Keep it Movin’!

Getting older isn’t easy, right? As we age, our bodies lose bone density and cardiovascular stamina, leaving us at greater risk for health problems. Unfortunately, inactivity also increases with age. For seniors, inactivity contributes to risk of falling and fracturing bones and as well as the likelihood of contracting heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. That’s why we partner with Senior Center East to offer free yoga to seniors.

Nessie Riddick attends yoga every week. “It helps me loosen up some. Because I’m stiff. I have arthritis and that helps me a lot,” she says. “I have a lot on my mind. I worry about my kids even though they’re all grown. But it gives my mind a little ease, a little rest, and I just concentrate on the yoga.”

Studies show that older adults obtain significant health benefits with just a moderate amount of physical activity. It also helps seniors control weight and reduce depression and anxiety. When done in community, like PYR’s class, yoga helps decrease feelings of isolation.

Barbara Brown, Coordinator for Senior Center East, has witnessed the effects of PYR’s class over the past several years. “Whether it’s their feet for walking or their fingers for opening jars or cans for cooking, or just helping to build their stamina…they realize that each of the activities are pertinent to a certain part of their bodies and they appreciate that.”

One student even ditched her cane after a year of yoga. “Someone’s knees got so much stronger that they did not need to walk with helping devices,” PYR Ambassador Twylah Ekko explains. “That’s super exciting because I know one day I’m going to need all the tricks and tips that I offer to them. I’ve seen how much they improve and I’m inspired to always keep moving even when things hurt.”

Another senior, Nellie Mitchell, knows that practicing yoga has strengthened her joints. “It helps you be able to move around and it keeps you with an open mind. It keeps you from deteriorating because if you sit still long enough your joints will deteriorate.” Nellie also appreciates the opportunity to try something new. “I want to learn everything I can. It’s a challenge to do different things that you never did before. You’re never too old to learn.”

PYR has partnered with Senior Center East for many years and we hope to continue for many years to come. “There is no cost for our partnership with Project Yoga, and there are many benefits,” Ms. Brown explains. “In order for this partnership to continue there is a need for persons in the community who can afford to do so to make a contribution. It is definitely benefiting the seniors here in the East End of Richmond.”

We hope that when you make a contribution or pay for your studio class, you’ll remember that you are simultaneously improving quality of life for seniors in our community. At Project Yoga Richmond, your practice really does have power.

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