Austintown chair yoga class gets seniors moving
There's a chair yoga class in Austintown that accomplishes more than you might think. Yes, the immediate goal is to give people a little extra mobility, but the true impact runs far deeper.
Joe Biastro is a very limber 92-year-old who is part of the class.
"I don't even know what yogurt is. So what do you want me to do to be a yogurt and let you know that I can do it," said Biastro?
To be honest, he doesn't really have to know what it is. The important part is that he, like everyone else in the class, is here. It's part of a free program offered by Family First Adult Day Services.
"We were looking for things that we could do to help people and bring a little joy to their lives, I guess," said co-owner Christina Vlosich.
Every Wednesday morning Shannon Lehn gets everyone moving.
"We stay in the chairs for the entirety of the class," said Lehn, the yoga instructor. "We work each joint in the body. We go from head to toe and toe to head back down. But we also have meditation and breathing exercises, and so anybody can benefit from this."
A program like this goes well beyond just the obvious benefits to someone's health and mobility. Just the simple act of getting out of the house can be a life saver.
"I think we forget as our senior's age that they have friends that have passed away, their children are busy with their lives, they're not working, they don't have that interaction like they did when they were younger. So they wake up in the morning, and they don't have anything to look forward to," said Vlosich.
"When you don't feel well, you don't want to move. And when you don't want to move, it makes you not feel well, and it's just a cycle," said Lehn. "So if we could just have people start moving in small little ways, it is just going to be able to break the cycle."
For Biastro, it allows him to socialize and be part of a group.
"More than what I have at home because I'm all alone. What can I do alone?" said Biastro.
"If we can give someone that little bit of a push and help them live their best life, the joy that we can bring... it's untapped," said Lehn.
And for someone like Joe, who can still touch his toes at 92, it makes all the difference.
The group meets at 11 a.m. every Wednesday at Family First Adult Day Services in Austintown. The class is free and is also open to caregivers.
The facility also offers Tai Chi for free twice a week. For more information, you can check out the Family First Adult Day Services website at www.familyfirstads.com/ or visit their Facebook or Instagram pages.