World's Oldest Yoga Teacher Is As Adorable As She Is Flexible


Forget trying to help this little old lady across the street: Bernice Bates, who's 91 years old, is probably more spry than you are. Guinness World Records has just awarded her the title of Oldest Yoga Teacher, and she teaches once a week at her retirement center in Florida. The great-grandmother may not actually be the oldest living yoga teacher—there could be an older yogi hiding in some remote location—but she's the oldest one to have filled out all the necessary Guinness paperwork, and that counts for a lot!

Bernice started doing yoga 50 years ago, well before it was cool. She favors a gentle practice, "no sweaty, strenuous or competitive stretching in her classes." Bates, who starts each day by stretching to get her blood moving, likes yoga because it involves your whole body:

It gives you a good outlook. It involves your mind. Your mind, your body and your spirit. They all work together and they're all coordinated. Whereas when you're on a treadmill, that's all you're doing, and you're tired when you're done. We build energy in our body, we don't take it out.

It seems to be working for her because, remarkably, she has no health problems and doesn't need any medication. When she's not doing yoga, she's into gardening, attending her Methodist church, talking about the Tampa Bay Rays, lifting weights, walking, swimming, and doing tai chi. It's hard not to be impressed by Bernice, even if she does make you feel like a lazy slouch!

Florida Yoga Teacher Named 'World's Oldest' [AP]