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Louisa-Lawrence Co, KY

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Date: 09-04-2017

Retired teacher wanted to dance, paint, garden and try yoga

After teaching elementary students nearly 30 years for Daviess County Public Schools, Sheila Clark made a list of fun activities she wanted to try in retirement.

Among them, Clark wanted to dance, paint, garden and try yoga.

Yoga rewires brains and bodies, Sheila Clark said. "I feel so much better about life. Yoga is life."Yoga rewires brains and bodies, Sheila Clark said. "I feel so much better about life. Yoga is life."

Since retirement in 2004, she's twirled around some dance floors. Loved that.

Clark took up painting with the help of local artist Rhonda McEnroe. Loved that.

Clark is now a master gardener. Loved that.

And four years ago — at a time in life when many people hesitate to try new things — she started practicing yoga. Loved that.

Yoga rewires brains and bodies, Clark said. "I feel so much better about life. Yoga is life."

This month — at 71 years old — Clark will become a certified yoga instructor.

For months now, she's been offering classes at the Munday Activity Center, which caters to Daviess County senior citizens.

Clark credits yoga with repairing some of the damage to her spine. She suffers from scoliosis, but since starting yoga, Clark's X-rays show a marked improvement.

At the Munday Activity Center, she teaches two types of students. Those who use floor mats and others who need to sit in a chair.

A woman in Clark's chair class is 93.

Shirley Hartgrove is the oldest student in the floor group. She's 78, has a rod in her lower back and suffers from arthritis.

"If I don't (practice yoga), I get stiffer," she said. "It helps me stay limber."

Throughout Tuesday's session on the second floor of the Munday Activity Center, Clark encouraged her students. "Beautiful. Good work."

She offered alternatives to poses for those who may not be as agile. Clark left her mat to reposition a student's back foot during the warrior pose.

Later, Clark said to her students: "I can remember when you all couldn't do that."

They remember, too.

"I didn't stumble this time on that (pose)," Anne Baker told fellow yoga students. "My balance is getting better."

The youngest person in the class is 63. All of them said they appreciate an instructor who is closer to their age.

Clark feels the same about her students. "They have so much wisdom and humor," she said. "They appreciate anything you do for them."

By Renee Beasley Jones
Messenger Inquirer


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