Introduction by Louise, the Rathnew community organiser
Like everyone else, I have been finding ways to navigate through lockdown after lockdown and a little easing of restrictions in-between. As a Yoga teacher who teaches yoga on the mat and on the chair, my way of teaching changed dramatically from a studio to a screen within days and, since then, has evolved to make it more accessible and appropriate for these times. My Chair Yogis, generally older than my mat Yoga students, have been a true inspiration to me. I started sending weekly recordings and then we all ventured onto Zoom for a weekly live class after a few outdoor and then briefly indoor classes over the summer. What started with a few interested folks, the weekly zoom class has grown through family and friends as everyone is keeping connected by phone and chats. There are many others who do the recording of the class in their own time, but keep in touch with me with feedback from their chair yoga practice.
So, when I spotted the Community Organiser role for this project, I took the opportunity to see if my wonderful network of Chair Yogis would be interested in telling their stories to the Teens of their communities. So many have been interviewed by their own younger family members or by new friends connected through the local schools. I thank them all – my chair yogis, teachers and students at the schools where we connected, as well as the Wicklow Active Retirement participants – and a special thanks to Pam, their Chair Lady, for being instrumental in getting more seniors involved.
It has been a delight to see this project evolve – the connections strengthened between generations with the wonderful stories being told. I am also grateful to the project for giving me another way of offering senior members of a community a means to show their significance in society. And wow, I have seen such patience, resilience and love through all my classes and chats and notes from my Chair Yogis during this very long and testing time. My lockdown experience has been deeply enriched by these kind and loving souls.
“I hope to enjoy good health and be out everyday for some fresh air for my lungs.”
“We have a great community here and take pride in our village.”
“I didn’t know many people when I moved here. I got talking to other mothers at the school gates and we became great friends.”
“Think before you speak and always be kind.”