Seniors in the Sunshine State
Tuesday, January 1, 2002
by: Barbara Leverone

Section: Healthy Aging

It’s been said that it’s not important how old you are, but how you are old. Of the more than 80 students taking class and private lessons at The Feldenkrais Studio in Sarasota, Florida, nearly 2/3 of them are over age 65. They attend consistently, as their schedules permit, and speak enthusiastically of their experience with the Feldenkrais Method®.

Jane, age 75, was considering a hip replacement three and a half years ago, but has postponed the surgery indefinitely due to her Feldenkrais Method study which has “enabled me to climb mountains once again and even see the Parthenon!” Her classmate Melanie, at 79, travels to Japan, China, and Europe and feels she can “…out walk anybody with grace and ease.”

Looking to recover from a ruptured disc and a knee injury, Myra began her studies at age 69 and now, four years later, ballroom dances twice a week, saying that she has relearned how to pivot safely (and kneel again to clean out the lower kitchen cupboards). “Feldenkrais Method lessons have helped me return to golf with a freedom of movement in my swing that I never understood before,” claims Andy. “At age 83, I actually shot a 79!”

“I find that the Method and the philosophy are influencing every aspect of my life,” says Layne, age 74. “After 40 years of back spasms so severe I was unable to move, they have become only a bad memory. My posture is improving and I am making other changes too numerous to mention. I look forward to class as a special treat and it assumes a high priority on my calendar.”

Her partner, Hy, our most senior student at age 90, happily reports that he finds it easier to walk, to sit, to play golf (for the first time in years), and to breathe. He and Layne work out at the YMCA 2-3 times a week, walking 2 miles, and have begun enjoying dancing again.

These folks are my role models for healthy aging, a continual source of inspiration and friendship.
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