Self-Care for Seniors: Yoga

In an effort to encourage students to embrace self-care and gratitude, Ms. Kershaw and Frances Tharp invite students to join them for a yoga class.



yoga wow is cool

Jaden Cottorone and Lily Stinton

On Wednesday, April 24th, Ms. Kershaw from the counseling department and senior, Frances Tharp, held an hour-long yoga class during the late start morning. The goal was to promote self-care and gratitude as the school year draws to a close. Before the class, we asked them a few questions about the importance of the practice:

Why is self-care, such as yoga, so important, especially in the face of external pressures like big life changes?

Frances: Whenever I’m going through something, I always just head to a yoga class just because it gets me distracted and helps me look inward. I think it’s really about distraction and checking in on yourself.

Ms. Kershaw: I think it also helps calm people down from the inside out. Whenever I have something happen in my life that is a little unsettling, like last Wednesday when we didn’t have school because of the threat, I went to my mat. It takes me out of my head, lets me focus on my breath and the things that are most important.

Is yoga just a physical activity?

Ms. Kershaw: A lot of people think yoga is just a physical activity. I mean, it’s a great total body workout, but it is very much at its core intended to be a mind-body activity. The greatest benefits, in my opinion, is what it does to your mind and your spirit.

Frances: Exercise releases endorphins, so automatically just getting moving makes you feel better.

Is there any benefit to practicing yoga in a group?

Ms. Kershaw: I think it’s a great method. Many people know I teach yoga and so they ask me to recommend yoga videos and things like that. I think those are great for a lot of people, maybe those who don’t have time to get to a studio or a gym and take a class. I personally don’t do well with those, because I like the community aspect. I like to have my mat next to people, even if I’ve never seen them and I’ll never see them again, I know we share that passion for yoga.

How would you recommend students, especially seniors, who are getting ready to move on to a new chapter in their life, implement self-care into their lives and encourage others to take care of themselves?

Frances: Get outside. I think we all realize that we are on our phones a lot, and that’s also why I love yoga because I’m not on my phone while I’m doing it. So, when you’re with your friends just be really present. Right now, I’m salvaging all the time I can get. I think we have 15 days left, and so

I’m just trying to be as present as possible in these last few weeks.

— Frances Tharp

Ms. Kershaw: It’s such an important skill to learn now when you’re in high school. Self-care isn’t something that was talked about when I was in high school and I carried a lot of stress with me into college. Unfortunately, I didn’t take my first yoga class until I was in my 30’s! Looking back, I realize how much self-care I could’ve been doing. When people start to learn that and the value of that at an earlier stage of their life, I think it just helps set them up for challenges to come.

To continue promoting slowing down and being present, Ms. Mishoe from the art department will be instructing a guided canvas painting session next late start Wednesday, May 1st at 8:30 in room E1283. This event is for any seniors or students who feel they could benefit from it. No art experience required!