yogaStarting a fitness program can be a difficult and daunting endeavor. With the demands of work, family, and the challenges of everyday life, a fitness routine can sometimes find its way to the end of a to-do list, despite one’s best intentions.

For people with developmental disabilities, fitting physician-recommended exercise and movement into one’s day becomes even more demanding. Participants in CHAI Works Day Programming at JF&CS spend their weekdays at the JF&CS Headquarters in Waltham and their evenings at home with their families – with little time left for exercise and few if any fitness resources.

In 2008, Margaux A. Skalecki, a certified yoga instructor, came up with an innovative idea: an adaptive yoga class for CHAI Works Day Program participants. What makes this class unique is that each member has a turn to become the teacher – each one comes up to the front of the class and chooses an “asana” (a posture) for everyone to follow. “Students become leaders; they also get a taste of varying yoga postures and are encouraged to learn them the best way they can. “One of our favorites is a star pose in which everyone has to balance on one foot,” added Skalecki.

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