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

14-year-old pilot attempts to break Guinness World Record at Langley airport

Mohd Shaikhsorab wants to become youngest pilot with fewest hours logged to fly solo

VIDEO: City of Langley orders road closed due to gas line break (updated)

Public asked to avoid area of 198 Street, between 55 and 56 Avenues

Lower Mainland cools down as heat wave lifts

Environment Canada predicts temperatures in the mid to low 20s

Educational videos for rodeo athletes address concussions, mental health

Ty Pozzobon Foundation, Canadian Pro Sports Medicine Team produce series

Langley’s Brunsch bunch

It’s all relative for lacrosse-playing brothers who are teammates

Stolen sunshade puts damper on Lower Mainland woman’s pet-relief effort

Broken umbrella taken from White Rock lawn ‘within 10 minutes’

Teen killed by train remembered for his love

Friends and family share stories of young Crescent Beach train victim

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

Island man convicted of 1999 sex assault at Fraser Valley music festival

James Allen Redden, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty of three charges

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

Canadian Tire delivers toys to ease kids’ street play pain in B.C. neighbourhood

It’s like Christmas for 11 kids who are supposed to be confined to their yards by strata bylaw

City of Burnaby issues eviction notice for pipeline protest camp

Residents of Camp Cloud near the Trans Mountain work site have 72 hours to leave

Cougar shot near B.C. marina

Police were called to complaints of a cougar climbing through boats and sheds at the Nanaimo Yacht Club

Most Read