Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga For Disabled and Senior Fitness

The Spaulding Cambridge hospital supported Arrigo and Smith’s efforts by sending them to the training course to develop a chair yoga program for patients. The two began teaching classes at the hospital in June.

Early patient feedback bolstered Arrigo and Smith’s confidence in their plan. One participant with a brain tumor that causes functional and speech deficits was able to communicate that for the first time since his diagnosis, he “felt normal again” while doing chair yoga.

Other participants gave similar feedback. “Combined with physical therapy and occupation therapy, the yoga really helped to make me feel stronger, and my movement was better,” said another patient with brain cancer.

Other patients reported that Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga classes at the hospital were “relaxing and calming to the body,” while other patients reported feeling “a very good outlook on life.” One patient with a recent leg amputation told Smith that “the class helps me to not focus on my problems.”

Arrigo began practicing yoga four years ago and just recently envisioned bringing the practice to her patients. Smith was introduced to yoga in the early 1990s and has enjoyed the benefits of his yoga practice ever since.

Lakshmi Voelker, E-RYT 500, YA, IAYT, has been working in the fitness industry for more than 40 years. She created Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga in 1982 and has certified more than 700 teachers nationally and internationally, including healthcare professionals at the Mayo Clinic and the New York City Department of Education.


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