Michelle Charlton · Yoga Instructor

Michelle Charlton has been teaching yoga at the La Pine Activity Center for almost four years, with classes Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (see page 11 of this newsletter for class times).
“Yoga has always been a safe place for me,” says Michelle, “and it was something I always went back to during difficult times in my life. I teach yoga because I want to share that safe space with anybody who wants to become familiar with their safe place through yoga.”
“There’s no experience necessary to come to class,” Michelle continued. “A lot of people hear the word ‘yoga’ and think that they’re not flexible enough, but yoga means to ‘unite’, coming from the word “yoke” in India, where people have been practicing it for thousands of years.”
Michelle said the practice and postures of yoga are only one limb of the eight-limbed yoga discipline. Practicing yoga for over 40 years, Michelle is licensed in Iyengar and Ashtanga yoga, and has great knowledge of Hatha yoga.
“Yoga is for everybody,” says Michelle. “It is your own personal journey. Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self. Everyone’s journey is different, and it changes over time. We have people in this class in their 70’s and 80’s. It’s not about turning yourself into a pretzel, anyone can do it, and you’ll be surprised at what your body can do!”
Right now the class at the Center is comprised of women, but most yoga classes tend to be co-ed. “At my Fit Zone class we have several men, and I encourage men to come to the Activity Center. I love the different type of energy they bring to a yoga class,” says Michelle.
“I continually remind my students that they need to know what their body is doing, and not worry about the person next to you, just do what you can do!”
Michelle would like to see more people be comfortable with coming to class, and “I feel blessed to be on this journey with my students and see their progress.“
“I have a male student in his 70’s who is a fisherman, and when I asked him what made him decide to start yoga he said he needed to quiet his mind, and work on his balance. He’s found that the breathing exercises have helped with his breathing issues and his balance is getting better!”
“So don’t be afraid of yoga; it’s a connection between mind, body and soul. Your body will have more flexibility and range of motion, better balance and a quieter mind.”

Fit For Life Training

Carol Spaw is our new “Fit for Life” fitness trainer at the La Pine Activity Center, and on Wednesdays at 1pm you can find her in the main activity room, teaching people how to get moving and become stronger at any stage of life.
Originally from Iowa, Carol moved to La Pine about 15 years ago. She currently teaches Piyo (a combination of Pilates and Yoga) and spin classes at Anytime Fitness in La Pine. Through her business, All in Fitness, Carol teaches online and outdoor classes.
Fit for Life includes moving your body and utilizing weights and other workout equipment.
  “My main objective is to get people stronger, and the class can be as easy or difficult as the person wants.,” says Carol.  “The class is geared for all fitness levels, there’s no special equipment required and I ask that students just dress comfortably be ready to move and meet new friends!”
“Even though this is a new class, I think it’s going to be a good fit for the Activity Center,” said Carol. Through her Community Fitness she can do classes at your business for employees and the public.
“I really do enjoy working with the community and bringing health and fitness to everyone. We live in a beautiful place, so get fit and go out there and enjoy it!” 

Meet the Instructor for Better Bones & Balance

Do you need “Better Bones and Balance”? If so, then come to the Activity Center on Mondays and Fridays, where Shondra Zimmerman teaches an Oregon State University research-based class for folks with osteoporosis, but anyone who is interested can join.
“I’m about to be a physical therapist so I put my own flair into the class,” says Shondra, “like to work on mobility and bone building — which is a strength workout — to slow down the process of osteoporosis and sometimes actually reverse it. We also work on fall prevention, post-rehab work — we cover all the basics. We work on balance, and strengthening the bones and joints. The class lasts one hour, there are no physical requirements and it is for all levels. We’ll be starting to get on the floor soon, but anyone who can’t do that can use a chair. We accept all ages and injury levels. Participants should wear comfortable clothing and athletic shoes. The class meets Mondays at 11:30am and Fridays at 9am. It’s just $5 for members, $10 for nonmembers, and the first class is always free. I also do punch cards for regular members. I want to make sure everyone can take this, so if money is an issue, please come talk to me before class!”