On Tuesday, April 13, yoga teacher Nanette Watson held a free one-hour session for older locals.
Hosted at the Narrabri Aquatic Centre, the occasion celebrated NSW Seniors Week by providing a fun, cost-free way to reap both the mental and physical health benefits of gentle exercise.
The event was funded by HealthWISE, a New England not-for-profit focused on delivering federally funded primary and social health services.
The organisation found Mrs Watson to be the perfect fit to teach the class, given her specialisation in seniors’ yoga.
“We call it accessible yoga, which means it has no floor work and there’s plenty of pose variations to suit all mobility and skill levels,” she said.
Attendees on the day were given low-mobility movement options, allowing them the chance to improve their flexibility, strength and balance while using a chair for extra support.
“This class was especially appropriate for local seniors because of yoga’s unique ability to lessen joint and back pain through targeted stretching,” Mrs Watson said.
“This straightforward, versatile style allows people with disabilities, lack of mobility, balance problems, joint challenges, and those recovering from illness, accidents and operations, to participate in yoga practise without the need to get on the floor.”
Mrs Watson said that yoga can also help maintain mental alacrity, and increase energy levels, but the occasion was about so much more than that.
“These classes give elderly locals a chance to connect with one another, which is why we encouraged them to stick around after the exercise for a morning tea,” Mrs Watson explained.
“Yoga is a great practice for all ages, but that social connection and sense of community is especially important for our older citizens, and I’m pleased we could offer that with this activity.”
Senior primary healthcare nurse at HealthWISE Fiona Robertson agreed, explaining the day was a great combination of health, mobility and friendship.
“It was a fantastic way to mark NSW Seniors Week and I know everyone who participated had a great time,” she said.