Aging well: Phyllis Sues

1Prepare to be impressed. Can Phyllis Sues really be 90 years old?  You can’t really guess her age any more since she went through Blepharoplasty Beverly Hills.Go to her website and see her in action: tango dancing, jumping rope, playing tennis, doing yoga, swinging on a trapeze, hiking.

From her 20s to her 40s, she was a professional dancer and entertainer. She then became a fashion designer, running a women’s apparel company for two decades. In the early 2000s, in her 80s, she took up the piano and tango dancing. At 85 she began practicing yoga.

9Now, five years hence, she is doing a bunch of challenging poses, as illustrated in her video and photos: Baddha Parsvakonasana (Bound Side Angle), Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand), Salamba Sirsasana I and II (Headstand), Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock), Ustrasana (Camel), Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow). You’ve got to admire her gameness to try new things, her physical fitness, and her fearlessness.

8Looking through Iyengar yoga eyes, however, I must comment on her Salamba Sirsasana I. If she were in my class, I would immediately say, “Stop, come down!” Her elbows are too wide for adequate support, and her head is tilted backward too much, hyperextending her neck.

Now, some might dislike my criticism of her pose. After all, she’s 90. But isn’t it more important for a senior to be careful about safe form? Besides, look at her: This woman is as able-bodied as folks a fraction of her age. I would hold her to the highest standards. She could go beyond merely doing the pose–to doing an excellent pose.


  1. Wow certainly inspirational! For me aging brings lots of challenges. Yet I sure am grateful yoga is a big part of my life. I’m always impressed to see older bodies beautifully in yoga poses knowing how many challenges I have in my own body.


  2. More and more inspirational women are coming forward showing us all that the myth of feminine frailty is a pernicious one. We are strong. We are determined and our vulnerability adds to our strength. Check out Olga Kotelko, whom we have sadly just lost at the age of 95. She set 34 track and field records between the ages of 75 and 95. These are the women Disney movies and storybooks should write about. Well done, ladies.
    I agree with your assessment, Luci. Coddling Phyllis for her age is insulting and is not the way to go; correcting her form is probably something she would appreciate. Older women have let go of ego. How wonderful.


  3. Her sirsasana form worries me also! She’s already proven she’s up for new learning challenges and I bet she’d enjoy working on the refinement of the pose and taking it a more intelligent level.
    I love seeing folks like her who prove that age is just a number. There’s no reason to sit down and shrivel up after retirement as so many people do.


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