Over 55s in the Dandenong Ranges are getting active at free pilates classes

Men and women in the over 55 age bracket have taken the initiative of attending fully-funded pilates classes at the Monbulk Living and Learning Centre. PICTURE: JEANETTE TATTON

By Tyler Wright

Free pilates classes have taken the Monbulk Living and Learning Centre by storm as over 55s come together to get their bodies moving and get social during cooler Autumn days.

For the past two Fridays, instructor Jeanette Tatton has led the classes – 48 attending in the first week and 52 in the second; a number she hopes will continue to grow for the six weeks left of the fully-funded sessions.

“These classes are designed for care, attention and consideration – gentle breathing, reminding people how powerful the breath is, gentle stretching, a little bit of balance and strength” Jeanette said.

Pamela Lambert, Ferny Creek resident, has participated in the first two pilates sessions and said they have helped her get “up and going,” while being able to socialise and have a coffee with friends afterwards.

“Normally, I’m a very active person, and I like to be on the go – and this has really slowed me down and given me inspiration to be able to do these stretches and exercises at home in the chair,” Pamela said.

The classes are funded by Bendigo Bank, with support from MADCOW and the Yarra Ranges Council. The room is filled with chairs to provide the base for the exercises, and the nearby scenery paints a picture of the lush greenery in Monbulk.

Tessa Christensen, who is nearing on 80 years of age, travelled to the most recent session from Tecoma and is finding the exercises and stretches beneficial.

“The women and the men are lovely – it’s fantastic,” Tessa said.

“It makes me feel so enlightened that I can bring this to them and that they’ve made the time,” their instructor said.

“Hopefully with the power of the voice and people talking we will hopefully get more funding to keep them ongoing.”

The classes are currently held each Friday from 10:30am to 11:15am. For more information, contact Jeanette at mountainpilatesmonbulk@gmail.com⁠.