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

Delta’s OWL Society to pair raptors and yoga

The two-class fundraiser allows participants to do yoga while being watched by birds of prey

PHOTOS: Tour de White Rock kicks off

Races take place this evening and tomorrow morning

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

Community garden to turn barren Deltassist parking lot into a ‘paradise’

Deltassist will use the gardens to increase food security for residents, as well as provide therapy

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

SilverStar officially opens Gondola

The brand-new gondola is now offering scenic rides for visitors on SilverStar Mountain Resort.

VIDEO: Man climbs crane in Abbotsford

Police, fire called to deal with climber last night

VIDEO: Langley City legendary water fight was a soaking good time

And perfectly timed for a hot weather warning

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Most Read