Check out these photos from our Christmas Party last Friday!
Betty Ann McKenzie has taught our gentle chair yoga class for years. In the spring, we spoke about her class, her yoga philosophy, and what appropriate exercise can do for students of all ages. With our fall session starting up next Monday, I’m posting the interview here.
Q. What is yoga? What can your class do for me?
A. Hatha yoga is a meditative flow of postures harmonizing the energy of your body—it’s called chakra—so that energy is balanced between mind, breath, and body. In that way, yoga has a [multi]-pronged approach; it gives you physical as well as mental energy.
My class is designed to improve strength, flexibility, coordination and balance.
Below: Betty Ann demonstrates some common yoga poses, meant to strengthen the core and improve balance.
Q. Do you have any advice for beginners?
A. First—you do not need to know anything about yoga to come to class. It’s really one of the oldest, most gentle exercises around. You can safely do it for your whole life.
Also: Don’t do more than you can do. You will get more flexible.
Q. Can someone come if they have health concerns?
A. If you’re not sure you should ask your doctor, [but] we know that, for example, arthritis benefits from movement. And in this class there are people with hip replacements or knee replacements. But I should know about [any injuries] beforehand.
Q. What if you’re active already? What’s the benefit of a gentle yoga class?
A. [It will] help someone who’s already active to maintain their level of activity, but it [also] balances other activities. If you do a lot of walking, for example, coming to my yoga class will help make your muscles supple.
And it helps balance, coordination. You remember the old story: if you can pat your head and rub your tummy, that really works your brain, because the messages have to be sent to the right place. So your brain gets a workout in my class as well, because you have to really coordinate your movements.
Below: Betty Ann demonstrates three different chair adaptations of the “downward dog” pose, which stretches the arms, legs, and spine, strengthens your arms, shoulders and back, and can reduce back pain.
YOGA FALL SESSION: Starts Monday, October 2nd
Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
On Saturday we welcomed over 110 guests to our annual barbecue, as tenants, friends and families came out to enjoy good food and good company (and our raffle draw!) in our sunny courtyard. Special thanks to our staff and volunteers, who helped the afternoon run smoothly!
You can find more photos of the event on our Facebook page.
On Sunday, June 12, St. Matthew’s Bracondale House walked the Toronto Challenge for the second time. 44 friends of Bracondale—including staff, seniors, families, and board members—came out to walk 1 kilometer and 5 kilometers in beautiful, sunny weather. The enthusiasm of “Team Bracondale” was amazing, and we had a wonderful morning. Take a look at our photos below!
P.S.: You can find more photos of the walk in our Toronto Challenge Facebook album.