Last December, a friend and I took a giant leap of faith and opened a yoga studio in our small hometown in Peru, Indiana, population 11,100. We had both been drawn to yoga to help ease the aches and pains of injuries caused by our active lifestyles. Yoga helped both of us immensely, and we wanted to help others by making it accessible to people in our community.
One of our greatest surprises has been the popularity of our Chair Yoga classes. Chair Yoga is where a chair replaces the yoga mat and students duplicate any pose typically done on the floor but in a way that is easier for those with physical challenges. By far our most popular and well-attended class, it also comes with the best success stories! Our oldest chair yoga practitioner is 86 years young, and it has been remarkable to watch her become healthier, stronger, and more flexible.
The Harvard School of Medicine has concluded that yoga is beneficial for brain health. And importantly, the laughter, joy, and sense of accomplishment is life-affirming! We’ve received several informal testimonials about the power of our chair yoga classes:
- A woman in her seventies who regularly attends class was unable to bend over far enough to tie her own shoes when she first came to the studio. Within a few weeks, she had gained enough flexibility to reach down to her feet.
- An Air Force retiree with disability due to challenges with his knee and shoulder joints has seen improved range of motion and less joint pain with his regular yoga practice.
- Unable to bring her hand to the back of her neck because of shoulder pain, a woman in her sixties is now able to lift her arm over her head pain-free.
- Upon leaving his first class, a first-time attendee remarked that the breathing exercises helped him to feel more relaxed and less anxious.
These are real stories from real people who attend chair yoga classes at Joyful Yoga. Hearing people talk about what yoga has done for them makes me even more excited about yoga and all the ways it improves our health, quality of life, and well-being. The benefits of yoga are real and can be accessible to anyone. Plus it just makes you feel great!
Check out this woman who celebrated her 105th birthday by teaching a yoga class.
105 years old and still practicing yoga! There is probably no better testimonial than that.
Compass Senior Living has partnered with Joyful Yoga owners, Carrie Gallahan and Tina Miser. They have developed a Chair Yoga class specifically for Compass Senior Living communities that are located in Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Wisconsin. The name of the Compass Signature yoga program is ‘True North Yoga‘.
About Guest Author, Carrie Gallahan and her business partner, Tina Miser
Joyful Yoga owners Carrie Gallahan and Tina Miser, are both Registered Yoga Teachers with the Yoga Alliance and are proud to be a certified Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga studio. Both were inspired by their own practice to treat and heal their bodies.
For years, Tina Miser and her husband, Brian, have traveled the country as a human cannonball act. It’s a unique gig that only a handful of people in history have ever done professionally. In just the last few months, the 41-year-old Peru Indiana native has been blasted from a cannon around 30 times in cities like Bluffton, Indiana, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In the past, those cannon shots have led to achy hips and sore knees. But during her most recent stint as a human cannonball, those pains never came.The difference? Miser started practicing yoga.
Carrie Gallahan said she had started doing yoga a couple of years earlier to help treat the aches and pains she accumulated as a marathon runner. Since 2003, she has completed 11 full marathons. Her most recent run was two years ago in New York City. Over the years, all that running took a toll on her body. “I was broken,” Carrie said. “I had run so many miles without really taking care of myself, and I had lots of aches and pains. I needed to heal my body. It hurt to run. It hurt to walk. Yoga helped with that immensely.”