Stretching the spine, gaining flexibility, balance and muscular endurance are some of the benefits seniors experience during the Senior Yoga class at the Harker Heights Recreation Center.
Class instructor Pat Kennedy is certified in the Silver Sneaker Fitness Program and enjoys teaching posture, core strength and breathing efficiency.
“I got bored after retiring and first taught water aerobics in Orlando, Fla.,” Kennedy said. “When I moved to Harker Heights, I went by the recreation center and now I’m teaching the Senior Yoga Class.”
Jeannie Davis, who had four hip replacements, the latest in 2009, has seen firsthand the physical benefits of the yoga classes.
“I enjoy the stretching and work on my balance which was terrible,” she said.
Heights resident Wanda Hamby joined the Senior Yoga class because she couldn’t get off the floor when she did regular exercises. “My neck feels much better since I have been coming here. It just makes it so much better,” she said.
Kennedy said the main difference between water aerobics and chair yoga is the impact involved.
“With aerobics, cardio is emphasized and there is some impact, which is cushioned by the water,” she said. “Chair yoga has no impact and allows class to improve their range of motion with no impact.”
The class meets at 9:15 a.m. Mondays and 10:15 a.m. Fridays. All senior citizens are welcome to attend, including those who have prosthetics, are in wheelchairs or dependent on a walking cane.
Participants are encouraged to bring water and wear loose, comfortable clothing for the class. Yoga mats are not required.
The recreation center is at 307 Miller’s Crossing Harker Heights. For more information, call (254) 953-5657 or go to www.ci.harker-heights.tx.us/parks.