Simple at-home yoga poses for better physical and mental health

Simple at-home yoga poses for better physical and mental health

(Good Things Utah) Our days are busier than ever with no sign of slowing down which makes it even more important for adults to make a point to prioritize their health and wellbeing especially as it supports healthy aging, according to the National Institute on Aging.

Diane Kendall, a nurse practitioner with Optum Primary Care in Sandy, and Melanie Stanley, who leads yoga and meditation classes at Optum Community Centersjoined us on Good Things Utah to talk about the importance for adults to have an exercise and wellness routine as well as try new things such as yoga.

According to the National Institute on Aging, an active lifestyle with social, physical, and meaningful activities can:

  • Lower Risk of Some Health Issues – Participating in social activities may lower the risk of developing some health issues – dementia, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer
  • Support a Longer and Happier Lifespan – Being active and doing things you enjoy creates a sense of purpose positive feelings is linked to living longer
  • Creates a Positive Effect on Memory – Mentally stimulating or physical activity, may have a positive effect on one’s memory and more variety, the better including activities such as music and dance
  • Are More Resilient – ​​When happier and healthier, people are better able to cope with difficult situations

How can we get started or even enhance our routine?

It’s important to note that every person is different from what interests them to one’s fitness level.

  • Do what you feel comfortable doing and in consideration of your health conditions. You may want to talk with your doctor before significantly increasing your activity level.
  • Set dedicated times on your weekly schedule.
  • Invite friends to join you.
  • Try various active activities.
  • Seek out nearby and low-cost places such as a community center which is a great place to get started.

What are the Optum Community Centers?

Optum’s three Community Centers are in Layton, Sandy, and West Valley City.

They provide the 55+ community a welcoming air-conditioned environment to meet people and participate in a wide range of activities to help them be healthy, engage with people their age, and enhance their well-being, all in a comfortable setting.

They’re also free and open year-round to keep people in the community healthy and feeling their best. The Centers offer a mix of exercise and wellness classes as well as health education and social activities – all on various days throughout the month

This summer sampling of offerings at the various locations include:

  • Social – Bridge games, Lifebio (writing one’s life story)
  • Education – Healthy Minds, Diabetes Education
  • Workouts – Zumba, Tai Chi, Line Dancing
  • Wellness – Balance, Meditation, Yoga

What are the Yoga classes at the Optum Community Centers all about?

There are two types of yoga offered each week – Floor Yoga and Chair Yoga. Overall, yoga is a mind and body practice. Yoga combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation to promote mental and physical well-being.

Traditional Yoga involves standing and floor movements, while chair yoga is structured to be more accessible for all ages and abilities. They are one-hour classes offered each week at each of Optum’s three Community Centers.

No experience is needed — their experienced instructors like Melanie guide the group through a mix of gentle moves as well as breathing and meditation techniques

Why do yoga?

According to the National Institute of Health, research is suggesting that yoga may:

  • Improve general wellness
    • Reduce stress, support healthy habits, and improve mental/emotional health, sleep, and balance.
  • Relieve lower back and neck pain, and possibly pain from tension-type headaches and knee osteoarthritis.
  • Help with anxiety or depressive symptoms associated with difficult life situations.
  • Help people with chronic diseases manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Melanie is a certified yoga and meditation instructor who has been instructing classes at the Sandy location for the past 5 years. People who have participated in Chair Yoga at the community centers find it helps to:

  • Create connection and community
  • Bolster a sense of wellbeing
  • Lower stress

Where can people go to participate in the yoga classes and other activities?

Adults 55+ can go for free to the Optum Community Centers located in Layton, Sandy, and West Valley City. The centers are open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm

To learn more about the three Centers and classes available, visit

Layton- 2146 N. Main Street, Suite 514

Sandy- 1403 E. Sego Lily Drive, Suite 100

West Valley City- 4071 S. 4000 West, Suite 1B

**This segment contains sponsored content

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