Over the last few days in this series on Longevity, I’ve told you about two amazing masters of longevity. One was Joe Rollino, who unfortunately passed away on Jan. 11, 2009 (having been hit by a car) at the young age of 104; and then I told you about the amazing Jack Lalanne, who at 95 has proclaimed that he plans to live to 150.
So let’s look today at another person who is an amazing example of someone who is experiencing a long and vital life, and has not allowed age to slow her down.
This person is the Yogi Grandma, 83-year-old Australian yoga instructor and grandmother Bette Calman, who is still bending over backwards to spread the benefits of the ancient Indian discipline.
Bette has been teaching yoga for 40 years, and still is extremely flexible. She’s the author of three yoga books, including one called Yoga for Arthritis.
She can do all the difficult moves including the agonizing “peacock” where the body is held in a horizontal position by the strength of the arms alone; she can also pull off a tricky raised “lotus,” “bridge,” and a headstand with ease.
She can also put her head between her knees and hold her ankles, putting her inflexible grandchildren to shame.
On top of all that, she still teaches up to 11 yoga classes a week
“I’m proof that if you keep at it, you’ll get there. I can do more now than I could 50 years ago,” Bette Calman said.
And she has no plans to give up and retire anytime soon. “You’re never too old. The body is a remarkable instrument. It can stretch and stretch, and get better all the time. Forget age,” she says. “Even a basic posture, or just going to a window and breathing deeply, can have big benefits.”
It’s that spirit that has made Bette Calman a legend in her native Australia.
She was a pioneer of yoga in the 1950’s, ran yoga centers for 33 years, and made regular TV appearances in the 1970’s.
She then thought she would retire, and moved to be closer to her daughter, but the call of yoga was just too much for her to ignore, and here she is now, teaching 11 yoga classes a week, and looking like she’s not planning on stopping anytime soon.
Living a Low Density Lifestyle – especially as a longtime yogi/yoga teacher – has made Bette Calman a model of longevity. As she says, “Yoga keeps you young.
“Never have I gone to a yoga class and wished I was somewhere else, because I know I’m going to come out feeling on the top of the world. There’ll always be yoga.”