On Wednesday afternoons, you can usually find Gordon Campbell limbering up in his Tarboro retirement community, where he and several of his neighbors of The Fountains at The Albemarle meet weekly in the auditorium for Carol Murray’s yoga class.
As the class nimbly progresses from the gentle Mountain Pose to Tree Pose and on to the challenging Chair Pose, it’s hard to believe their average age is more than 80 years old. One inspiring student, Jewel Tolson, is 103, according to Murray.
Instructor Carol Murray travels from Rocky Mount to teach the weekly class at The Fountains.
She has been teaching yoga to seniors since she became a Registered Yoga Teacher through the North Carolina School of Yoga in 2006.
In 2009, she graduated from a Master Yoga for Seniors program at Duke Integrative Medicine where she learned more about the various issues and challenges that seniors face that can be helped through yoga practice.
“Gordon Campbell has been a resident at the Albemarle for many, many years and has always pursued keeping himself physically active and fit,” said Beth Weathersbee, community life assistant for The Fountains at the Albemarle.
“He participates in the Senior Olympic Games locally and always comes back with numerous medals. Gordon especially likes yoga and hardly misses a class. He has always maintained an active lifestyle and is not letting his age slow him down. It’s a big part of his life and he’s still going strong.”
Last year, Gordon’s neighbor, Betty Bissette, thought she might just try out the yoga class to see exactly what it involved. She became hooked.
“Yoga has become one of Betty’s favorite things to do at the Albemarle, along with jigsaw puzzles, brain fitness activities and others,” Weathersbee said.
Betty talks about how relaxing it is and how much better she feels since taking the class, Weathersbee said.
“She’s become our number one cheerleader for promoting the class within the community by sharing with other residents just how wonderful it is,” Weathersbee said.
Experts on aging say that lifelong physical fitness contributes to healthy aging and it’s just one facet of the wellness pie residents are encouraged to sample each day at The Fountains at The Albemarle at 200 Trade Street. The wellness pie is divided into seven segments: physical, social, vocational, spiritual, emotional, intellectual and environmental.
Gerontologists believe that when one balances each of these components, optimal wellness is achieved.
For those interested in strengthening their commitment to personal wellness, The Fountains at The Albemarle offers a number of free classes to area seniors through a fun curriculum called Watermark University.
Created by Watermark Retirement Communities Inc., Watermark University promotes mind and body fitness for life.
For more information, call Weathersbee at 252-823-2799.