How an 83 year old putting on her slippers inspired me to practice Yoga.

Many of us may of heard of  Bette Calman the 83 years old  Yoga teacher from Australia performing Matsyasana, Peacock pose or Bernice Bates one of the worlds oldest Yoga Teachers who continues to inspire her students with her asana practice and her flexibility.

Yet, for me it was an 83year old woman in an elderly rehabilitation ward who inspired me to try yoga.

Fifteen years ago I was a working as an Occupational Therapist on an Elderly medical ward assessing clients level of independence with a view to rehabilitate them so they could return safely home to live.
Each day new clients were admitted and each day I indirectly assessed their daily living skills. Initially I saw them on the ward and observed how they got on and off their bed, balanced to put their slippers on and walk to the day room for a chat.

‘Ethel’ was different.

With her slippers on the floor at the side of her bed, ‘Ethel’ effortlessly reached down to pick them up.
I watched her move with ease and steadiness.
Lying on her back she extended each leg up, into a the shape of Supta Padagasana and elegantly put her slippers on.
Seeing my jaw drop she said ‘Oh, I’ve been practising Yoga for the past 30 years…’

Bette Calman

Bette Calman


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