Eldercare: Eurythmy for Movement

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By: Kristin Hawkins

Many people presently are not only seeking alternative medicine but also alternative move­ment. The elderly are no exception. Some attend Eurythmy classes on a regular basis because they experience the har­monizing effects of such a form of move­ment.

Eurythmy movements bring to ex­pression what lives in the vowels and consonants in speech or what lives in the different elements of music. We become the tone and we become the sound. In a time when the pace of life is often very hectic, we experience that these flowing, rhythmic movements have a harmoniz­ing effect on our being. They lead from the a-rhythmic, or even anti-rhythmic pace of our time to beauty in rhythm, i.e. Eurythmy (in Greek, "beautiful rhythm"). Eurythmy, by its very nature, brings to expression the formative life forces which create and sustain our bodies. It has a healing and curative effect on all who participate in it.

Answers to some questions that are often asked:

Q: How old do I need to be to come to a senior Eurythmy class?

A: When you find that, through a physical problem of one kind or another you cannot quite keep up in regular Eurythmy class anymore. I find it often ranges from the late fifties into the nine­ties.

Q: You mean that people in their nineties can still do the movements?

A: Yes, we have several people in their nineties in one of our groups, plus many in their eighties. I am sure every School of Eurythmy has their own method of working out the composition of classes. I prefer to divide classes into different groups. People who are still ambulatory are in one group. Another group is almost exclusively a sit-down class. Because the most expressive parts of our bodies are the hands and arms, Eu­rythmy can be done for many years in these classes. It is often a great relief for the elderly person who may have suffered a stroke, for instance, or for other rea­sons has difficulty with balance, to change over to the sit-down class. They often find, by being freed from the worry of how to stand, they can now really en­joy the class again and deepen their ex­perience of Eurythmy. In a home such as the Fellowship Community, we also have classes for those who are in their final stages of life. We perform Eurythmy for them and may even share some thoughts with them about what we are presenting.

I hope you will find a Eurythmist near you who gives classes for the eld­erly. You may find it will be a very satis­fying and rejuvenating experience.

Kristin Hawkins is a Eurythmy Therapist


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