Nonagenarian is Not Old By a Stretch | Print |  E-mail
Tuesday, 06 November 2012 13:33


Ninety-year-old Eva Kastel (center) practices Yoga at Castro Valley Yoga.

By Robert Souza



Even as a young girl growing up in Germany, Eva Kastel said she just couldn't get enough physical activy.


“I think my secret to long life is constantly moving, loving people and being active,” she said Monday morning as she sorted through the  birthday gifts and flowers she had received for her 90th birthday at the Baywood Court Retirement Center.


Whether it was ice skating, swimming or gymnastics, Kastel’s life has always been in motion.


Even a diagnosis of scoliosis, an excessive curving of the spine, did not hinder her from participating in the physical activities she loved so much.


In 1937 Eva and her family fled to Uruguay from Germany to escape the Nazi regime.


Kastel spent much of her time there, swimming and roller-skating to keep in motion, and teaching rhythmical gymnastics and modern dance during the winter months. Sixty-three years ago she came to the United States, settling first in New York, then Berkeley.


After earning Bachelor and Masters degrees from Holy Names College, Kastel went on to a career as a high school teacher, retiring in 2000 at the age of 79.


Since 1985, she has practiced Yoga to alleviate discomfort from the scoliosis. By 1985 she completed teacher training in Yoga and taught at a studio in San Leandro.


Kastel “keeps moving” these days by teaching and attending classes at Castro Valley Yoga on the Boulevard.


“I can’t do Yoga the way I did 15 years ago,” she allowed, “but I can still do it and I love it.”




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