Jan 25, 2013 10:26 AM by Marissa Torres
A more gentle form of yoga is catching on in Southern Colorado. It's helping some seniors prove that you're never too old to get healthy and stay active, even if you're wheelchair bound.
Chair yoga is helping seniors at Sunny Vista Living Center get the much needed exercise they need to stay healthy. John Leehey's been doing it for about 6 months and says he almost immediately noticed big changes.
"I use those muscles where as before I wasn't able to use them... Certain activities, twisting the body around, learning to breath and using the inhaling-exhaling system of yoga."
"They don't think they're exercising," says Diane Lindberg, a recreational therapist for Sunny Vista. She implemented the twice a week class to make sure everyone was getting the appropriate amount of exercise, no matter their condition.
"About 80 percent of our patients are on oxygen and they work a lot on breathing in chair yoga."
A majority of those patients are also wheelchair bound. The class moves at a slower pace, working all the muscles- especially areas that generally don't see a lot of action.
Even though the class only lasts about an hour, patients apply what they learn to everyday life. Some say they're walking longer than they used to because of improved breathing, while others are just finding it easier to get out of bed every morning.