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Are You Too Old to Practice Yoga?

Old race horses are sent to the glue factory. Old cows are sent out to pasture. Old baby veals (hmmm?) are sent to the slaughter house. But what happens to people who are too old to do yoga? How do you know when you are too old? To paraphrase Lady Bracknell from The Importance of Being Earnest, “(What is) the proper average that statistics have laid down for our guidance?”

Some would say by age 40 you are slowing down, by age 50 you are shifting into park position, and by age 60+ you are wreck yard ready, slowing down everyone around you. Perhaps this is a good time to stay home and watch NCIS while eating zucchini bread. If you should decide to venture out to a yoga practice then only strive for easy poses like Namaste hand position (seen below) and deep breathing.

Yoga Teacher/Practitioner in Namaste Hand Position.

Yoga Teacher/Practitioner in Namaste Hand Position.

But wait! The lady in this picture would disagree with the above philosophy. She is age 87 Bette Calman, a yoga practitioner and, until recently, yoga teacher.

Not only can she do breathing exercises and Namaste hand position, but she can also do other fun stuff like this:

This is Bette at Age 83 Doing Yoga Crow Pose.

This is Bette at Age 83 Doing Yoga Crow Pose.

And this:

You can do yoga at any age!

You can do yoga at any age!

Bette Calman sets a wonderful example that we can practice yoga at any age. We are told in the ancient yoga text, The Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Chapter 1, Verse 64, (Brian Dana Akers translation): “One succeeds in all Yogas through energetic practice – even if one is young, OLD, VERY OLD, sick, or weak.”

If you want to know more about Bette click here to read her Facebook page, or click here to read the interview she did with Huffington Post.

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