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