Fil-Am seniors benefit from yoga

By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Feb 07 2013 12:27 PM | Updated as of Feb 07 2013 08:27 PM

UNION CITY, California - In a small studio in Union City, Filipino seniors swear by the benefits of Yoga, the ancient tradition of uniting the mind, body and soul.

“Lagi kasing sumasakit ang likod ko everytime na lagi akong nagwe-wake up masakit yung likod ko saka you feel lousy. Pero when I started yoga nawala,” said Emelie Aberin said.

“Hindi ako masyadong nahahapo ngayon pag nagta-trabaho,” said Ester Tan.

Another senior, Celeste Olivares said, “All your pains and body aches once you come to this often it will really give you a lot of relief”.

Their teacher, Evelyn Villa, who facilitates a class for seniors at Worlds Yoga, said people need to take a break from their day-to-day to-do lists.

“Just accomplishing my checklists for the day: my job, my kid, my family---it's like I took care of everybody else except me,” said Villa.

She said yoga will teach people to slow down and focus people to take care of themselves.

“It’s the only practice where you feel your body and your heart. You quiet your mind, so your spirit moves with you. It’s a loftier expression of yourself,” she said.

Villa said yoga is becoming more and more popular among seniors. In fact, a recent study published from the Yoga Journal shows that close to three million seniors are already practicing yoga in America.

Seniors can benefit from yoga because it improves energy levels, cholesterol levels, bone weakness, arthritis, blood pressure, blood sugar levels and pain. It also helps seniors prevent weight problems, diabetes, heart disease and strokes.

Seniors should not get intimidated by yoga. Villa said, it’s an exercise that can be done by anyone, at any age, at any level. There are modifications at every yoga position and it’s non-competitive.

“My seniors here, they don’t really look at the mirrors to see if their poses are perfect. They know better than to go inward, and go by what they feel,” Villa said.