By Suzy Wiesenhart

Gary Lenza was in a very stressful job.  His wife took him to a spa and his life changed forever.  He enjoyed it so much and it relaxed him so much that he made a decision four years ago to be a yoga instructor.  Having improved his lifestyle and health and wellness through practicing yoga, he is eager to share the benefits he has realized by helping other people.

Even students in wheelchairs benefit from chair yoga.  It is one of the gentlest forms of yoga available and is great exercise for those that do not or cannot get down on the floor.

Lenza works at the Bridges Retirement Community most of his days, but also spends time at Manning Commons, Freedom Plaza, Homewoods, Clair Bridge in Sun City and Cypress Creek and Ruskin and Hawthorne Village in Brandon.  Along with being a Certified Yoga Instructor, he also does fitness training and chair dancing.  People who wouldn’t normally exercise are so happy to sing along with the old songs while chair dancing and getting some exercise in the process.

He had his first chair yoga class at the Bridges that he opened to the community, and 13 people came.  Some had done it before and came back for more. Marina Thuemling said, “My husband is in a nursing home, and this relaxes me.”

The class is every Wednesday from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Bridges Clubhouse at 11350 Bloomingdale Ave. in Riverview, across from Winthrop and Lenza accepts donations before or after the class.

Lenza stated, “I just want to bring body, mind and spirit to people. It makes them and me happy.”  You can contact him at 230-6276 or email or 413-8900 at the Bridges.


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Suzy is one of the Advertising Representatives for the Riverview area. She started with the Osprey as an advertising assistant in 2008 and has various positions since then. She is also on the Board of Directors of the Riverview Chamber of Commerce. She has lived in Bloomingdale with her husband, Tom for the last 22 years.