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.”
- World’s Oldest Yoga Teacher Still Teaches Yoga, Sets World Record
- Silver Age Seva: Free Yoga for Seniors
- Yoga Hero: At Almost 92-Years-Old, Tao Porchon-Lynch Will Teach Yoga As Long As She Lives
- Yoga-Off! Yoginis At 83 and 90-Years-Old Remind Us: Practice, Practice, All Is Coming
- World’s Youngest Yoga Teacher?
- Donna Karan Launches Zen Therapy, Holistic Care, Yoga at UCLA Hospital