Celebrating National Yoga Month with Resident Yoga Guru Joe Artibise

Did you know the month of September is National Yoga Month? It is an entire month dedicated to the awareness of yoga and its numerous health benefits. You can find various yoga classes on our Berwick Retirement Communities active living schedules year-round, but we took yoga to a whole new level this September with some new and exciting opportunities. From chair yoga to advanced yoga and everything in between, we fully embraced the benefits of this popular form of physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness.

Yoga, the discipline of beginning harmony between your mind and body, can be traced back over 5000 years.  The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj’, meaning ‘to join’ or ‘to unite’. Practising yoga on a regular basis has been shown to improve flexibility, muscle strength, respiration, energy and balance. It also aids in weight reduction, cardio and joint health and can improve posture.  Further to the physical benefits there are several emotional benefits including reduction in stress, increased relaxation and self confidence as well as can be used to treat anxiety and depression.

We would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all our Berwick yoga instructors!  You are an important part of our wellness team, our residents love you and we are so grateful for the opportunities you offer our communities. We would like to give a special shout-out to our very own resident Yoga guru, Joe Artibise! Joe, who is a resident of Berwick Royal Oak, embraced National yoga Month by helping teach other residents about the benefits of practising yoga in a two-part workshop. We chatted with Joe to learn a bit more about his love of yoga and how he got started.

Joe has been practising yoga for about 10 years and continues do so each morning as part of his daily routine. He attended yoga classes on a regular basis and his love for the practise lead him to learn more through books and videos. From here he turned to leading yoga at a community centre when the previous volunteer leader could no longer continue. Joe was originally drawn to yoga because of the mind-body connection. He says that “by following the moves I was improving my body’s flexibility and strength, but the big bonus was the peace of mind I would achieve after each session.” Joe’s favourite part of leading yoga is the pleasure the participants have after each class, they leave feeling “refreshed and peaceful.”

Yoga can be done by people of all ages and abilities. Joe says that “Participants must be aware of their medical limitations on joint movement. However, there are many forms of yoga, and most people can find a form of yoga that will work for them.” Vinyasa yoga (yoga that flows from one position to the next) is Joe’s favourite. He says “I like the Warrior poses as they improve balance and help me focus on the present and separate from other issues and distractions.” 

Joe’s message to anyone who has never tried yoga before is that “Most Yoga is not twisting you into pretzel positions. It can be gentle and improve flexibility and achieve peace of mind. Yoga can become a calming constant in your life providing health and flexibility benefits.” Joes says “it was great to get back in to leading” at the two-part workshop at Berwick Royal Oak. Thanks, Joe, for sharing your passion and providing a new and beneficial experience to your community!

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