As we get older, balance and flexibility seem to be the first things to go. But at Avera Sacred Heart Wellness, there's one specific class designed to keep people limber and improve their strength.
When you think of yoga, your first thought generally is people stretching into extreme positions but for instructor Celia Miner, she's using yoga to heal and strengthen her students, she calls it Gentle Yoga.
"It's what we would call an adaptive or therapeutic class where we focus on each individual student so we have to know the student and know there ability level is and the things they need to work on." Said Miner.
Celia and fellow instructor Colleen Schurrer have adapted the positions of traditional yoga so people of all ages and skills can benefit.
"We work on balance and as we get old that's one of the big problems and for me it's always been a problem." Said student Carol Hamvas.
For Carol, simple things like getting dressed were becoming much more difficult, but that was before she started gentle yoga.
"I've really notice an increase in my flexibility." Said Hamvas.
Balance and flexibility are just the beginning of Gentle Yoga. Joyce Wentworth has multiple sclerosis and uses the class to regain some of the strength her disease robbed from her and she'll tell you it's definitely working.
"Everybody is working on something for a variety of reasons. But for me it's primarily on strength training. I don't think I had a core before I started yoga and now I know I have one!" Said Joyce Wentworth.
Gentle yoga is not just for the ladies, Joyce's brother in law, Dan Wentworth, is also an active participant.
"Well I just follow the group." Admits Dan Wentworth.
Dan had a stroke and a knee replacement making it difficult to have an even walking stride. For the past four months, he's been working with Colleen, balancing on blocks to strengthen his legs.
"My stabilization has been increased quite bit since I've started this." Said Dan Wentworth.
"We all have things we're dealing with in our bodies we can be young or old, it can be a chronic illness or an acute illness, anything in our bodies can be helped by a yoga class in one way or an another." Said Schurrer.
In advancing through the class, students will see a physical healing. But they'll also tell you, there's healing of the soul for students and teachers alike.
"One of the things I love about this place is it's a safe place to be, not just physically but emotionally too." said Joyce Wentworth.
"It's wonderful, I love these students it's so encouraging to see them get stronger and steadier and able to enjoy their lives more." Said Miner.
Gentle Yoga is a class offered through the Avera Sacred Heart Wellness Center. but it is open for the public to sign up. For more information about gentle yoga just call 877-AT-AVERA.