The Benefits of Yoga and an Update from your Panorama Yoga Team

Written by Panorama resident and yoga instructor, Charles Kasler. 
August 2017

Panorama has a very active yoga/meditation community. We are friends as well as we practice together and look after each other. These pictures are from our annual summer solstice vigil in the Pea Patch garden. We also had a recent workshop on breathing. Our next event will be high tea for the fall equinox in the Seventeen51 Restaurant and Bistro.

Why is yoga so popular with seniors? Because it slows down aging, helps us feel better and maintains quality of life. There are five primary areas in which yoga can be therapeutic for seniors:

  1. Preventative – high blood pressure, heart disease, falls
  2. Curative – musculoskeletal conditions (this also requires maintenance)
  3. Maintenance – maintaining quality of life with chronic illness such as muscular dystrophy or rheumatoid arthritis
  4. Palliative – improving quality of life with terminal illness such as cancer

[yoga is medically recognized as a support for side effects of chemotherapy: fatigue, nausea, digestive problems, loss of appetite, anxiety & depression, weakened bones, pain, nervous system disturbance, cognitive problems]

  1. Rehabilitation – after heart attack, stroke, surgery

Yoga massages the muscles: relieving chronic pain and tension, reducing fatigue, improving flexibility and symmetry, toning and strengthening muscles as well as connective tissue. Balance also improves.

Yoga stimulates circulation of all of the fluids: blood, the lymphatic system, and the very fluids that are within and surround each cell of the body. This improved circulation lessens stress on the heart, lowers blood pressure, and promotes healthy metabolism of each cell. It thins the blood and increases the number of red blood cells. Improved lymphatic drainage boosts immunity and enhances detoxification. Circulation to the skin improves as well. The heart becomes stronger even as its workload lessens. The resting heart rate lowers. Improved circulation transports hormones released by the endocrine system.

Skeletal structure improves: joints align increasing their range of motion as well as being supported by (newly toned) muscles. Pain in the joints may decrease, especially the back. Bone density increases through weight bearing. Symptoms of arthritis can diminish. Posture improves dramatically. Movement is more efficient and requires less effort. Balance and kinesthetic awareness improve. Feet open up.

The respiratory system functions better as we learn proper breathing: we release tensions that restrict the breath, the volume of air we breathe increases, exchange of waste products improves, cellular respiration improves. Longer and slower breathing is therapeutic.

Digestion and elimination improve: the entire digestive system is massaged, stress releases, and dietary changes contribute to better digestion.

Organs and glands: yoga contributes to hormone regulation and regulates the adrenals. Yoga can lower blood sugar levels as well. Body weight may normalize. Yoga sometimes lowers the need for medications.

The nervous system: the entire practice shifts us from the stress response to the relaxation response. The mind quiets, concentration and alertness improve, mood becomes more positive – happier, better self-esteem, better sleep, more body awareness. Relationships may improve and addictions may have less power over us.

Immune function improves: as the body functions more optimally, we are better able to fight off disease and infection.


Becoming Juliette

Written by Panorama resident, Ann Friedman. August 2017

Several years ago, we had a golden retriever and a pound hound dog. Both wonderful dogs in their own way. They played, slept, aged, and became ill together. Ultimately they were euthanized together in our home.  We said, “We never want another dog!”  It was just too painful a process to lose them.

That lasted about two weeks. The house was just too quiet. No one greeted us when we got home. No one let us know that the mail had arrived. No one was handy to scarf up a stray Cheerio. Something was missing. Should we get another dog?  Richard said, “I don’t want to vacuum up all that dog fur anymore!” I said, “I don’t want the hard work of a puppy.”  We both agreed on a non-shedding adult dog…but what?

We found that there were several choices. Some breeds had hair that would need to be groomed. There were hairless dogs (no!!). Then Richard read about Greyhounds. They don’t shed much and have calm temperaments.  But whoever sees a Greyhound and how would we get one? The closest breeder was hundreds of miles away. But, remember, we don’t want a puppy.

Upon further investigation, we discovered organizations that travel to Greyhound racetracks across the country and pick up truckloads of dogs before they can be “put down”. These dogs are spayed or neutered, health checked, vaccinated, tested for cat tolerance, and made available for adoption. They are anywhere from two to five years old. Some have only had one race, others many more. All are fearful to some degree at first. They have never had the same experience with people and things that other dogs have had.

There were a few rescue organizations near our (then) home in Sacramento, CA. We contacted Greyhound Friends for Life and learned that there were some conditions that must be met in order to look at the dogs available for adoption. First, we filled out an application.

That was reviewed and accepted. Next, we had a home check. This is important to make sure your Greyhound will be safe.  Rescued Greyhounds are runners and they have never been in houses before.  Our house, yard, and fence passed inspection.  Last step, actually seeing a live Greyhound up close and personal.

We drove the fifty miles or so to a lovely Greyhound refuge in the Sierra foothills. There were eight new hounds in the large grassy enclosure. They were big. They were fast.  They all raced towards us in a herd.  It was a little intimidating. They all just wanted attention. We spotted a small Greyhound in the group. It was a female with beautiful black and tan brindled coloring. Racing Greyhounds aren’t bred for specific coat color so you’ll see black, tan, white, spotted, and brindled.

We were attracted to this delicate girl and learned that she had come from a track in Phoenix, AZ. She had raced fifty-three times and come in first or placed twenty-five percent of the time.  She came when we called her by her track name, Juliette, and looked us right in the eyes.  As I began petting her, she leaned against me. Best of all, Juliette was not timid with Richard.  We were smitten. It was the fall of 2009 and we adopted her then and there.

Juliette w Ann

Because racing greys rarely walk on cement or black top, we had to condition Juliette’s paws by giving her short walks at first. She was a little fearful of passing cars and strange men, but loved women. She housetrained quickly using a crate, which she was very comfortable with, and it is what she knew.  Plus, she was unique to greys in that she tolerated our cats.

Juliette w toy

Speed ahead eight years and here we are living in Panorama. Because she no longer has a dog door, Juliette has many more walks. She loves meeting folks on her potty walks and “Walk the Loop” Tuesday evenings. Juliette has helped us meet so many nice people.

But her favorite thing to do is to visit the Panorama dog park. She is there most afternoons and although we were a little wary at first wondering how she would do with mostly small dogs, it was a needless concern. It took a few dog park visits but Juliette is learning how to play. She runs with the other dogs, small and large. She especially likes to chase McTavish, the Scottish terrier, and hang by Trooper, the shepherd. If the small dogs aren’t going as fast as Juliette, she just jumps over them and runs on.  She and Wyatt, the dog, share playground monitor duties barking and scolding the others if they get too rowdy.  Everyone gets along and enjoys their time together.  The people do, as well.

Juliette in Pool

In reviewing Juliette’s adoption papers and track record in preparation for writing this article, I discovered she is actually a year older than I remembered. She will be twelve this September. That’s very old for a Greyhound but you’d never know it by seeing her.  She is peppy and excited for every walk and dog park visit.  We think she is finally having the puppyhood she missed by being a professional runner.  Everyone thinks she is a lucky dog, but we think we are the lucky ones for owning Juliette, the Greyhound.

A Resident’s Perspective – Triple Creek Farm

Written by Panorama resident, Cleve Pinnix. August 2017

Some 30 Panorama residents enjoyed a wonderful tour of Triple Creek Farm on July 27. The farm is home to Ralph Munro, the retired Secretary of State of Washington, and a member of the Panorama Board of Directors. Ralph was our guide for a walking tour of the property, and then hosted us for a delightful salmon luncheon.

Munrovisit3Triple Creek Farm is located along the shore of Eld Inlet, just west of Olympia. The property is a mix of forest and fields, with the Munro home looking across a small tidal stream to the inlet. The land has a remarkable history of Native American use over the centuries. Ralph led us to an archaeological site along the shoreline that was the subject of a decade-long study by faculty and students of South Puget Sound Community College, in cooperation with the Squaxin Island Tribe. This peaceful shoreline is graced by a lovely welcome pole donated from the tribe to the Munro family.

Munrovisit1Ralph and his family have been careful stewards of this unique place, planting trees and protecting the shoreline for decades. They have also donated a conservation easement to the local Capitol Land Trust, ensuring that this land will retain its pastoral quality in perpetuity. Luncheon in the barn capped our visit. Many thanks to the Munro family for their kind hospitality.


As it happens, only a few days later, Panorama residents visited Triple Creek again to enjoy the summer gala for the Capitol Land Trust. Panorama is a proud sponsor of this community celebration.

Hikes with Steve – Mt. Rainier Wildflower Trip

Written by Steve Pogge. Photos by Panorama resident, Cindy Fairbrook. August 2017

A small group of residents took three days and circumnavigated Mount Rainier. It was a 400 mile trip in search of wildflowers with Steve Pogge and Mark Akins as hike leaders. We left for this adventure on July 30 and as luck would have it, the flowers were in their prime. The colors were fantastic. We saw not only Lupine, Indian Paintbrush and Mountain Heather but Avalanche Lilies, Sitka Valarium, Bistort, Western Anemone (mouse on a stick), Rosy Spirea, Arnica and assorted other beautiful, colorful and fragrant plants.

Pic 1

Pic 2

We were able to visit the South side of the mountain at the Paradise/Reflection Lake area, the Southwest side at the Ohanopacosh area, the Eastside at Chinook Pass and the Northside at the Sunrise/Borough Mt. area.

Pic 3

We ate, laughed, hiked, toured and had a grand time on our three day adventure. The restaurants and inns were all interesting and lovely in their own way.  Many options were given each day and each person was able to see and do as much as they desired.  Although the terrain was sometimes steep and the elevation high, the beauty of the area was enough to overcome any discomfort we had.

Pic 4

The days were warm but not hot, the skies were cloud free and we often went from early morning to dark to do and see as much as we could. It was an experience that many will take with them for years to come. It reminded me once again of just how beautiful an area we are fortunate to live in.

Steve Pogge Bio