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Which Quote from 91-Year-Old Yoga Teacher is Most Inspiring?

in YD News

We ‘met’ Bernice Bates when she was awarded the World Record for Oldest Yoga Teacher. We’ve heard some contention *cough*B.K.S. Iyengar*Porchon Tao-Lynch*cough* but after learning about Lady B and reading what has to say, this woman deserves an award! A widow of eight years, a mother of three, grandmother of seven and great-grandmother of three, Bernie, as her students call her, lives alone and “rearranges her furniture” to stay active. And she does yoga before she even gets out of bed in the morning.

Needing a pickup? Here’s your full list of inspiration, aka Bernie-isms for #365yoga.

“I don’t have this reward by myself,” she said. “I share it with all the students I’ve taught through the years.”

“I’ve never had anything I had to go to the doctor for, except checkups,” says Bates, who tips the scale at 105 pounds and is about 5 foot, 2 inches tall. “That should say something.”

“I think yoga is the best exercise there is,” says Bates, who has always been active and still swims laps.

“You’re not just standing on a treadmill and going, going, going and you get off and can hardly walk,” she says. “Yoga itself means yoke, that’s to join. We join our mind, our body and our spirit in everything we do.

“It’s for everybody,” she says enthusiastically about yoga. “There’s thousands of postures. You can pick and choose. You do what you can.

“It’s non-competitive, which is the best thing about it,” she said.

“It just encouraged me to keep going and it made my life better,” Bates said.

She lives alone and tends to her flower garden, does the housework and likes to rearrange her furniture, so she’s always moving it around. “If I didn’t keep myself in shape, I wouldn’t be able to do it at 91,” she says.

“Why should I quit? she asks. “As long as I can do it and be a help to someone else, I’ll just stay as long as I can. I get a joy out of seeing someone learning.”

[via MSNBC]



13 comments… add one
  • What an inspiring story. This shows how being active and doing yoga can truly keep you healthy.

  • Amazing spirit. I wish she were more in the spotlight. She could be the “game changer” that positively impacts yoga in the media.

  • Meri

    An elderly lady told my Yoga teacher/massage therapist friend that she was living out her dream and that yoga and massage was what she had wanted to do when she was younger but never got around to it.
    I never want to be that person. Now this lady here, that’s living the dream. Still kickin’ it at 91 and living like she means it.

  • i must be on a yogadork roll, i saw this somewhere too, and again (groundhogishly) am glad it’s here too 😉

    my fav quote?

    ““Why should I quit? she asks. “As long as I can do it”


  • Mykee

    Hi Mykee here from Philippines. I stumbled into your blog site accidentally and Im glad I did! I have devoted myself with Yoga for about 8 years now and the one reason why I keep my devotion is because of this:

    “It just encouraged me to keep going and it made my life better,” Bates said.

    I have always wanted to grow as a person and Yoga has helped me a lot! Ill be keeping your blog site as one of my favourites.

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