Cross-training Life Shall We Dance? Yoga Journal Life By Steffie Nelson | Aug 28, 2007 Share Facebook Twitter Google Plus Pinterest Email Comments Bruce Van Horn had been teaching yoga to older students for some time, but he felt he wasnt quite reaching them. I needed something more passionate, something that appealed to them emotionally, he explains, but I thought teaching them to breathe and quiet their minds was important, too. Drawing on his experience playing Gypsy Kings music and taking lessons in flamenco dance, he began to experiment, and Yomenco was born. Now, a year later, Van Horn teaches his yoga and flamenco hybrid in more than 30 nursing homes in New York and New Jersey. He hands out egg shakers and maracas, cranks up the flamenco, and leads seniors in a routine that incorporates structured exercises for hands and feetincluding mudras, leg lifts, and arm lifts. As it happens, a 2003 study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that structured dance is the most effective form of exercise for slowing down the progression of Alzheimers disease and dementia. I was a little skeptical at first, says Jacqueline Dealca, program director of Hearthstone Alzheimer Care in White Plains, New York, but he really gets them goingfrom the lower functioning patients to the higher functioning. Dealca also says the patients are more energized and aware throughout the day. For Van Horn, who lost his father to Alzheimers, Yomenco is not just a pleasure; its a necessity. If we want to have a happy old age, he says, we have to start to move. You Might Also Like Cross-training Awareness-Boosting Flow From Atlanta Hawks’ Yoga Teacher Don't be surprised if you spot your favorite hoops star in Down Dog on the sidelines when the NBA kicks off its 69th season this week. Cross-training Why Soccer Is a Yogi’s Sport—Plus, 7 Poses for Soccer Lovers We’re all winners, losers, and people. Find out how soccer unites us like yoga. Cross-training That Time Teacher Eric Paskel Gave Up Yoga for the Gym... 5 lessons one teacher learned from his adventures in cross-training. The most important? Yoga still rocks.