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Senior men practice yoga in University for Elderly in Guangzhou

(People's Daily Online)    10:57, March 18, 2019

Yoga continues to gain popularity in China, but it's still unusual to see senior men pick up the practice.

(Photo/Guangzhou Daily)

However, that situation could all be about to change, as the University for the Elderly in Guangzhou, south China’s Guangdong Province, recently opened a weekly yoga class for male seniors, helping the older generation stay in shape.

82-year-old Ren Zhenchi is the oldest student in the class. “Before, I had trouble squatting, and my muscles had become more rigid with age. When I was told that practicing yoga could make my body more flexible, I wanted to give it a go,” he said.

His family, however, initially worried that he might hurt himself, and that it would be strange for him to pick up yoga, which is predominately viewed as a female discipline.

However, Ren persuaded his family. His nerves were also eased by his instructor, Hu Yajun, who explained the moves slowly.

“The moves are simple, and I practice step by step. Now, yoga helps me regain flexibility,” Ren said, adding that practicing yoga has calmed his mind, made him less irritable, and improved his quality of sleep and physical condition.

63-year-old Li Yinghui, the first registered member of the class, also said yoga had improved his sleep quality. Like many of his classmates – aged between 50 and 82 – Li said he would cherish the opportunity as the government now attaches greater importance to retirees’ life.

Hu said that the male yoga class is more like an interactive platform to serve seniors, where they can help each other and make new friends.

Hu plans to cooperate with relevant agencies in the city to conduct specialized training for more middle-aged and elderly yoga instructors, in a bid to provide better services for the elderly. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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