Panorama Yoga and Meditation Program

Written by Panorama resident and Yoga instructor, Charles Kasler. September 2014.
Chair Yoga at Panorama

Chair Yoga at Panorama

The yoga and meditation program at Panorama is more than just classes – it’s a community of like-minded friends. Even the three teachers are Panorama residents. Aside from a full schedule of classes, we offer four workshops, four social gatherings, and two retreats each year. There is something for everyone, at any level of ability and experience. Contrary to popular belief, yoga is not just for the young and flexible. Each person simply works at their own level, including chair yoga. It’s different for everyone. It is not necessary to sit cross-legged, stand on your head, or do any of the impossible looking positions you see in pictures. Our teaching is specifically for seniors and sensitive to the issues of aging. It is also important to integrate practice into daily life – in our movements and state of mind. Residents thrive on their practice here, making gains in agility, mobility, balance, and strength. We also learn how to breathe, as well as enjoy the inner peace that is at the heart of yoga. Mostly we have fun together! People sometimes come to class 30 minutes early to get a head start on relaxation!

Joints are a big issue for all of us. We get the joints moving in yoga: stretching muscles that cross over the joint to restore range of motion, and strengthening muscles to support the joints in their proper range of movement. Moving mindfully can help reduce pain for some people, as well as improve stability. We train the mind to pay attention in our classes, which can have a huge impact in preventing falls. Many falls are simply from not paying attention to what we are doing. And did you know that balance improves with practice? Consistent yoga practice will help us to remain living independently as long as possible.


Meditation Retreat at Panorama

Meditation Retreat at Panorama

After the recent workshop on meditation and the creative process, we will enjoy a tea party for our fall equinox gathering. Since we practice mostly in silence, it’s a nice opportunity to bond and get to know our neighbors. The next event will be our fall mindfulness meditation retreat in the beautiful chapel. Our theme this time will be communication. We spend a day in silence, with guidance and inspirational talks. It is a healing experience for body and soul.

Active Aging Week


Sponsored by the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA), Active Aging Week is an annual health promotion event held during the last week of September. The weeklong observance promotes the benefits of leading an active, healthier lifestyle. It also highlights the ability of older adults to live well, regardless of age or health conditions.

Panorama and Aegis Therapies are teaming to celebrate Active Aging Week this year. Three, free events were designed to get Panorama residents active, fed and informed about wellness opportunities in their community.

Panorama residents can pick up their card for the Personal Fitness Challenge. The goal of the challenge is to walk 10,000 steps or about 5 miles per day. Miles can be accrued through swimming, biking, walking or taking a fitness class. Miles for each personal challenge participant will be added up and all participants will be honored with a certificate at the Personal Challenge celebration and will be entered into a drawing for an REI gift certificate.

Eating a healthy diet is equally important to maintaining a wellness regime as exercise. Brad Rossman with Synergy Health care will give a free cooking demonstration entitled Healthy Nutrition. During the Demonstration, Brad will show you how to prepare a simple, high protein breakfast including a breakfast burrito and parfait.

To help keep us all informed about personal safety Chris Henderson, DPT, GCS of Aegis therapies will present a free forum entitled Safety in the Home and Fall Prevention. Not only will residents learn how to keep themselves safe from falls in the home, they will also have the opportunity to receive a free balance screening.

We hope you’ll join the celebration of Active Aging Week in your own ways at home!

A Resident’s Perspective – Active Outings and Fun Stuff

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. September 2014.

We moved to Panorama as new Washingtonians and were intrigued to find all the opportunities afforded to research and discover the area around the South Sound. We got lost a lot in our cars, some roads have historical names alongside the new names and many old hands know where they are and where they lead.

There are wonderful activities that Panorama offers for exploring the area with knowledgeable guides who know little quirky and lovely day hikes, hidden parks, walks, and strolls. New comers, even if acquainted with the area might well take advantage of these outings to meet a wonderful gang of active retirees.

The effort levels are outlined in the monthly Newsletter along with descriptions of what will be encountered. Lunches, water and a walking stick or two are great ways to experience scenic and historic areas. There are often lesser side options on the hikes if the trail system permits it. Our leader often has a few helper hikers who can help with different ways to be on the hike.

Having said that, let me expound on hiking in general. Keeping bodies toned and in shape for those of us that are active here in this lovely community is important. Living in single story homes, we are getting less stair-walking for exercise.  Therefore I had major issues with the post-Crystal Mountain ski area hike down from the Gondola at the top at 7000 feet to the parking lot at 5000 feet! So lovely, but quad muscles in the thighs took days to be useable without stiffness and pain!     Shaw-Outings Photo

 All outings are nicely outlined in the Activities Listing every month. Residents should pay attention to the “difficulty” or other delimiters to be expected. The unexpected happened on that hike as they were blasting near the usual path down, and we had to take a detour with skittery gravel on the dusty service road for part of it. Surviving that bonded many of us!! Add the altitude and we had a challenging but gorgeous day on the mountain! Perfect weather and views across to Mt.Rainier were fantastic!

So my newest program for legs is going to be doing the five or six flights of stairs in the stair wells of the Quinault building. I plan on a couple of repetitions in fairly quick order and of course will wear my SARA pendent, though I don’t expect any issues. This along with our two days of laps in the pool should help in preparation for the San Juans hiking trip in October. Just smile if you see me huffing and puffing in those stairwells!

Panorama has been innovative in making available different levels of activities and I hope to see new folks on the upcoming outings. A new outline of dates and times to sign up for specific hikes and walks is on the Bulletin Board and either the volunteer signing up folks or Grace at the LIR desk can help you decipher the newest system. It seems we always have more people wanting inclusion than there available seats on the bus, but it IS doable and you will enjoy the outings.

The hikes close for the winter months probably in late October or November depending on when we get rains and coolish weather. I do hope you will join in and see some wonderful places.

Sandy Bio



Smartest Decision in Our Retirement? – Part 8

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. July 2014

Last month you read that after our first night in our lovely garden home at Panorama, Helen, whom we met the previous evening with Wags, rang our door bell and delivered large, homemade cinnamon rolls with an aroma that made my mouth drool! She wore the sweetest smile.  Her head was slightly bowed.  With both hands, she proudly presented them to me.

In her loving tone she said gently, “I know you don’t have anything for breakfast, and I hope you enjoy these.”   She was to be my first forever friend at Panorama.


With no cooking utensils yet, we walked over to our on-campus McGandy Park and joined 200+ residents who welcomed us at the 4th of July celebration.  Catered by our Chambers Restaurant, the BBQ brisket, chicken, hot dogs, hot, sweet corn on the cob, huge bowls of baked beans, best-of-the-West slaw and potato salad, cold drinks, and ice cream cart were all-you-can-eat.  Everything brightened under the huge, snow white tent that shaded red check table cloths topped with festive decorations like shiny red stars popping out of stand-up firecrackers and bottles of bubbles to blow.

New names, faces, questions and answers, lively mariachi music with three guitarists in black, silver-studded Mexican suits and three-foot-round, bright-colored, embroidered sombreros heightened the excitement.

Drawings for door prizes and Best-of-American-Hat-Contest included free meals at Chambers Restaurant, exercise classes and books.   Not enough?

A special event that year was the Parade on Wheels. Some had helpers to guide them slowly through the park on our majestic, curved sidewalks. Sven, with a red stripe, blue-stared top hat rode a three-wheeled bike with a huge basket packed with yellow, white and lite blue mums.  Bright, shiny blue metallic, long streamers wove through the spokes of his wheels.

“King” Ray in his wheel chair donned a large, elegant crown.  The deep red, velvet, round puffy center was framed around the bottom with large metallic cloth gold spires.  A band of cloth ermine circled around the bottom.  He proudly locked his palms around a large handmade scepter of aluminum foil.

DSCN7131The winner was Mary.  She rode an electric scooter with six large red, blue, orange, and multicolored balloons.  Her large basket was overflowing with giant maroon, and white dahlias from her garden or our Panorama Pea Patch.  An 18”x 18” poster read, I’m a lucky Dog:  I live at Panorama:  Signed, Tootsie Roll.  A large bold arrow pointing down was aimed at a small basket with her tiny brown Yorkie dog, dancing around to the excitement, peering out the top.  I had to do twists with my body to snap a photo of Mary’s face which was almost hidden in the large assortment of balloons, flowers, poster, flags and her precious friend in his basket.


Onlookers clapped, cheered and clicked pictures. The prize and the person who won was not what impressed us.  It was the genuine love and care that the staff, employees, and residents had for each other.  Not bad for a first meal!  We knew we were blessed.

Mary Jo Bio