New class asks seniors to be mindful and get moving

Recently retired from the dance faculty at York University, longtime Beach resident Carol Anderson is now directing her energy towards helping her neighbours “keep moving or get moving” through a new Mindful Motion workshop at Beach United Church.

The six-week class combines Anderson’s dance background with recent training in pilates and gyrokinesis, a “system of flowing, gentle exercise incorporating yoga, dance, swimming, and t’ai chi” performed seated on a chair and designed to “articulate the spine in all possible ways.”

Although anyone interested in streamlining their movement and balance would benefit from the class, Anderson’s class targets older movers — her recently retired or not-so-recently retired peers.

“That’s my next mission in life,” she said. “For some older people, they haven’t been moving all their lives, they kind of don’t know where to start sometimes, they don’t have the background of understanding about their own anatomy and how their bodies work.” she said.

This class is designed “to give them a sense of moving with understanding, good alignment in a way that’s beneficial and enjoyable.” Offered Tuesday afternoons, Anderson said her first few classes have had enthusiastic participants and there is room for a few more. She plans to offer a second series beginning mid-March.

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Mindfulness and meditation have been proven to be extremely beneficial in many areas of life, psychologically, spiritually and physically for people of all ages. Taking 15 minutes out of each day to do a meditation practice and then practicing mindfulness throughout the day is a very effective way of improving one’s life and health. As a psychotherapist, I have been teaching my clients and patients mindfulness and meditation for over 30 years. To be sure that they do the needed practice on a daily basis I strongly suggest they work with some of the guided mediation programs at http://www.lightunlimitedpublishing.com by Jon Shore. They are all consistently well produced and they have different exercises for various purposes. Most important is to practice on a daily basis, like anything we want to be good at. The more you practice the more available the skills will be available when they are really needed. It can’t hurt to try.

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