Yoga Banishes Back Pain & Malaise

A former nurse reveals how her ninth decade has been transformed

By Robin Earl

Four years ago, Dolly Roberts of Jeffersonton was at a crossroads. Her husband passed away and there was talk of moving to an assisted living situation. One of her sons suggested, “You don’t want to move out of your house, but you need to be around people. Why don’t you join a gym?”

She passed by a gym or two, then her doctor suggested the Fauquier Health Wellness Center. Dolly soon became a fan.

“I had back pain when I started here. After a while, I realized that my back didn’t hurt any more.”

Dolly, 84 years old, attends stretch, strengthen and balance, barre and yoga classes four days a week. She says she thinks it’s important for her to maintain her schedule at the Wellness Center. “The staff encourages you to come consistently. I come Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during the day, and Thursday in the evening. It’s my night out. I have developed real friendships here, too. It adds to my social life. Everyone here is so kind.”

The real game changer for Dolly has been yoga. In addition to the group class, she meets with exercise physiologist Denise DeCarlo for an individual session once a week. As Denise guides Dolly through flexibility and strength exercises, the two joke and laugh, and share stories from the latest yoga magazine.

“Denise is a real yoga person, and I love it too. When I started, I realized I wasn’t as strong as I thought I was and that I had some balance issues. My balance and flexibility have definitely improved. I do strength training once a week with exercise physiologist Meghan Costello, and I know that has helped too,” Dolly said.

“I feel better. I used to suffer from malaise. I was so tired. Now they tell me I have lots of energy. Old people are supposed to be inactive, but not me. I have so much to do.”

Dolly, a former nurse, is happy to be continuing her active lifestyle. She grows her own vegetables and keeps guinea hens. Engaged and engaging, Dolly will wax eloquent on organic veggies and grass-fed beef, given half a chance. She says she wants to stay busy through her 100th birthday and beyond.

She has also, in recent months, learned how to use a computer – a great way to research yoga moves or new Brussels sprout recipes.

Pictured:  Dolly Roberts counts it a good day when she does some yoga and learns something new.

Special Winter Promotions at the Wellness Center

The Fauquier Health Wellness Center has a variety of seasonal promotions to help keep you healthy all winter long. For the month of January, new or current Wellness Center members who pay six months up front will receive:

  • 1/2 off of the joining fee, and
  • Either one hour of personal training or a free one-hour massage.

The bonus can be split into a half-hour of training and a half-hour massage ($60/$56 total value).

Resolution Solution Program

A Resolution Solution program will begin in February and will include changing six small actions that should help provide some big results.

The six-week program introduces six healthy habits. All new healthy habits should be completed six of the seven days of the week. The six habits include:

  • 8 ounces more water a day
  • Add a fruit with lunch or a vegetable with dinner
  • Turn off electronics one hour before bedtime
  • Get 10 minutes more cardio exercise each day
  • No processed foods for one meal a day
  • Be more mindful for five minutes a day (journal, meditate, breath work)

Each participant will scale these habits — easiest to hardest — and add one healthy habit each week. They will build a pyramid of big results by slowing building on small changes.


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