Fitness / Discounts & free classes

Finding Balance With Chair Yoga

BCBSRI Medicare Advantage member Jean Birchell

Last year, Jean Birchell went to see her primary care doctor. “He noticed that when I walked, I wasn’t swinging my arms. My handwriting had also gotten very small, and I had trouble rolling over in bed. So he sent me to a neurologist.”

Jean found out that she had Parkinson’s disease.

“I take medication three times a day,” Jean said. “And I take chair yoga at Your Blue Store, which is really helping me with my balance.”

Before she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, Jean had never taken any type of yoga. But when she and her husband were at Your Blue StoreSM in Lincoln with questions about their BCBSRI Medicare Advantage plan, her husband had seen that free chair yoga classes were offered to members. “At the store, they helped me sign up for the classes right then. It was so helpful.”

Jean is now a regular at chair yoga. “I love the camaraderie. Everyone is always talking and laughing,” she said. “And they watch out for you. I almost fell over once, and when people asked if I was OK, I told them I had Parkinson’s. I thought it was better to tell them than to keep it a secret.”

In addition to her classes at Your Blue Store, Jean uses her $0 Silver&Fit benefit at the MacColl YMCA for yoga classes and does yoga at the senior center in Lincoln.

“These Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island classes have made such a difference in my life,” Jean said. “I’d definitely recommend them to other members to help them feel better.”