Eskaton partners with Kaiser Permanente and Sacramento Ballet to provide balance classes to the community. “Be happy and surround yourself with good people,” says Lonnie Capps, resident. Residents from Eskaton Monroe Lodge attend the weekly balance class every Wednesday morning.
The class is taught by ballerina Cynthia Drayer-Reyes and has tripled in size since the first session. The myth that ballet was a prerequisite was quickly debunked by the initial attendees, and the group often welcomes a new attendee each week. Although ballet experience is not necessary; movement is required.
The 60-minute class alternates from seated to standing positions and works primarily on breathing, posture, body awareness and strengthening. “My body awareness has improved tremendously,” says Merrill Starr, Eskaton resident. “I never realized how connected my core strength was to my posture.”
“Trying new things can be difficult, but push yourself to try something new,” says Lonnie. She originally did not sign-up for the class because it was outside her comfort zone. But after talking with her peers, Lonnie made the decision to give it a try. Participants agree that moving is necessary for living well. Class attendees contribute their longevity to their lifestyle and mindset. Hazel Lew, an Eskaton resident, lives with severe arthritis and back pain but, as long as she incorporates movement into her day, the pain is manageable. Beyond decreased pain, other participants experience a wide array of benefits.
Participants report increased energy, improved lower body strength and sounder sleep. “Be gentle with yourself as you try something new. There is always a learning curve and you will improve.” says Merrill. “Be open to the challenge of learning something new,” says Hazel. “Learning something new is just as important as the activity itself. Whether it is walking, yoga or a balance class, find something that makes you happy and you will see the benefits.”
The balance class is held weekly at the Sacramento Ballet and is sponsored by Kaiser Permanente South Trauma Injury Prevention Unit. The class was designed to improve and maintain balance, confidence, and overall health. Kaiser's injury prevention program is dedicated to the promotion of healthy behaviors and the prevention of unintentional injury through intervention, education, and outreach.