Move, Stretch, Breathe
~Local yoga instructors help older adults stay active and strong through the pandemic~
Excerpt taken from the Feb 2021 front page article of Atlanta Senior Life Magazine
As written by Kathy Dean (edited by Mara Fletcher-Schlobohm)
The pandemic hit shortly after Naima Lewis finished developing a new course she calls “Breathe into Believing.” Dr. Lewis said, “It assists people in understanding the oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange. Yoga is uniquely valuable because it focuses on the breath.” Lewis holds a doctorate in education, a master’s degree in dance and is an internationally certified yoga therapist, through the International Association of Yoga Therapists. She is also Founder and Director of HYer DYnamic Health Discoveries (HY-DY), a non-profit program begun in 2002. Through HY-DY, Lewis offers yoga and whole human development classes throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area, as well as online classes, and DVDs and CDs on topics such as meditation and weight loss. Breathe into Believing, offered as a series of online courses, is based on fundamental principles and practices of yoga. Not only does Lewis help seniors move into better health, she also provides a way for them to move into yoga as a profession. She began offering a training program about seven years ago. The three-month, 200- hour course is approved through Yoga Alliance, an international, certified organization. Marie, a professor at Life University and graduate of the Yoga Teacher Training course, said that it was a wonderful program, “but what I learned was that there’s such a great possibility for the baby boomers to really embrace their bodies and enjoy their life.”
“We encourage seniors to pursue, engage and train to become certified yoga teachers,” Lewis said. “I’m a senior, and I saw that a number of seniors were interested in it…many older adults want to do something after they retire, or they look to shift their profession. Many seniors get to a point where they feel the need to serve and help others. That’s what our teacher training offers.” At least a dozen people over the age of 60 have graduated the teacher training. Three were in their 70’s when they completed it! It is not designed for any one age, race, or gender. You just need to have a sincere interest in yoga with a fitness level and the dedication and willingness to contribute to whole human development. The program helps participants to understand yoga and learn how to teach it to other adults throughout their lifespan. The next Teacher Training Program and Breathe into Believing Mini Courses will begin April 24th, 2021. Register online at www.hydyinc.org.