Tailor-Made Yoga for PD–Mat or Chair (Marietta)

This class offers the participant the option to practice yoga traditionally, on a mat, or using a chair for additional support. Most of the exercises can be done while sitting on, leaning on or holding onto a chair. This makes it a great way to practice yoga for people of all ages and those with limited mobility. While seated on chairs, students can do versions of twists, hip stretches, forward bends, and mild backbends. In addition to a good stretch, chair yoga participants can also enjoy other health benefits of yoga, including improved muscle tone, better breathing habits, reduction of stress, better sleep, and a sense of well-being.

Chair Yoga  (combined with using the wall and other yoga- type props ) can be very motivating for people with PD (or anyone with movement disorders) since it is a very safe way to exercise and, even still, just as effective as the floor and standing yoga. The stretches and breathing exercises are yoked together to bring about restoration of the body, mind and spirit. The results are what keep people coming back for more….they like the way they feel and how their mobility and balance have improved.

Instructor: Cathy Hightower, 678-923-3564, chighatl@aol.com

CATHY HIGHTOWER PHOTO INDIA 8-25-2014Cathy Hightower is a seasoned advocate of exercise with a particular love for Pilates and Yoga, but it wasn’t until she sustained an injury herself with nerve damage to her right leg that she began to apply yoga not just for exercise. Her therapy was applied on a regular 3-4 hour interval throughout each day to manage pain and improve mobility. In the beginning she discovered immediate relief, as well as an extension of her ability to stay on track with her responsibilities without having to take pain medication or get off her feet. She discovered that over time the intervals of yoga became more infrequent until she was fully restored. When she experienced the miracle of her recovery over 6 months, that’s when she decided to become a trained yoga teacher (YTT 200 hrs.) with New Day Yoga in Kennesaw.

Subsequently, two close friends of Cathy’s were diagnosed with movement disorders, one of which was Parkinson’s, and of course she wanted to bring her wonderful therapy to them.  Working with them was rewarding for all, as both quickly showed improvement. Her training through Community Exercise for People with Parkinson’s Disease has given her even greater understanding of this disease, and she knows that PwPs will profit from their exercise programs mentally, physically and emotionally. She believes PD Gladiators is a great resource for doctors, physical therapists, health professionals and particularly PwPs. 

Cathy has also attended workshops with Amy Weintraub, the author of  Yoga for Depression, and currently instructs yoga through a counseling center along with sharing breathing techniques for helping to balance mood disorders. Her experience in this area and desire to help her students in class can also be beneficial for PD since one side effect of this disease can be depression.

When: Mondays, 2:30pm to 3:30pm

Where: Aloha to Aging, 4608 Lower Roswell Rd., Marietta, GA 30068

Cost: $50 for a 10-class package. Two-class free trial available for new participants!

Equipment: Participants should bring a mat if they want to perform the exercises on the floor but plenty of chairs are available for those who prefer seated exercise.

Eligibility: This yoga class is appropriate for people with Parkinson’s disease who are ambulatory, whether or not they require an assistive devices to walk. Care partners, friends and family are welcome to join the class.

Safety: This yoga class has been modified to meet the needs of Parkinson’s patients. Chairs take much of the risk away from a fall or imbalance. Cathy has completed the “Community Exercise for People with Parkinson’s Disease” course sponsored by the Georgia Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association and presented by MDT Education Solutions.

Registration/Reservations: No registration or reservations necessary for your two free trial classes. We recommend contacting PD Gladiators or the instructor (or checking the Online Scheduler‘s CLASSES tab) to confirm the class you wish to attend has not been cancelled for the day.

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