Monday, March 30, 2020

Online Resources for Yoga: Find.Yoga

We need yoga now more than ever. For the physical and mental health benefits, for boosting the immune system, to stay centered, and for the beautiful lessons in how to sit with discomfort and uncertainty and find the peace and presence in the midst of it.

Many teachers and studios have shifted to online classes; they could also use support right now. They are navigating this new landscape like all of us, and many (like me) have had their regular classes reduced or eliminated and are facing an uncertain future.

There is a new free searchable master schedule for all yoga classes and events happening online, offered by local teachers & studios.

Check it out - I have put my Chair Yoga and Kids Yoga classes on the schedule. Please share if you know anyone who could benefit from yoga & meditation, or if you know a teacher who is trying to reach more people with their offerings. I hope it can be of service.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Coronavirus: What Older Adults Need to Know to Stay Healthy

Copied from

By Nancy Fitzgerald | March 24, 2020

The new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has upended daily life, but there’s a lot you can and should do to protect yourself.

All around the world, the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has grabbed our attention—and for good reason. This respiratory illness can spread easily from person to person, and serious cases can lead to pneumonia and hospitalization.

“Our understanding is evolving day by day,” says Gary LeRoy, M.D., president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. “One thing’s for sure: It’s a serious virus, so we all need to take the necessary precautions.”

If you’re 65 years or older, you should know you’re at higher risk. That’s because the older you get, the less robust your immune system is likely to be. You may have a tougher time shaking off any virus, including coronavirus, than you would at 20.

“Plus, when you get to a certain age, you’re more likely to have accumulated some other health conditions, which can complicate the way the virus acts in your body,” says Dr. LeRoy.

In other words, if you have heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, or any other condition and you get sick from coronavirus, you may have more serious complications than someone who doesn’t have a condition.

Scary? Yes—we’re all human. But experts stress there’s a lot you can and should do to protect yourself. Here’s what to do right now, as well as steps to take should you get sick.

What Everyone 65+ Should Do

Because there’s currently no vaccine for coronavirus and because it spreads easily, prevention should be at the top of everyone’s minds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For older adults, it’s vital—and potentially lifesaving—to put them into practice. Here’s what the CDC recommends.

Avoid Crowds of All Sizes
Even if your community is not experiencing an outbreak at this time, this currently means skipping the mall, the gym, and activities at your local community center. In fact, many of these locations may close temporarily to slow the spread of coronavirus.

If there are cases in your area, your local health officials may have more specific instructions. Check your local news, or with your state or local health department. You can find information for state health departments here.

Worried about missing out on exercise or social opportunities? Good news: If you’re a SilverSneakers member, you can take advantage of free SilverSneakers On-Demand workout and nutrition videos. Plus, check out these ideas to stay socially connected—from afar.

Keep Your Distance
Whether you call it “social distancing” or “physical distancing,” this means putting about six feet
between yourself and others as much as reasonably possible. If you need to pick up groceries, medications, or household essentials, try to go when it’s less crowded, or ask a loved one for help.

Wash Your Hands Often—and Correctly

Lather up with plain soap and water of any temperature, and gently scrub your hands together for at least 20 seconds. Don’t forget the back of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Finish by drying your hands (Hand Washing Sing-Along video here

Mind the Germ Hot Spots
At home, disinfect “high-touch” surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, counters, tables, faucets, toilets, and remotes. For any “disinfecting” products, follow the instructions for best results. (PSA for "sterile techniques" for grocery shopping and produce/food handling

If it’s necessary to leave the house—say, your doctor says you need to be seen in person—minimize contact with door handles, elevator buttons, and the like. Cover your hands with a tissue, and wash your hands afterward.

Postpone Travel
Whether you were planning to go on a cruise, fly to another country, or hop on a train to another state, you may need to rearrange your plans. Currently, the CDC recommends older adults avoid cruises and nonessential flights.

Ships and ports, planes and airports, and trains and stations tend to be exceptionally crowded places, so there’s a high risk of coming into contact with people and their germs. And if you’re going somewhere remote, it may be harder to get medical care if you get sick.

Check the latest coronavirus and travel guidelines here.

If You Have Heart Problems

High blood pressure (a.k.a. hypertension) or heart disease can increase your risk of developing serious complications if you get infected with coronavirus, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).

In the earliest cases, 31 percent of people who were hospitalized with COVID-19 had high blood pressure, and almost 15 percent had cardiovascular disease, according to JAMA.

“Coronavirus can lead to buildup of fluid in the lungs, and that puts greater strain on the heart,” explains Manish Trivedi, M.D., director of infectious diseases at AtlantiCare, a health system in New Jersey.

What to do: Be sure you’re up to date on your pneumococcal vaccine, and continue taking your prescribed medications. See the AHA coronavirus recommendations for heart problems here.

If You Have Diabetes

Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, high blood sugar levels can weaken your immune system and make it harder to treat viral infections, like coronavirus, says Dr. Trivedi.

Viral infections can also increase inflammation in people with diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). And a combination of inflammation and high blood sugar can put you at risk for more serious complications.

What to do: Take extra care to manage your blood sugar, and review or ask for your “sick day” plan from your doctor. Have medications and testing strips on hand, as well as simple carbs like soda or hard candies in case your blood sugar gets too low. See the ADA coronavirus recommendations for diabetes here.

If You Have Lung Disease

Coronavirus causes respiratory illness, so it may hit people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, or other lung problems especially hard, according to the American Lung Association (ALA).

“These people already have impaired breathing,” says Dr. Trivedi.

What to do: Have supplies of any medications on hand, and know how to use your inhaler if you have one. Review or ask for a “COPD action plan” or an “asthma action plan” from your doctor so you know what to do if your lung symptoms flare up. See the ALA coronavirus recommendations for lung disease here.

What to Do If You’re Sick

The CDC recommends watching for three key symptoms of coronavirus:
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If these seem familiar, it’s because they unfortunately mirror some of the top signs of cold or flu. Because of the overlap, it’s important that you call your doctor if you begin to experience any of these signs or if your existing symptoms get worse.

Explain your symptoms, and follow any advice you get to a T, says Dr. Trivedi. You will be given instructions that are specific to your health needs, including if you should go to a medical facility and any safety steps you need to take before going.

Because coronavirus spreads easily, do not go to your doctor’s office without calling ahead first. If you have it, you could pass it on to others. If you don’t have it, you could catch it from someone else.

When to Get Emergency Help

The CDC also recommends getting immediate medical care if you have these coronavirus warning signs:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Any other emergency signs your doctor has indicated

Call 911, and be as specific as you can about your symptoms. Follow any instructions they give you.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Chair Yoga Live Streams via ZOOM Weekdays 11:00 -11:30AM

For all of us living as productively as we can in the confines of our own homes during this health crisis, I've set up via ZOOM a live stream class a Gentle Chair Yoga class, from March 24 through April 3. I'll add more dates as needed.

A few minute before 11AM, click this link
and you'll be taken to a screen that will show my yoga space. (If you click the link now or anytime before the prescribed time you will be taken to an empty meeting space where you can work on adjusting your camera, sound, etc.).

Yogi practicing Chair Yoga via live stream 3/23/20
We will practice for about 40 minutes (the time limited by the application) so I'll be there about 10:50 to greet people, and will start right away at 11. I will not have user-side video enabled, which means you will see me, but you won't see one another. You will be able to talk (if you have a microphone on your PC, or you are using your phone/tablet), and you will be able to type to chat (there will be a chat icon at the bottom of the screen). Once the class starts I will mute everyone else for quiet. 

The app is free, the website is free, the class is free - this is a service to help keep us all a little more sane during our time of self care (quarantine) and healing. 

If you are a Silver Sneakers member (Tivity), please make your presence know before or after class so I can mark your attendance! You can check your membership eligibility here (here's a list of health plans that carry it

Be well, see you this week. Your feedback humbly requested.

Previous Classes

    • March 25, 11AM

      ZOOM Help

      • Can't see the host (me) in a large window? Click on the three dots on my "box" and select Pin Video. 
      • Don't want to see anyone else? Click the Participant icon at the bottom of the screen to Show/Hide the list of people.
      • See huge tiles of people and want to minimize them? Click Speaker View in the upper right-hand corner.

      •  Click Can't see the chat? Click the "talk bubble" at the bottom. 
      • You can (and should) invite anyone you want to join - just send the the link.
      • Still having issues? Reach out to me via email and we can set up a test Zoom meeting to troubleshoot.

      Thursday, March 19, 2020

      Kids Yoga Live Stream Via Zoom! M-W-F 10AM PST

      Access all classes at this link:

      Class will be 30 minutes, and will be geared towards the five to ten year old range, but like any of my classes, join with your kiddos and see what works for you!

      I recommended using a mat or carpet instead of a towel (they get slippery), having tables pushed out of the way, and having a snuggle toy nearby if you have younger ones for our rest time at the end. 

      I'm excited to connect with folks this way in these trying times of health concerns, rainy days (here in San Diego), and time off from work and school. Hope to see you there!

      Questions? Contact me at or

      Due to the current health care crisis, all in-person BYOMyoga classes have been cancelled. I am leading free online classes as a community service. If you'd like to make a donation to support these classes, click here: 

      Previous classes:

      Original Post

      Yesterday I posted about activities other than yoga that we can do with our kids. Late last night I was approached with the opportunity to do a live streaming class. I haven't had any experience setting up the logistics for this, but the wonderful yogi Cindy Beers of Red Head Yoga coordinated it all! We connected through Accessible Yoga group and she said that people have been asking for a kid's yoga class, so how could I turn that down?

      Class will be 30 minutes, and will be geared towards the five to ten year old range, but like any of my classes, join with your kiddos and see what works for you!

      I recommended using a mat or carpet instead of a towel (they get slippery), having tables pushed out of the way, and having a snuggle toy nearby if you have younger ones for our rest time at the end. 

      I'm excited to connect with folks this way in these trying times of health concerns, rainy days (here in San Diego), and time off from work and school. Hope to see you there!

      Questions? Contact me at or


      First and foremost thank you Cindy Beers of Red Head Yoga for setting this up. Thank you to the Accessible Yoga community for bringing us together!

      In advance I want to thank the talented, gracious, and effervescent song stars for their music which I play during the classes:
      • Laurie Berkner (twitter @LaurieBerkner)
        • Performer, philanthropist, video entertainer, singer/songwriter, Laurie has been called "the queen of kids' rock music." My classes wouldn't be complete without songs from her immense collection (PS she is visiting San Diego on tour in the end of May provided our US health concerns level out
      • Bari Koral (twitter @BariKoral)
        • This multi-talented woman has her own wonderful kids yoga and mindfulness teaching training that you can access (at a really nice discount) at the link.
      • Karen K and the Jitterbugs (twitter @JitterbugsMusic)
        • Powerpop kids rock group the east coast that teaches kids music classes and performs public and private shows (mostly on the east coast). Online videos for all to see, plus CDs with faves like "Big Ol' Truck!"
      • Elizabeth Mitchell 
        • Singer/songwriter with Smithsonian Folkways, the sweet lilting voice behind our beloved "Peace Like A River." Amazing repertoire of folk-inspired albums and performances.

        Wednesday, March 18, 2020

        Online Resources (other than Yoga) for Kids

        We are on day 10 of being holed up inside, social distancing due to the recent health concerns, as well as having been ill ourselves. Public schools have been cancelled for the next 2.5 weeks, my teaching gigs are postponed for the same, and hubby has to work from home as well. March has proven to be unusually rainy, so we are definitely house-bound.

        So, in lieu of having to be the center my son's entertainment and learning 24/7, the schools have sent a list of resources for home use. They also sent printable worksheets for ELA (language arts) and math, but with these (in picture) it's nice to know that we can harness internet technology for their betterment, not just turning them into Roblox/Minecrafting/Fornite zombies. (ask teachers for invitations) (teachers/parents can get free premium accounts)

        Eli enjoyed playing with Prodigy in particular. He willingly jumps online to this, and asked me to buy the $5/month package so he can achieve higher goals. As a bonus I receive e-mails tracking his progress.

        We've tapped into PBSKids in the past: Peep and Big Wide World, Nature Cat, and the Wild Kratts are three shows that taught not just Eli but spouse and I lessons about our natural world. There's a wealth of info-tainment here to be sure.

        Eli used Epic quite a bit last year, like a mobile device library. It used to be accessible only by students during school hours, but they have a new offer: you can get free remote access through your teacher by asking the instructor to go to the Epic website and sign up. This is a great alternative to paying late fees on library books. To that end, you can also rent online book from the library in the event your local library physically closes.

        If you have experience with any of the other apps, leave a comment below! Other activities we've found fun: 
        • 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles
        • family karaoke
        • cooking lessons
        • olympic-level sock matching
        • cleaning out of the drawers and closets to donate to charity things we don't wear or use
        Stay healthy, wash your hands, and take lots of sanity breaks.