Menlo Pilates & Yoga

Lily Anne Hillis may be a new teacher at Menlo Pilates & Yoga but she’s not new to her subject. She’s taught yoga for the past 25 years. Her new twist on the practice is chair yoga.

“People have told me over the years that they couldn’t take yoga because it was hard for them to get up and down from the floor,” she said. “Chair yoga eliminates that. All the moves are done seated or holding on to the chair. Nobody’s restrictions should stop them from taking yoga.”

While we don’t usually ask interviewee’s their age, Lily Anne was forthcoming so as to hammer home her point that no one should be discouraged from trying yoga: “I’m 77 years old and had a total hip replacement four months ago.”

Lily Anne got into yoga by way of horseback riding. “I used to ride with an young woman who took yoga and out of desperation one day I took a class with her. Immediately I knew I’d come home to something.”

While not wanting to pigeon hole herself, Lily Anne explained that the yoga she practices and teaches is loosely in the style of B.K.S. Iyengar. In addition to chair yoga, she teaches two “regular” yoga classes a week at Menlo Pilates & Yoga.

“In order to do yoga, you need to be able to feel what’s happening from the inside,” she explained.  “I tell people if you don’t feel what’s happening inside your body, you’re not doing yoga.

“The byproducts of yoga is you get strong, you get flexible, you increase strength and balance. I don’t intend to ever give it up.”