The next star in my Aging Well series would be a centenarian if she were human. In dog years, she’s 15. Meet, Momo, a Labrador Retriever with high energy, strong will, sleek physique, and unbridled enthusiasm. When we adopted her almost five years ago, she acted like a dog half her age. She’d roam Kits beach, chasing herons, swimming, ignoring commands, and…… Continue reading Aging Well: Momo the Black Lab
Prepare 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.…… Continue reading Aging well: Phyllis Sues
Old age. Why do we dread it? A common fear is ill health, which is probably why 95-year-old Olga Kotelko, the first in my Aging Well series, is so impressive. Another concern is loneliness. There will come a point when we lose friends and our closest companions. That’s why I’m now featuring Misao Ihara, whom I…… Continue reading Aging well: Misao Ihara
Nowadays it’s no surprise to see super fit and active 70- and 80-somethings. But beyond 90? I recently (and belatedly) read “The Incredible Flying Nonagenarian” by Bruce Grierson (New York Times, November 25, 2010) about Olga Kotelko, almost 95, world champion in track and field. Born in 1919, she grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan,…… Continue reading Aging well: Olga Kotelko
Are there “windows of time” for some things in life? One of my yoga students, a runner/marathoner, hypothesized that most people’s bodies can tolerate long-distance running only for two or three decades. Those who run hard from teens to 40s often aren’t running past 50. Those who start later often continue later, but within similar…… Continue reading From the “It’s never too late” files: the centenarian marathoner
One of my yoga students, “Sara,” does endurance sports. Before her annual summer triathlon, she stops attending yoga classes as she ramps up her training. Time is limited and she believes that “loose” muscles are diminished in strength. Another student, “Chris,” will celebrate her birthday next year by running a marathon. Swimming was her original…… Continue reading Mixing yoga and sports
I just bumped into a yoga student I taught in February. He’d attended my classes while his teacher was studying with the Iyengars in India. “Ned,” a professor emeritus of chemistry, was brand new to yoga. Following directions seemed alien to him at first, and I had to be extra firm. He found basic stretches…… Continue reading Remember when summer vacation seemed to last forever?
In January my friend Louise, a writing teacher, environmental activist, and yoga practitioner, had a small heart attack. Around the same time, I heard that one of Canada’s senior-most Iyengar yoga teachers had an aortic dissection. It struck me that two females and lifelong yogis, have heart disease. It made me wonder about the value of…… Continue reading Yoga and cardio: Can you really change your genetic destiny?
In running, they say, “vary the terrain.” Roads, trails, hills, flats. Different types of terrain develop your fitness in different ways. I recently found this tidbit applicable to… yoga teaching. Stymied by Dog pose In winter I taught a small class at a community centre. Whether due to demographics or to coincidence, all of my students…… Continue reading Vary the terrain
Yesterday Tara Parker-Pope wrote “An Older Generation Falls Prey to Eating Disorders” in her New York Times health column. It caught my eye because it profiles a 58-year-old yoga teacher who developed anorexia in her late 30s. “At 53, carrying just 85 pounds on her 5-foot-3 frame,” Parker-Pope writes, “Ms. Shaw checked herself in to…… Continue reading The secret lives of yoga teachers
Last week, I happened upon the blog of Lauren Lipton, a journalist and novelist based in New York. (Blogger’s fate: you waste time reading other people’s blogs.) In her post “a whole lot of nothing,” she mentions, “I can now remain in the plank pose for three and a half torturous minutes.” That caught my…… Continue reading Holding the plank
In her email newsletter, Kailua-Kona yoga teacher Barbara Uechi mentioned a video, Old Man Dances to Lady Gaga, posted on Today’s BIG Thing. I couldn’t resist checking it out. I admit that I’m a sucker for uplifting Joe Shmoe performances. But why exactly did it make the cut? Why is it a “big thing” to see a silvery senior…… Continue reading Old Man, Lady Gaga, and the unexpected