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Free Chair Yoga Offered in Palm Desert

Program for low-income seniors provides many benefits

Chair yoga is a gentle form of the practice and beneficial for seniors and those recovering from injury.

Bikram Yoga Plus Coachella Valley is offering free chair yoga classes to low-income seniors, 65 years and older. Seniors seeking to increase their mobility and positive outlook on life are encouraged to attend classes at the Palm Desert studio. No prior yoga or exercise experience is necessary.

Chair yoga classes are offered on Wednesdays and Fridays from 3 pm-4:15 pm in a 78-degree room. The classes are open to people of all ages and skill levels at regular studio prices, and the gentle exercises are particularly therapeutic for people with limited mobility and those recovering from injuries (with physician’s consent).

“My hope is that individuals who come to our classes find a safe environment where they can bring their physical, mental and emotional concerns which come with chronic conditions and aging,” said Andrej Zervan, chair yoga instructor. “We offer participants tools to improve their quality of life, gain independence, and live with more confidence, dignity and joy.”

Zervan has specialized training in adaptive yoga, with yoga certifications in adaptive, therapeutic, arthritis, and stress management. He also has studied the practice of yoga to help with trauma and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He is a member of the Integral Yoga Teachers Association, the International Association of Yoga Therapists, and an Ambassador for Accessible Yoga Organization.

The benefits of chair yoga are the same as any yoga practice and include increased flexibility, strength and coordination. Practicing any form of yoga also reduces stress, helps manage pain, and improves mental clarity. Participating in chair yoga classes may also provide an opportunity for people to meet others with similar physical concerns and interests.

“We want the studio to become people’s ‘happy place’ that they always come back to,” said Denise DuBarry Hay, founder of Bikram Yoga Plus Coachella Valley. “For seniors particularly, yoga cannot only be restorative, but also preventative. If someone suffers a fall, for example, a strong, flexible body can withstand [the trauma] better and is more likely to sustain fewer injuries and recover more quickly.”

“I am very grateful that I found therapeutic yoga about 22 years ago when I was fully disabled with chronic conditions,” said Zervan. “My life has changed completely, and I am excited to share these life-changing practices with others.”

For more information or to register for the free yoga classes, call (760) 346.2988. For information on Bikram Yoga Plus, visit coachellayoga.com.

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