The Race is On: Who is the World’s Oldest Yoga Teacher?

Gladys Morris is a yoga teacher from Manchester, UK.  Popular among her students, she teaches four classes a week, and spent her last birthday teaching her usual Monday class.  But Morris has something that sets her apart from most other yoga teachers: she’s 90 years old.

“For a 90-year-old, she’s absolutely grand. She’s an inspiration to us all.” said Lynne Grimes, one of Morris’ longtime yoga students.

Morris began teaching yoga 40 years ago.  Now her students are petitioning the Guiness Book of World Records to bestow upon her the title of World’s Oldest Yoga Teacher.  If she gets in, she’ll beat the current record holder by five years and three months. 

Teaching Yoga in Your 90s

But Morris isn’t the only nonagenarian yoga teacher around.  Tao Porchon-Lynch is a 90-year-old former screenwriter turned yogi and competitive ballroom dancer.  Her feats might be daunting to someone half her age, but Porchon-Lynch isn’t phased by anything.

“I’ve never thought about age in my life,” she said. “In fact, it’s only when I had a hip replacement that somebody said, ‘You won’t be able to do this anymore.’ So I sent the doctor a photograph lifting off the ground in lotus, and he was amazed I could do it.”

And then there’s Canadian Ida Herbert.  Herbert is 93, and didn’t start practicing yoga until she was 50 years old.  Now she teaches regular classes, and attributes her yoga practice to her health and vitality.  And others are taking notice, too: recently, CARP (the Canadian Association of Retired People) named her one of the top 50 Canadians over 45.

No matter who gets to be in the Book, all three women are impressive examples of the yoga lifestyle.  

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