As you may know, I’ve been honored to teach Gentle Yoga for Seniors at the LGBTQ community center, the Center on Halsted since last June. My first class, at 9am on a Tuesday, had 5 attendees in a small carpeted conference room. I probably “um”ed and fumbled (which I’m hopefully better about now) and told bad jokes (this is still a part of my standard teaching protocol). This weekly ritual was my first regular class since receiving my teaching certification at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in March 2013. The seniors at Center on Halsted gave me confidence and experience in my new profession and the staff at Center on Halsted (especially Courtney Bilbrey, who has since left the Center) were incredibly gracious in providing both space and support.
Now, 10 months later, the senior class has moved to a bigger room, a new time (2:30pm on Tuesdays), and there are regularly 10-12 people in attendance. Every week I meet new students, some coming to yoga for the first time, others returning after illness, injury, or just time off, many of whom have mentioned the importance of a space set aside for older LGBTQ adults and their allies. Senior yoga has become a real community. Just yesterday three people were meeting each other for the first time after class, talking about their mutual friends.
As the group has grown, so have our needs. In January, I applied for a Kripalu Teaching for Diversity grant to buy more props – blocks, straps, mats, and blankets – and yesterday I got word that the application was accepted!
Thank you, thank you, thank you to Kripalu and the Kripalu Teaching for Diversity program. This $600 grant will go a long way in supporting yoga at the Center on Halsted!
Join us for Gentle Senior Yoga at 2:30pm on Tuesdays at the Center on Halsted, 3rd floor – all LGBTQ seniors and their allies are welcome. Senior Yoga is free of charge.
I also teach Queer Yoga at 6:30pm on Tuesdays, LGBTQ individuals of all ages and their allies are welcome. $10/class or $40 for a 5-class pass. No one turned away for lack of funds.