Tag Archives: mental activity

Aging Well – Barbara G.

Aging Well – Barbara G.

Barbara G.

Barbara, one of my students, passed away a few weeks ago after a brief illness at age 88. I only knew her from exercise classes and as a gifted painter.  But others told me about the rest of her amazing life.

Barbara was a veteran of WWII having served as a Sergeant in the US Marine Corps in their MAPS Division.

She was Chief technical illustrator for the Marine Technology Section of a major consulting company where among other projects she was involved in project TRIDENT for the U.S. Navy where she was responsible for all illustrations for technological reports which included antisubmarine warfare, sonar technology, and oceanography. She was also involved with illustrations for the Lunar drill used during the Apollo moon landing.

Poses and Pauses

According to Yoga Journal  Mentor Maty Ezraty, “Transitions from pose to pose are often neglected in yoga classes. Students tend to rush, forgetting to take time to get in and out of postures…. It is also in the transitions, or the pauses, that we can learn the most about yoga. These pauses create times to reflect and consider the effect of each pose. This is one reason why your teachers have you pause before coming up from Savasana. Staying in touch with the calm and focus of a deep Savasana is much easier if you do not jump out of the pose. Take time to stay with that feeling of relaxation as you slowly pause on the way back to “normal” life. This is the real yoga – bringing your experience from the mat into the rest of your life.”


Aging Well — Mary M.

My father’s neighbor, Mary, celebrated her 99th birthday last month. She looks at least 20 years younger.

She still lives alone, in her own home. She gave up her high heels a couple of years ago after knee replacement surgery; and stopped driving because of cataracts.

On Christmas Eve, my father sent two of my sisters to Mary’s house to escort her across the street to a small Christmas Eve party he was having. He was worried about her walking in the dark on the icy pavement.  My sisters, who are in their 50s, said they had a hard time keeping up with Mary.

What keeps her “young”? (No, she doesn’t do yoga.) She remains physically active and mentally engaged. She goes to lunch with friends, gardens, plays bridge, has her hair done, bakes cakes for neighbors. She’s interested in people. Those may seem like small things, but they make an enormous difference in the quality of her life.

According to WebMd

  • Whether physically healthy or ill, people who feel connected to others are more likely to thrive than those who are socially isolated.
  • Challenging your intellect on a daily basis – reading, learning a new musical instrument or language, doing crossword puzzles, playing games of strategy with others – protects or improves memory and mental sharpness. Just like an active body, an active brain continues to develop and thrive, while an inactive brain loses its power over time.