The Joy of Teaching Chair Yoga at Menorah Manor

I am so blessed to work in a setting where I have the opportunity to do meaningful work. As the chief development officer for Menorah Manor, a not for profit nursing center, I oversee the work of our Foundation, which raises funds to benefit the seniors who reside in our communities. I love seeing the generous dollars from our donors being put to good use as I walk through the halls every day, and see firsthand the lives of our residents being enriched through philanthropy.

An unexpected pleasure occurred after I obtained my 200 hour yoga teacher training last December. I began teaching chair yoga in Menorah Manor’s adult day center and assisted living residence. My students are between the ages of 80 and 97 and they are appreciative and attentive. We begin each class with meditation, followed by a seated flow of yoga poses, and we end the practice in savasana, a peaceful, closing meditation. The students share their feelings after class about how good they feel, which makes me so happy. When I enter the adult day center, one particular woman always greets me by saying “we love you” and at the end of the class, the students applaud.

My heart bursts with gratitude when I am finished teaching any yoga class, but I am especially grateful when I am done teaching a group of students who have lived very long lives, experienced many joys as well as many sorrows, and choose to spend some of their precious time with me, practicing chair yoga.

French novelist, Marcel Proust, wrote “let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” I am grateful to my students; thank you for making my soul blossom.

-Judy Ludin, CFRE
Chief Development Officer