At 90 years old, most people can barely move a muscle, but one age-defying great-grandmother can bend and flex her entire body — and she even teaches classes on contorting.
Gladys Morris, who turned 90 on Jan. 31, is a longtime yoga instructor at the Shaw Lifelong Learning Centre in Oldham, England, where she teaches weekly Hatha yoga classes on Mondays and Tuesdays, and twice on Thursdays. Morris has been teaching the ancient Indian exercise for more than 40 years, bending over backward for students who fill her classes to maximum capacity week after week.
Now, her devoted students want to give Morris something in return: a crack at landing a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. As of right now, Guinness lists the “world’s oldest yoga teacher” as 84-year-old Bette Calman from Australia, who was actively teaching classes at the Williamstown Yoga Centre in Victoria last February when she set the world record. But the title and attention aren’t what drives Morris to practice yoga. For her, it’s much deeper than that.
“Yoga has been a huge part of my life for a very long time, and I have made lots of wonderful friends over the years. I credit yoga for keeping me fit and flexible,” Morris told the Oldham Evening Chronicle.
Morris favorite yoga position to teach in class include the super-contorted “plow” pose, in which she raises her feet over her head, keeping her arms and shoulders firmly on the mat. Morris also enjoys the “bridge” position, the “shoulder stand” and the extended “triangle” pose.
“I am sure her yoga has helped her get to 90 and remain so cheerful and positive. She broke four bones in her back in 2006 and doctors were amazed at how supple and strong her muscles were. They think she recovered quickly as a result of doing yoga for so long.”
Clearly, Morris has lived a long and happy life with the help of yoga.