Yoga class is in session at Cloverdale’s Box2Fit gym. (Samantha Anderson)

Cloverdale’s Box2Fit gym launches yoga program for people with Parkinson’s Disease

Box2Fit also creating an in-house yoga studio, which will offer yoga classes to the entire community

It isn’t your typical yoga studio.

The cool, dark room filled with calming music may be familiar enough, but the posters of boxing greats on the walls, and the punching bags dividing the space, less so.

The students in the room, however, are at home at Box2Fit gym in Cloverdale, where many of them participate in Punch Out Parkinson’s, a boxing program tailored to people with Parkinson’s Disease.

Box2Fit has now launched a yoga program that complements those classes.

Frankie La Sasso, who runs Box2Fit and the Punch Out program, said that the idea to create a “Yoga Out Parkinson’s” class came from his students. He heard from his clients with Parkinson’s that they wanted to do more stretching.

That’s when La Sasso reached out to yoga instructor Vanessa Low with the idea of having her lead a program for people with Parkinson’s.

“[We] brought her in and everybody loved her,” said La Sasso. “That’s why we decided to go ahead and just do a full-time class for Parkinson’s.”

Frankie La Sasso has been boxing since he was six years old, but he only recently began practicing yoga.

“Myself, I was always against yoga. I was always like, ‘I’m not going to do that,’” he admitted. “But I did a class and I couldn’t believe just how good it felt afterwards. So it’s definitely a part of my training routine as well now.”

He also began recommending adding yoga to the training routines of his other boxing clients. “And since we have the space available, we thought we’d just do yoga classes for everybody, for the community,” he said.

Box2Fit is currently working to transform its front room, currently used as a lounge for boxers between workouts, into a yoga studio. The studio is expected to be open in the fall.

Yoga, La Sasso explained, helps improve strength and balance, and reduce stiffness, which is especially beneficial to people with Parkinson’s.

“If all day long you have tremors in your muscles … to be able to stretch that out is just like when you work out all day and need to stretch afterwards,” he said.

“It’s really beneficial. Everyone should stretch — even you.”

Yoga Out instructor Vanessa Low has a background in health science and on top of her yoga practice, she is currently working on getting into a nursing program.

Although Box2Fit’s yoga program won’t officially launch until July 16, Low has been running classes at the gym since early June.

“It’s been excellent,” she said, noting that she has already seen an improvement in people’s balance and attitude.

When some of the students began the class, they had reservations about its effectiveness — not unlike La Sasso, before he tried yoga himself.

Improving mobility and flexibility one movement at a time

A post shared by Vanessa Low | 🇨🇦 (@visualmindfulnessmvmt) on

“I’ve noticed there has been improvements in attitude — they’re more willing to take a leap of faith,” she said.

As their confidence builds, so does their willingness to try new poses, and their faith that they can improve their flexibility and strength. As Low explained, she encourages a mindset of “I might not be able to this today, but I will try again tomorrow.”

Some of her clients have begun to sleep better at night — one of the potential symptoms of Parkinson’s is interrupted sleep. Another benefit to people with Parkinson’s, Low said, was that by including exercises that improve the strength of muscles in the throat and neck, some improvement can be made in breathing and swallowing, and it can help support the vocal chords.

“It’s good to see the progression. To see their growth and change is mind-blowing,” said Low.

La Sasso said the Punch Out and Yoga Out Parkinson’s classes are complementary to each other.

“Overall for Parkinson’s, exercise, just exercise, is proven to be a key benefit,” he said. “And that goes for everybody, you know, just not people with Parkinson’s. That’s why we’re starting up the other yoga classes.”

The Yoga Out Parkinson’s Disease classes run Monday to Friday, from 1 to 2 p.m.

Box2Fit also provides boot camps, classes focusing on technical aspects of boxing, cardio boxing, and classes for kids. For more information on the classes, or on volunteering to help out the Yoga Out or Punch Out programs, call Frankie La Sasso at 778-384-6284, or drop by the gym at 17750 65A Avenue in Cloverdale.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Box2Fit gym is also working to create an in-house yoga studio, which will offer yoga classes to the entire community. (Samantha Anderson)

Just Posted

Surrey opera singer brings Mozart’s ‘Così fan tutte’ to Vancouver stage

Nancy Hasiuk-Lay has been hailed for her ‘sparkling and crystalline vocal tone’

BREAKING: Metro Vancouver mayors cancel Surrey LRT in favour of SkyTrain

TransLink will immediately suspend work on light rail

Pedestrian airlifted following South Surrey collision

Police say initial indications are the victim was crossing mid-block when he was struck

ZYTARUK: You don’t have to wear the ribbon – but look out if you don’t

Demonize and dog-pile. If you disagree with me, you are not only wrong, you are evil. The enemy…

Cloverdale students successfully petition city for school crosswalk

Safety concerns lead to petition project, new crosswalk for students and shoppers

VIDEO: People with diabetes meet their alert dogs

A diabetic alert dog is trained to detect low blood sugar in people who have Type 1 diabetes

Ten-year sentence for man convicted of B.C. belt-strangling death

Shayne McGenn guilty of manslaughter in 2016 death of David Delaney, 63

Roy Clark, country singer, ‘Hee Haw’ star, has died

Guitar virtuoso died because of complications from pneumonia at home in Tulsa, Okla. He was 85.

Lack of funding, culture on campus biggest barriers for Indigenous students: report

Report based on nearly 300 responses found lack of support at post-secondary schools a big concern

Tinder sex assault suspect charged; additional alleged victims sought

Vincent Noseworthy of Alberta is accused of aggravated sexual assault, unlawful confinement and more

Drug-related deaths double for B.C. youth in care, advocate says

Teens say positive connections with adults key to recovery

Children’s strawberry-flavoured medicines recalled due to faulty safety cap

Three different acetaminophen syrups part of nationwide recall

Around the BCHL: Junior A cities to host World Junior tuneup games

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

International students hit hard by B.C. tuition fee hikes

Campaign seeks regulatory controls be imposed on post-secondary institutions

Most Read