Just in time to help you make good on your New Year’s Resolutions, Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District is sponsoring free, twice-weekly Restorative Movement classes at the SoHum Yoga Studio in the Meadows Business Park.
Most people occasionally fall ill or get injured during their lives. When that happens as we age, it can be hard to regain our strength and resume our full range of activities. We want to be more vigorous but lack the energy to get started; we want to exercise but worry we might re-injure ourselves. Sometimes we think we’re just too old to get fit again.
Not so, says Gerontologist Alicia I. Arbaje, MD, MPH, of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “A lot of the symptoms that we associate with old age -- such as weakness and loss of balance -- are actually symptoms of inactivity, not age.”
Taught by long-time fitness and yoga instructor Ann Constantino, Restorative Movement is not your typical exercise class.
Restorative Movement classes are suitable for all ages and abilities, but they are especially beneficial for those dealing with aging, stress, or physical limitations. During the one-hour session, participants will work with simple, rhythmic, and gentle movements designed to pass under the radar of old patterns of pain and discomfort. The idea is to do less, with less effort, to bring the body to a kind of reset. In addition to the movements, there will be guided relaxation and breath work, both proven methods of stress management. The class will also include some balance and bone building exercises.
Classes will be taught with participants seated in a chair or on the floor, and will involve some standing to allow for bone-building postures and balance work. Modifications can be made to accommodate almost any limitations. Please let the instructor know if you have any restrictions from your healthcare provider.
Participants should wear comfortable, non-restrictive clothing and have a relatively empty stomach. All necessary equipment will be provided by the studio.
A SoHum resident since 1973, Ann attended Miranda Junior High and South Fork High School. She became involved in youth sports when her son Galen began to play. In addition to coaching youth soccer, basketball, and baseball, Ann played in the women’s softball league and in indoor soccer leagues. She’s also the longtime coach of South Fork’s girls’ soccer team, its Athletic Director for 11 years, and an ACE Certified Personal Trainer since 2001.
Ann has done yoga all her life and used yoga poses for warm-ups and cool-downs with the kids, but it wasn’t until a mom said “You’re going to teach me that” that Ann began leading regular community yoga sessions in the high school library. That led Ann to pursue formal yoga training, to move her classes to So Hum Yoga, and ultimately to do Prajna Yoga SATYA training, restorative program based on the work of Moshe Feldenkrais and Thomas Hannah, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has taught yoga and restorative movement community classes in Southern Humboldt since 2005.
A number of local people have already seen benefits from the restorative classes.
One student said "I am in my seventies and, thanks to Ann's help, I have been able to remain quite active... Chronic lower back pain has gone from all day every day to only once in a long while. I highly recommend this!" Another said, "I went to Ann's restorative class with some reservations. Once I started I was totally hooked, and try my best to not miss a class. Ann's gentle approach makes the class a pleasure for my aging body, while still increasing my body awareness and flexibility bit by bit." A third regular attendee noted that "When I first began working with Ann and yoga I had to hold on to walk down the two steps that separated one level of my house from the other. And I was taking Ibuprofen several times a day. Now? No Ibuprofen and I have no problem walking down (nor up!) stairs."
Beginning January 2nd, these free classes will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30-2:30 p.m. at SoHum Yoga, 1150 #5 (Behind Greenwired) on Evergreen Road in the Meadows business park between Redway and Garberville.
Please call (923-7227) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions. Advance sign-ups are helpful but not necessary. Just contact Ann.
Barbara Truitt, Foundation Director, Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District
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