Interview: Yoga with Matt Mulcahy

Did you know Elements @ Springwood offers a full schedule of weekly movement and fitness?

At Elements, we believe it’s imperative in third age living to participate as often as possible in physical activities to help enhance mobility, health and mental wellbeing. A part of our fitness calendar is a weekly visit from Matt Mulcahy, our resident Yoga instructor.

Matt comes to Elements @ Springwood every Wednesday to guide our residents through yoga/chair yoga while bringing a sense of calm with him to each class. We have interviewed Matt to ask a few questions about his journey and his thoughts around Yoga for third age living.

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What is your Story – what led you to Yoga, and how long have you been practising?

I first discovered Yoga in 2009 here in Brisbane to complement physical activity. I found it really useful to ease overworked muscles, but with consistent practice, I was really drawn to the effects of a calmer mind, greater clarity of thought and a better sense of self.

I’d been teaching in the UK and across Europe until recently returning home to Australia. As well as being a yoga teacher, I study Sports & Exercise Science, both of which are very complementary with each other. I like to blend principles of alignment, strength and mindfulness, sharing traditional teachings in a modern way.


What benefits do you personally experience from practising Yoga day-to-day?

From a physical standpoint, Yoga helps me understand my body better, build strength and resilience in my muscles, and keep my joints healthy and happy!

From an emotional and mental perspective, I feel better in my own skin. I can navigate change more easily and generally feel more open towards what life has in store for me.


When did you begin teaching a more mature aged clientele?

I’ve been teaching mature aged students for about 3+ years now, mainly on a 1:1 capacity. Though in my public studio classes, I get a real mix of ages, from teenagers to students in their 70-80’s!

Teaching Chair yoga at Elements Living is the first time I’ve taught a dedicated group of older people, and one I’m very much enjoying.


How long have you been teaching at Elements Living?

Nearly six months, and it’s the highlight of my week!

I am incredibly inspired by the enthusiasm and curiosity of my students. They are a joy to teach!


What are the physical benefits that Elements Residents can experience by practising Yoga?

Oh, so many!

Build strength, promote flexibility, improve overall physical wellbeing, prevent falls, improve coordination abilities, decrease blood pressure – to name just a few!


What mental and emotional benefits can Elements Residents experience by practising Yoga?

Residents will experience better sleep, emotional resilience, greater clarity of thought, the ability to navigate change with more awareness and ease, a calmer mind, the chance to soothe the nervous system after practising yoga.


What does a typical Yoga session at Elements look like?

We often begin with breathing practice and meditation as we start to settle in.

Together, we then move through a series of poses to enhance mobility and build stability in the body. There is a combination of seated poses, standing poses and balance poses (using the chair for support). We often wind down with a guided relaxation.

There are often a few laughs and a few “Oh my!” moments – but life (or Yoga) doesn’t need to be taken too seriously, and we share a great time together.


What if you have never practised before?

The great thing about Chair yoga is that it caters for all levels of ability, from complete beginners to seasoned practitioners.

My approach to teaching is to offer many different options to suit a diverse range of bodies and abilities. Everyone is welcome.


As we age, mobility and flexibility may decrease. What do you say to those in their 3rd age who may be considering Yoga?

There’s no time like the present. Any form of movement, whether yoga or walking or Pilates, can help you feel, live and be better in your own body. If you’ve ever been curious about trying Yoga, come along – we’d love to have you.


What is the best thing about teaching Yoga at Elements?

The friendly faces, the laughter, the relaxed yet curious attitudes, the community feel and the chance to enjoy this wonderful practice together.


Elements are committed to providing our residents with many opportunities to keep our community happy, healthy and moving. If you would like to participate in our weekly activities, be sure to visit our events section and sign up!

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