Yoga class helps seniors stay fit |

Yoga class helps seniors stay fit

by Caryn Haller
Shannon LitzMinden resident Kaye Hughes participates in the yoga class on Thursday morning at Carson Valley United Methodist Church.

Gardnerville resident Jeanne Robinson said she truly believes in the mind-body connection that comes along with practicing yoga.

The 48-year-old instructor is sharing her knowledge in a bi-weekly silver yoga class for seniors 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Carson Valley United Methodist Church.

“The older we get, the stiffer we get. If you keep stretching and breathing and taking care of your body you don’t have to be like that,” Robinson said. “It’s so important for seniors. As you get older you get to the point you can’t bend over and tie your shoes, and yoga makes you so much more flexible.”

Yoga is an ancient Indian practice that combines stretching, breathing, and meditation.

“That’s what separates yoga from calisthenics,” Robinson said.

As an actress, screenwriter and horse trainer, Robinson began taking yoga classes in Southern California 15 years ago.

“It made me feel so good, and it was so challenging,” she said. “I found the better I got at staying relaxed during the challenges in yoga, I took that out into the world and it really helped.”

Each 45-minute class begins with warm-ups and stretches from a chair, and continues from a standing position.

“Sometimes we get people who can’t stand up that long, and they do the exercises from a chair. I try to make it as less intimidating as possible,” Robinson said. “It makes them feel good. They leave the class relaxed and with more energy because they’ve released the tension in their body.”

After moving to Gardnerville in 2008, Robinson became a certified yoga instructor two years ago.

“I love to teach. I know if I’m teaching yoga, I’m going to do it more often than if I’m left on my own,” she said. “Heading toward 50, as I get older I’m getting more flexible.”

Robinson also teaches yoga at GE Bently twice a week and is a certified life coach.

“The general vibe of the class is good and fun,” Robinson said. “I’m not the serious, quiet type. I encourage laughter and good energy.”

Classes are a $3 donation, and private sessions are available upon request.

“I’m not doing it to make money,” Robinson said. “I feel it’s a neat thing to give back to the community. Everybody’s welcome of all levels and all ages.”

For more information, call Robinson at 790-6377.