Yoga was developed in India thousands of years ago to promote peace of mind, well-being and longevity. Yoga means "union"-- a natural balance of body and mind. It coordinates movements with breath, imagery, and self-awareness. Yoga works with the body's energy systems, called "chakras." Many of the poses are named after plants, animals and other phenomena in the natural world. These images serve as helpful metaphors to describe the physical movements, and also develop an appreciation that we are a part of nature.
Yoga is excellent for expanding breathing capacity, posture, flexibility, circulation, increasing bone density, self-awareness (which helps prevent falls) and stress reduction. Many classic Yoga postures can be modified to meet the needs of seniors.
I received a B.A. in Dance from U.C.L.A. This program was focused on training teachers and I studied Kinesiology for a full year. I began the study of Yoga with Dr. Marva Spelman as a Dance Therapy course at U.C.L.A. I continued as her student in her private studio and served as a teaching assistant for a number of years. I then taught Dance, Yoga and Gymnastics at Harvard-Westlake School for seven years. I've continued studying and practicing Yoga on a daily basis for thirty years. I'm also currently a Tai Chi student of Master Kai Ying Tung.
- Avoid positions that cause you pain. Feel free to stop and rest at any time or modify the posture so that it feels
comfortable for you. Yoga teaches you to cultivate an understanding of your own inner voice, "the teacher within." Trust
that you know what is best for you. Find your own level for each exercise and gradually work your way up. Be patient,
and you will improve over time.
- Breathe through the nose, unless given specific instruction otherwise. Try to coordinate breathing with the
movement. (Usually you breathe in as you stretch up and out, and breathe out as you bend over or down.)
- You may feel a bit light-headed from some of the deep breathing exercises. This is not harmful, in fact it's
beneficial. However, if you feel dizzy, stop.
- You may also feel a bit dizzy from some of the inversion (head down) exercises. Just do what is comfortable and
stop when you've had too much. You will slowly get used to these movements and will benefit from the increased oxygen
to the brain. Breathing in deeply, as you come up, will help you feel more comfortable.
- Try not to eat before class, or eat lightly.
- Do not chew gum.
- Either practice yoga barefoot, or wear socks with rubber strips on the bottom for traction
- Wear loose, comfortable clothes which do not constrict your movement.
- Some of the inversion (head down) exercises may not be good for those with high blood pressure, detached
retina, heart conditions, or glaucoma. Check with your doctor if you have any of these conditions and modify the poses if
- Let me know if you have trouble hearing or seeing a movement and I will adjust the volume of my microphone
speaker or music or move so that you can see me better.
- Inform me of any medical problems or injuries you've had which I should be aware of.
- If you have any concerns and questions about what exercises you can or cannot do ASK YOUR DOCTOR before