Focus on Fitness – Yoga

By Talina Hendrickson
Photos by Gene Gibbs and Talina Hendrickson


One of the latest classes to be added to the schedule at the Valencia Landing Clubhouse is yoga. The class begins at 10:30 a.m. The Balance and Stretch class continues at 11 a.m. at the Centre’s Fitness Center. The classes are a great way to improve strength, balance and flexibility, as well as reduce chronic pain.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, yoga offers both physical and mental health benefits for people of all ages. For residents that have had an opportunity to participate in physical therapy at Oak Park after recovering from an illness or recovering from surgery, you may recognize many of the yoga  poses with the strange names (Cat-Cow, Downward-Facing Dog), as stretches prescribed by your physical therapist!

There are many benefits to implementing a yoga class as part of your daily routine. They include:
• Helps to improve strength, balance and flexibility.
• Helps relieve back pain.
• Helps to ease symptoms of arthritis.

• Can reduce and manage stress as well as body-wide inflammation which can contribute to a healthier heart.
• Consistent bedtime yoga can get you in the right frame of mind to fall asleep and stay asleep.
• Can increase mental and physical energy and boost alertness.
• Participating in a class can ease loneliness and provide group healing and support.

Before trying yoga on your own, it is best to learn good form. This can mean scheduling an appointment to meet with one of the physical therapists at Oak Park to discuss any chronic issues you are having so that they can prescribe specific exercises to meet your needs, or joining the new class at  Valencia Landing which is led by a certified yoga instructor. Participants in the Valencia Landing class must be able to sit and get up from the floor on their own. If balance and mobility are more difficult, try joining a chair (or seated) yoga class similar to the Balance and Stretch classes. This can be an alternative or a great option in order to build strength.

A Stretch and Flex class has recently been added to Valencia Landing’s Yoga & Dance Studio. The class is held on Fridays at 9 a.m. The Stretch and Flex class covers all physical therapy stretches. For more information on the yoga classes offered at John Knox Village, contact the Fitness Center at
extension 1250.