POSITIVELY 50+

Web-based yoga practice a great option for seniors during omicron surge

Jan 20, 2022, 2:11 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 6:18 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — For older Utahns stuck at home, online exercise classes are a healthy option.

And a way to feel connected if you’re taking extra precautions right now due to the ongoing omicron surge.

A yoga instructor explains how to get the most out of it.

The yoga class in the airy, sunlit studio at Centered City Yoga might look empty, but it’s full of people participating online. Participants include people like Debora Adam, who said yoga helps ease joint stiffness that worsens with age.

“Well, yeah. I don’t know when that happened,” joked Adam, age 61, Toquerville.

According to experts at Johns Hopkins, yoga improves strength, balance and flexibility. It can relieve back pain and ease arthritis symptoms.

Online classes are a COVID-safe, easy option. “I’m not able to get there right now and so I can share that community remotely,” Adam said. “It’s like the next best thing.”

All you need is a smartphone, iPad, or computer with a camera to get started, said instructor Rachel Cieslewicz, yoga instructor and owner of Centered City Yoga

“Somewhere where you can roll out a mat. If you don’t have a mat, maybe a soft carpet,” she said.

Cieslewicz says yoga improves overall health and reduces stress, and doing it online still creates unity. “It’s still bringing yourself together with the community, and that helps us remember that humans are meant to be connected,” she said.

If you’re worried about advanced age or being out of shape, take it slow, she said. “Yoga’s meant to meet people where they are,” Cieslewicz said. “If you can lift your arms only shoulder height, do that. If you can lift your arms up to your ears, do that. If you need help getting up off the floor, just have a chair nearby you.”

Adam said it’s the right fit for her.

“You ease into the poses only as far as you need to so that you feel the stretch,” she said. “Don’t try and make it perfect. This morning, I used a towel and near the couch just on the floor, and so it doesn’t have to be fancy.”

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Web-based yoga practice a great option for seniors during omicron surge