Sages Offers Low-Impact Exercise for Less

Lisa Levinson, who founded the WISE Women’s Center, teaches Pilates for Buff Bones at a private home in Topanga. Photo courtesy of Lisa Levinson

Need to shape up? The Canyon Sages offer a variety of low-cost, low-impact exercise classes, led by experienced teachers. They are open to all ages so we can keep the numbers up and the price down to only $6 a class.

In its commitment to seniors, the Topanga Community Club (TCC) does its part to support the Sages, offering class space at the Community House for free. As you take advantage of these low-cost classes through the Sages, in return, you might support the TCC by becoming a member. (

To reach out to seniors on tight budgets, the Sages offers class scholarships. Contact Michele Johnson at (310) 455-1319 or for information about the scholarship program.

Tai Chi and Qigong leader Jackie Safonov is in charge of the Canyon Sages exercise program. She is a long-time Topangan and a key Sages volunteer, organizing all the Sages Community House activities and keeping the Sages books. Sages exercise classes are held at the Community House.


Tai Chi & Qigong

Monday, 9:30 a.m., Yang Style 24 form Tai Chi class—Started in 2010, Monday’s Tai Chi practitioners were nicknamed “The Slow Ninjas” by the Children’s Garden kids. This class is taught by Jackie Safonov, who is an ATCQA Certified Teacher. This is a more intermediate level class and might be just what “soft” martial artists are looking for.

Wednesday, 9:30 a.m., Qigong Class—is a mind-body practice that melds slow graceful movements, mental focus and deep abdominal breathing to boost and balance a person’s vital energy. Jackie teaches a medical Qiqong (Chi Gong or Kung) called Nei Yang Gong Qigong. It’s very Tai Chi-like, focusing on the spine and set to traditional Chinese Music. This class closes with Eden Energy routines. This is a fun class and suitable for all and you’ll most likely feel your health and vitality improve after the first class.

Thursday, 9:30 a.m., Beginner Tai Chi Class—Taught by Tina Michel, a “Slow Ninja” and long-time student of Steve Barker. Tina’s class is just forming so this is the perfect time to start learning the Yang Style 24 Tai Chi form from the beginning. Read more about these taijiquan forms at The class is open to drop-ins, but for more information or to sign up in advance, contact Jackie at or Tina at


Buff Bones

Sunday, 9:30 a.m. at the Community House and Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. at a private home, Pilates for Buff BonesLed by Lisa Levinson, these are safe exercises that enhance posture, improve balance and strengthen your spine and hips. The class times are suited to seniors and others still working who want to fit meditative exercise into their lives. Lisa Levinson is a Certified Expressive Movement Therapist and Licensed Pilates for Buff Bones® Instructor specializing in bone health, women’s empowerment, spirituality, body image, eating disorders and trauma issues. After being diagnosed with osteoporosis, Lisa began a personal journey to improve her bone health. She started Beautiful Bones Forever to provide resources for others like herself via podcasts, classes and workshops with bone health professionals. She has extensive experience as a movement therapist and co-founded the WISE Women’s Center, offering holistic health services to low-income women. To sign up and get full information on the location of the Wednesday night class:


For more information about the Sages and its programs: It’s free to join and offers a full range of low-cost classes, free clubs, outings and services.

By Michele Johnson


No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.