Kupuna Life: Lanakila senior center goes digital, hundreds are taking classes online

Kupuna Life

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Lanakila Multi-Purpose Senior Center near Liliha, a social hub with outings and more than 50 classes for seniors, barely skipped a beat after the pandemic hit.

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“We have tai chi, we have fusion, stretch and tone, basic ukulele, hula, singing and playing ukulele. We have body and brain yoga and tai chi, chair yoga,” said LMPSC program director Suzanne Chun-Oakland.

More than 250 members are taking some two-dozen weekly online classes, demonstrations and workshops. In-person classes were a suggested $6 donation for eight weeks.

Now, they’re free.

The 20 chair yoga students attest that the benefits are as good as in-person.

“Just learning how two breathe is really something special, and Marianette’s voice is so calming. I just could fall asleep listening to her. She does a wonderful job,” said student Amy Hagihara.

“I just wanted to say that I really appreciate being able to do this from home because we can just log on and then have just kind of go in and out of the various programs that Lanakila has been providing,” said student Karen Matsunaga.

Lanakila is funded by grants and donations, and teachers donate their time. It would like to see more of its 1,600 members take online classes but technology is an issue.

“I think going forward, we will have in-person activities. But I want to keep the online because for some of the seniors, who could not because of mobility issues, or they were too far away from the center and could not come on a regular basis, they can attend almost daily,” said Chun-Oakland.

For more information, call (808) 847-1322, or click here.

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