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a group at the Schottland Family YMCA doing a meditation session

As our yoga folks would say, it’s time for a woosah. Our Active Older Adults (AOA) at the Schottland Family YMCA have been going through a five-part Mindful Meditation series with Yoga Instructor Deb Mangiamele guiding the sessions for the group, and although it is intended to help her extended AOA family, she also finds solace there.

“Meditation has been something I’ve learned and practiced in the past five or so years, incorporating it more and more, even into our yoga practice,” said Deb, who has been instructing classes for our Association since 2011. “My intention is just to share something really powerful to allow each of us to find a little more calm and ease in our life, just taking time to sit and be quiet.”

Deb shared that she’s discovered scientific studies that note how beneficial meditation is for people, including physically changing the structure of the brain and reducing anxiety and depression.

The AOA crew spoke about their experience as well. Four members — Joan, Meena, Mary, and Susan — were able to share how helpful the meditation sessions have been for them.

“I look so forward to it,” said Joan. “I mean, it’s just a grounding for me. I’m trying to get my chaotic life and mind into some semblance of order.”

Meena said it has benefitted her most with the stresses she deals with in her day-to-day life.

“This is the time when you can really focus on yourself and relax and feel comfortable,” she said.

During her first session, Mary found the meditation very calming and looks forward to more opportunities for meditation. And as much as there are varying benefits to mediation, Susan enjoys how much it puts her at ease.

“I don’t put any profound meanings on it for enlightenment,” said Susan. “I just want simple relaxation and to just take care of myself.”

Deb said she enjoys instructing different classes, including Chair and Active Yoga. 

“It’s rewarding to be able to teach across different platforms,” Deb said. “ … It’s maybe different intensities but it’s the same message. It’s the same practice of helping people tune in rather than tune out. You know in our world today, with our devices and media, it’s so easy to be checked out in so many directions.”

Namaste, friends.