Tag Archive for: Yoga Classes Ann Arbor

Yoga and Aging: The Benefits of Yoga as We Get Older

As we get older, we find ourselves looking for ways to offset the day to day effects of aging. For some, it’s as simple as wanting to reduce the little aches and pains that creep into our days. For others, the goal might be to build strength and mobility to move through life with ease. Or, we may be looking for ways to manage stress and build a mindfulness practice into our daily routine so we enjoy and appreciate our life. Whatever your individual goals, the phrase “active aging” may hold the key.

According to the International Council on Active Aging, active aging means staying fully engaged with life in seven dimensions of wellness—physical activity and spiritual pursuits are two of them. By staying active, you can continue to lead a healthy life at any age or stage without losing mobility or your balance. Yoga is a popular way to help you achieve these goals. 

MOVE Instructor Shannon Walter teaching yoga for healthy aging

Benefits of Yoga as You Age

A well rounded exercise routine will help you continue to do the things you love in life. Yoga is often the first thing people think of to facilitate healthy aging with a wide range of benefits. A lot of times, we hear people say that they just need to stretch more. Yoga comes to mind quickly when they think about how to solve this problem. Truthfully, the practice of yoga does help the body stay flexible and as we age—an important aspect of staying balanced and mobile. But there are many other benefits of a regular yoga practice. It can be an important part of a well rounded fitness plan.  

Let’s break it down. First, when we practice yoga we are stretching and opening the body by moving into and holding poses to help keep the joints mobile and strong. Moving regularly can help minimize inflammation to keep day-to-day aches and pain away. Beyond the muscular system, breathing and mindfulness are at the top of the benefits list for ways yoga can help us combat the physiological impact of stress. When we can reduce stress and increase breathing and mindfulness we stand to sleep better and maintain healthy blood pressure. And finally, in practicing yoga the deep focus on the movements and sensations of the body will build awareness and keep you mentally sharp.

MOVE instructor Shannon teaching yoga for healthy aging

Fewer Aches and Pains

Who doesn’t want to feel better throughout the day? A yoga class will help you mobilize all the joints in your body as you move through specific poses, or asanas. Bringing circulation to each part of the body will help it stay supple and minimize inflammation. This can be one cause of simple muscle aches and pains. Stretching your legs, hips, back, and shoulders will help you bring your muscular system into balance. When you move during your day doing all the things you enjoy, all your muscles will be trained to join in and participate offering your body more support. We know that the more you move the better you feel.  

Strength, Mobility, and Balance

A yoga practice can help you manage the activities of daily living by keeping your body resilient and strong. Moving through the asanas and stretching your body in a variety of ways helps keep your tissues supple—including muscles, ligaments and tendons, and all the connective tissues or fascia. That might sound complicated, but it all comes down to building strength and mobility throughout your body. By getting stronger, we will improve our balance safely and keep our body resilient. We will be more responsive to catching ourselves if we momentarily lose our balance. As we age this can be crucial in preventing injuries caused by a stumble or fall. Yoga also promotes increased circulation and oxygenation of the body which will help you feel energized and refreshed after a great class. 

MOVE instructor Shannon Walter teaching yoga for healthy aging

Breathing and Awareness

Yoga has a long history associated with a religious or spiritual practice. Over time, yoga has evolved to allow us to participate in a way that connects us to the truth of what’s in our own heart and who we are in the moment. For some of us this may feel more universally approachable and accessible. As we practice this idea of deeply listening to ourselves, we can foster self-compassion and self-love and bridge the truths of our miraculous body and our lives. Who wouldn’t want healthy movement, peace, and energy all tied together into one practice? 

A key component of any yoga practice is mindful breathing. As we breathe we also focus on how we breathe and even different types of breath practice. This can help minimize the physiological impact of stress, reduce blood pressure, and calm anxiety. Breathing well and fully will also help your pelvic floor and core muscles work organically to bring tone to the muscles that support a healthy trunk and strong back. By really tuning into our breath throughout our yoga practice, we will steadily improve our focus and concentration. Following the guidance of a great teacher we will build awareness of the sensations of the body that can help us meaningfully tune in to how we feel day to day. 

Yoga Classes for Healthy Aging

There are a lot of different yoga classes out there to choose from. If you’re ready to see how yoga can enhance your movement routine, step one is getting permission from your physician so you can exercise safely. Finding a class that helps you move at a level appropriate for you is important. Many of them can be adapted for any level of movement and for different populations. This article is a really nice primer describing the different types of yoga—from Restorative to Hatha or Vinyasa and anything in between, this will help you decide where to start. There are so many options, including livestream classes with a real-time instructor, recorded on-demand to practice at your own convenience, or in-person group fitness in a studio. 

We like to recommend starting with a Gentle Yoga class if you’re unsure what level you might be comfortable with. You can also reach out to the teacher beforehand directly to help you choose.  If you have balance issues or difficulty getting down on the floor, a chair yoga class may work best until you get more steady on your feet. Or, an osteoporosis-safe yoga class may be best for those with that issue. Speaking to the instructor before class is particularly important if you have any health issues or injuries. They might have advice or modifications to help you feel comfortable and safe throughout class. Always stop if you feel any pain or discomfort and seek medical advice before going any further.

MOVE instructor Shannon Walter teaching yoga for healthy aging

Yoga at MOVE Wellness in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Join us for interactive, livestream yoga and meditation classes with MOVE Wellness Studios. Our classes are designed to meet a variety of client needs and represent a practice that speaks from the teacher’s heart. At MOVE, we pride ourselves on creating a welcoming environment. We strive to empower each client on their personal path to fitness and wellness. As we’ve learned through this article, there are many effective yoga systems. We offer diverse classes that are accessible to all people. 

Our Gentle Yoga class moves at a slow to moderate pace. Traditional yoga concepts are introduced in a format that is clear and easy to understand. You’ll practice poses with an emphasis on breathing, physical awareness and relaxation. This will allow you to increase strength and flexibility while relieving stress. 

Our Rest and Restore Class (Yoga Nidra) features gentle movements and relaxation techniques. These movements are designed to relieve muscular tension, calm the nervous system and quiet the mind.

We also offer a guided Mindfulness and Meditation opportunity. This non-movement class focuses on various techniques such as body scans, breath awareness and mantras to help focus the mind and be present in the moment. 

You Can Start Now

With MOVE Livestream, you’ll enjoy yoga classes and more with our expert instructors from the comfort of your own home. Let us help you find the class that’s right for you. Get started today with a 14 day free trial!

Teach From The Heart is a weekend intensive experience that fuses movement, meditation, reflection and writing to reignite your passion for your own practice, and help you grow as an instructor.

A unique professional development experience for Pilates, Yoga, GYROTONIC® and other movement instructors

As movement instructors, we engage in continuing education and professional development all the time. But how often do we get a chance to step away from anatomy and physiology and prioritize our own personal and professional selves? How often do we get to step back and ask:

  • What does your professional future hold for you? 
  • How do you sustain your energy and avoid burnout while working tirelessly on behalf of your clients? 
  • Who are you meant to work with and how do you find and connect with those people?

Celebrate Pilates Day this spring by carving out some space to celebrate yourself and all that you hope to become. Join Jenna Zaffino at MOVE Wellness for Teach from the Heart, a special teacher immersion experience focused on the things we never have time for but wish we did.

Workshop Schedule

Saturday, May 4, 9 am – 5 pm

Sunday, May 5, 9am – 4 pm

Location: MOVE Wellness, 2058 South State Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Cost: $525

Two-day workshop participants receive 14 Pilates Method Alliance CECs.

To register for the event or get more info:

Call us at 734-761-2306 or email office@movewellness.com

Pilates UNFILTERED podcast recording at 7 pm on Saturday

Teach from the Heart participants will also have the option to join Jenna for a free LIVE recording of her Pilates UNFILTERED podcast on Saturday evening. This unique experience offers you the opportunity to connect with the community and get in on the discussions that matter to us most.

Movement and career coaching with Jenna Zaffino

The course celebrates the very best of Jenna’s work in movement and career coaching. During the retreat, you’ll take a deep dive into your identity and growth as as teacher, methods for navigating the inevitable bumps in the road, and opportunities for further personal and professional development after you’ve been at it with this beautiful work for so many years. We’ll move, explore, plan and create together to empower you as you head toward the next part of your journey.

This course sets you up to share the teaching voice you’ve been waiting to speak with, work with the clients who are excited and willing to take this journey with you, and build a business that supports your gifts as a movement professional.

We hope you’ll celebrate the coming of spring and yourself with us during this special event!

To learn more about Jenna and see a sample workshop schedule, visit the Teach from the Heart page.

Interested in becoming a Pilates or GYROTONIC® instructor? Explore the 2019 Instructor Training course offerings at MOVE Wellness today.

MOVE Wellness Studios Trainer Lauren Miller offers 10 fantastic reasons to incorporate group Pilates, Reformer, Yoga, Barre or HIIT classes into your fitness routine.

10 Reasons You Should Be Taking Group Classes at MOVE Wellness Studios

  1. Economics. Classes are cheaper than private lessons.
  2. Socializing is good for you. Group activities can boost mood. Attending a class regularly connects you to a group of people. Its good to connect with other humans.
  3. You can learn from watching other people when they do something well.  For example you might notice and admire a person who always seems to flow with ease thorough the exercises: go ahead and copy them.  And you can also learn when people do things not so well.  For example noticing that a person who always looks at the floor while they exercise suffers from slumped shoulders and neck tension may encourage you to stand a little straighter and look up more yourself.
  4. It gives you a context for your progress.  The feedback you get from yourself on how you are doing is not always accurate.  Seeing how you fit in with a population of other movers will give you more information about how tight or loose, strong or weak, coordinated or not you really are. For better or worse.
  5. It’s good to move more. You are what you do everyday. There is no substitute for regular practice.
  6. Brain health: When you take more classes you are more likely to try something new. Trying new things keeps your brain healthy.
  7. It encourages independence. It’s great to get specific personal feedback from a trainer, but ultimately you are the one who lives in your body. When you go to group class, the fact that the teacher cannot guide your every move means that you have to take care of yourself, and implement, expand and deepen your understanding of the work you do with your trainer. Just as a student musician should take private lessons, but also must rehearse and play with the orchestra in order to learn and grow, you must take opportunities to move with a group to improve your skills.
  8. It holds you accountable and makes you more likely to fulfill the goals you’ve set for yourself. You are 500% more likely to do those exercises you know you are supposed to do if you’ve made an appointment and have paid for the class. I just made that statistic up, but its true.  And you know it.
  9. You will magically start to transform just by virtue of regular attendance. 90% of success is showing up. I also made that number up. But it’s also true. Trust me, the hardest part of transforming yourself is just putting on the work out clothes and showing up in the studio.  Ok, some of the actual exercises are pretty hard too. But you definitely don’t get any better at them in the classes you don’t attend.
  10. It’s fun. Just do it.

Ready to join a class?  MOVE Wellness Studios offers a wide variety of small group classes including Pilates Mat, Gentle Pilates Mat, Pilates Reformer, Yoga, Barre, Gyrokinesis, HIIT and more. You can check out our schedule here. Ready to commit? Ask about MOVE Wellness Studios’s unlimited monthly class packages next time you’re in the studio.