people I meet and the studio is really nice.
Edle: Keeps my body flexible and I notice a huge difference. It is not a choice to go to yoga, it’s a must.
Bill: The discipline and healthy effects. I used to go to the gym, but I like the quiet focus and the space of Shree. Genevieve and Suki are very efficient with how they run the business.
What body challenges has yoga at Shree helped you with?
Rick:Maintaining my spine and healthy breathing. It helps keep my head level (psychologically beneficial). I enjoy the spiritual aspects of yoga.
Betsy: Staying flexible, balance and strength.
Edle: My hips, it keeps them moving. I stand up straight, instead of leaning into the hips. Keeps my posture good. I am a seamstress/tailor and my shoulders and neck get very tight from my work. Shoulder exercises on chair are very good. Yoga makes me happier. It is a great stress reliever, which in this society, we really need.
Bill: No more aching back and aching parts. I used to be quite a skier and started skiing again because of yoga. I have found that the breathing really helps my skiing.
When did you start yoga and tell me about your first class?
Rick: 2008. Hatha Yoga with Erin. It was easy for me.
Betsy: I started basic yoga 40 years ago by watching a funky class on TV, public Service TV programming. I first started with basic poses. Then, when I picked it up again, I did community classes and I started to appreciate more of the breath work, centering, and mental and spiritual side. Now, I continue to appreciate the deeper spiritual levels. I was at the gym and then came to Shree. The space at Shree is lovely.
Edle: First started yoga in Ibiza, Spain in 1966. My boyfriend showed me and it changed my body. A couple of years ago, I started again. I had silver sneakers at Northside, and then Liz encouraged me to come to the chair class at Shree.
Bill: I started 3 1/2 years ago, fall 2015. I went specifically because of waking up with back pain. I ran into Sonya and said that I would come to her class as long as she didn’t laugh and she agreed. I remember in my first class, I had the strap wrapped around my neck by accident and Sonya said, “Bill, not on my watch.”
How has your perception of yoga changed since you started practicing?
Rick: I have become much more in tune with spiritual aspects. It is clearer to me as to what my edge is all about.
Betsy: I appreciate it more and more.
Edle: At one point I started having sciatica and stopped yoga, but then realized that it was the type of yoga that I was doing. It releases pain. I love yoga and what it does for my body.
Bill: The biggest change is the more I practice the better I get at it.
Our senior student’s testimonials shows much yoga has helped them with body challenges and that there are many options for elders at Shree. Don’t be shy if you are an older student and you are not sure about starting a yoga practice. It can be intimidating to walk into the yoga studio and see the young flexible students. Know that there’s options for you and that every teacher has been trained to teach you how to modify the poses for your specific ailments. Your body will love you for making a commitment to a practice that will help every aspect of your life.