Cindy La Ferle
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Had you told me three years ago that I’d be practicing yoga or pressing weights with my mother-in-law, I would've laughed out loud. Since my late forties, I’ve struggled to find a fitness routine that won't strain my bilateral hip replacements. Everything I tried in the past, from Hatha yoga to zumba, left me feeling sore, exhausted, and humiliated -- and eager for the classes to end.
Like any seasoned mother-in-law, mine has a solution for nearly any problem. At our family gatherings, she often raved about her aerobics and chair yoga classes at the Clawson Senior Community Center. "You're welcome to join us," she'd remind me.
The chair yoga classes, offered early on Monday and Friday mornings, have provided a minor breakthrough for me. I can even strike the warrior poses without toppling over or dislocating my titanium hips. Experienced instructors offer a gentler version of yoga poses while incorporating the deep breathing and mind-body benefits of traditional yoga practices. Though we work primarily from a seated position, we're often guided through a series of standing poses for balance, too.
In the chair exercise classes (every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), guided routines using resistance bands and hand weights are performed with music. The stretches have helped ease the chronic pain in my arthritic right shoulder.
And if I'm ready for a full-body workout, I can stay for an additional half hour of aerobics -- I'd call it Jazzercise Lite -- after the chair exercise class.