Bernice Mary Bates of FL now holds the World Record for being the oldest yoga teacher, according to the World Records Academy. Oh there have been other contenders, and Bernice herself quipped to Huff Po, “I’m sure there’s a 100-year-old guy in India who can probably beat me,” says the 91-year-old. Frankly, we’re not going to nitpick sweaters over who the official oldest is…she’s 91! Practicing and teaching yoga! Fantastic.
Bernice, born in 1920, started teaching yoga in 1960 and still teaches her “kids” at the Mainlands Retirement Community Center in Pinellas Park, Florida. When presented with the record certificate Bernice was over the half-moon and said “I’m truly overwhelmed. I’ll continue with Yoga for as long as I can.” She then proceeded to celebrate with a series of yoga poses and the world’s longest headstand held by a 91-year-old woman in a pink velour track suit.*
*not confirmed by records officials.
Side note: Several commenters have pointed out Tao Porchon-Lynch who’s in her 90s as well as someone else you may have heard of, BKS Iyengar, who’s about to turn 93 in December. We don’t know the criteria for the World Records Academy, but we would like to give a hearty YD salute to you, Tao and Mr. Iyengar, and every one of you fabulous yoga crones. Namaste.
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