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Seniors getting a good stretch

June 16, 2011
By ROBERT A. DEFRANK - Times Leader Staff Writer , Times Leader

FLUSHING Visitors to the local senior center are offered an opportunity to better their health and fitness with yoga classes that began this summer. Nicole Snodgrass, a yoga instructor of eight years, conducts sessions for individuals 60 and older.

"I was approached and asked if I would teach a class. I was happy to do it," she said.

She added that the majority of participants are in their seventies. A typical class will involve stretching and flexibility exercises while sitting.

"It's a very mild class. We do most of the class sitting in chairs," she said. "We're doing deep stretches in chairs, some standing poses, and some on the floor to relax. My goal is to get them all strong enough to get them on and off the floor."

Snodgrass added that she has begun seeing improvements.

"I can see a little bit more flexibility coming and they're starting to get their breath work in and they're starting to be able to relax at the end."

Snodgrass said yoga can aid in reducing blood pressure, flexibility, strength, and the accompanying greater mobility. The practice can also create an overall sense of well-being.

The class currently includes about 10 members. Snodgrass added that there is room for more participants.

"It was very well-attended from the very beginning. They were very interested," she said. "They've been very receptive. I've been very excited. That population is the last in the area to be reached. That population needs it the most."

"We started it in May. We've done it for two months," said Karen Spano, president of the senior center. "It's very good. Many have said it's helped them tremendously. It's helped their backs, arms and necks. They're not sore the next day. It's really made them feel better. They look forward to it."

She added that the activity is very relaxing.

"You close your eyes and you feel like you're floating. It's a good exercise and a good program," she said. "It's a very good thing."

Classes are held Tuesdays, 9-10 a.m. Snodgrass also offers small group or private yoga classes. For more information, call her at (740) 968-4331.

Defrank may be reached at



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