For Antoinette Frank, acting her age is not an option.
Frank, who turned 90 last week, teaches yoga twice weekly at the Toms River Senior Center, and has been doing so for nearly 20 years.
The spry 90-year-old could easily pass for a woman 15 to 20 years younger.
Her students threw her a birthday bash last week at the center, complete with cake, balloons and a cash gift.
“She never misses a class, nothing keeps her from getting to class and taking care of her ‘yogans,'” said Bette Salman, who along with Shelby Schultz, organized the party.
“She has unwavering dedication, she can do more postures than any one,” said Salman.
“We can’t find anyone to replace her, she really keeps us going,” added Schultz.
“We wouldn’t be in the condition we’re in without Antoinette,” said yoga student Lillian Tvedt, 75. “She makes us feel like a million dollars, she’s an amazing woman.”
Bob Simonton, 79, the only male student in the 35-member yoga class, said he’s been taking Frank’s class for three years.
“There’s great camaraderie, being with a lot of people who have similar interests. It’s the only exercise I get. It picks me up, it’s peaceful, I feel great afterwards,” he said. “She’s wonderful, she’s always cheerful and she’s a great inspiration.”
Frank said she learned yoga 50 years ago from watching routines on television when her husband went to work.
“I love the people here, it’s a wonderful class, I love being in the crowd,” Frank said.
“I’m a giver. I don’t care if anyone does anything for me. I wouldn’t think less of them if nothing was done for my birthday,” she said.
Frank says she has no health problems, and her husband of 69 years still mows their lawn.
“He’s 96 years old, he has macular degeneration and he’s had a heart attack, but he’s still active and independent,” Frank said. “We get along well. I’m an individual and he’s an individual.”