Right at home with yoga: Kent woman converts school into exercise studio for seniors

Listening to your body: Kathy Elder, right, and Karen Hatch perform yoga at Hatch’s home.  - Mark Klaas/Kent Reporter
Listening to your body: Kathy Elder, right, and Karen Hatch perform yoga at Hatch’s home.
— image credit: Mark Klaas/Kent Reporter

Reporter staff

They met during a support group at the Kent Senior Center.

One woman, a retired teacher, owned a home that accommodated one of Kent's most successful preschools and kindergartens for 35 years. The other woman, a certified yoga teacher, taught at one of the largest yoga facilities in Hawaii before moving to Kent.

Both 71, Karen Hatch and Kathy Elder decided to come together to help seniors feel young again.

Hatch's home – a cozy haven that served generations of families as Scenic Hill Preschool and Kindergarten – recently has been converted into a spacious exercise studio for senior men and women to practice yoga.

"I knew I could use it. ... And I thought, 'Wouldn't it be nice to try something like this?'" Hatch said. "Everybody's got aches and pains at our age and you realize we don't move enough. I felt this was a great idea.

"(Yoga) actually forces you to slow down and listen to your own body," she said. "It's very helpful."

Elder, a classically trained instructor and a master in yoga education, was willing to share her many years of professional experience with fellow seniors.

The health benefits are many.

"Practicing yoga retards the aging process without a doubt," Elder said. "It helps treat high blood pressure, arthritis and all of those things. Yoga makes everything better. It's good for you."

Yoga classes run from 10:30 a.m. to noon Tuesday and Thursday at 26108 Woodland Way S., near Scenic Hill Elementary School.

A $15 donation is suggested per class, with a sliding scale as needed. Instructors are welcome.

For more information, call Elder at 253-243-7690 or Hatch at 253-347-4772.

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