By Marithelma Costa
People say that New York is not the best city for growing old. Baja California and Florida have better weather; México’s San Miguel de Allende is much cheaper; Madrid offers huge discounts at concerts, plays, museums, and films; and Paris is always Paris.
Nevertheless what can be true for most of the city, does not apply to Greenwich Village, where older adults can take five excellent elementary hatha yoga classes a week, at no cost.
New York Edge-Beacon sponsors four of them on Mondays and Wednesdays (5:00 pm-6:30 pm), Tuesdays (3:45-5:30 pm), and Saturdays (11:30 am–1:00 pm) at one of City as School’s beautiful classrooms (16 Clarkson St.). The school provides the props.
Classes are led by Malka Percal and Michelle Brandt (trained at Integral Yoga). As both pay close attention to each student’s strengths and challenges, taking their classes feels safe and is a delight.
The fifth class (Fridays 11:15 am-12:15 pm) takes place at the historic Greenwich House, and a $1 donation is suggested. It is a sixty-minute class and Maura Nolan, a sensitive and experienced yoga teacher, leads it. Greenwich House provides props and its magnificent gym, built in 1917.
People who go regularly have commented how they feel stronger, more flexible, and calmer. For Theresa, “The class is like taking a vacation for 1 ½ hours a day.” And for me it is a great gift.