Nourishing your soul from the comfort of home

Yoga a wonderful thing for seniors

Annie Langlois started a website, www.myvirtualyoga.com, where multiple instructional yoga videos are uploaded weekly including ones dedicated to seniors and beginners. Langlois practices various forms of yoga and is a certified instructor.

By Katie Richard/Active Senior’s Digest

It can be helpful to aid in digestion, help soothe you to sleep and keep your muscles and bones working the way they should.

Yoga is becoming an increasingly popular physical activity, especially among the senior population. But Montreal’s Annie Langlois and her husband Yantsi Lawkamcio, are taking it to a whole new level.

Langlois has created an online collection of yoga videos of all types for all people. Two new videos are being added to the site, www.myvirtualyoga.com, weekly.

A portion of the site is dedicated specifically to those over the age of 55, and there are types of yoga that are better suited for beginners and the less-agile.

“In yoga language, we say the healthier your spine, the longer you will live,” Langlois says, adding it’s especially true for seniors. “It’s really important to keep moving.”

Because yoga can be a slower-paced physical activity, and because it can be adapted to suit an individual’s needs, it’s a great way to keep active as you age.

In the near future Langlois plans to film some videos to put on the site geared towards those who can’t get down to a mat on the floor. This can apply to some seniors.

“We’re going to add some yoga on chair (videos),” she says. “A lot of people can’t use the mat and do all the postures so we’ll be releasing some videos of chair yoga.”

There are also introduction videos listed, as well as a wide range of other categories to explore and try.

“It’s also good for seniors to go to the anatomy and therapeutic section (of the website),” she explains. “Those videos are really, really popular because they explain what it’s going to do for your body.”

What also makes Langlois’ site unique is that videos are filmed in both English and French.

“I got the idea when I was doing my teacher training (to be a yoga instructor),” she says. “I had to get to the studio five days a week. I didn’t have the time to do that with my young daughter and my work.”

So the idea of filming instructional videos was born. While there were other similar sites, Langlois says having a bilingual site sets her apart.

Growing from just five teachers when they began running the website in October, they now have 70 teachers involved.

“It grew really fast because there are so many different kinds of yoga,” she says, adding they have high hopes to one day film videos in Spanish too. “We never thought it would grow to be so big so fast.”

But the benefits of doing this type of exercise at home has quite a following, as yoga can do all kinds of things for your body, she says.

“People with trouble with digestion benefit from yoga,” explains Langlois. “It also helps you sleep. There’s a lot of great postures to help you get a better sleep.”

The list of benefits goes on, from healthier bones to less anxiety in life.

There is also very little involved in terms of equipment.

You’ll likely need a yoga mat, which are available at nearly all department stores now, a chair and two blocks. But if you can’t find those, Langlois says you can just use two books instead.

“Restorative yoga is really good for people 55 and up. For this you need a few more things but you can substitute for things you have at home,” she says.

The website works on a membership basis, but the option to download and try one video does exist.

“We work with a membership, so monthly or yearly, and we also have videos you can download for a fee a-la-carte,” she says. They range from about $4 to $10. “It’s very practical.”

It’s all about the mind, body and soul, Langlois explains, with the added bonus of not leaving your home.

 

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