91-Year-Old Yoga Instructor Sets World Record

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Mar 21, 2012

Mind-Body-Spirit News

While B.K.S. Iyengar may still be teaching at 93, Guinness World Records has awarded the distinction of “oldest yoga instructor’ to Bernice Bates, a 91-year-old who instructs yoga at the Mainlands Retirement Community Center in Pinellas Park, Florida. Bates has been practicing and teaching hatha yoga since about 1960, according to She currently offers a once-weekly hourlong yoga class that includes 10–12 poses and ends with relaxation. Personally, she practices several postures before getting out of bed every morning.

“I think yoga is the best exercise there is,” said Bates. She told Lisa Flam, contributor, “Why should I quit? As long as I can do it and be a help to someone else, I’ll just stay as long as I can. I get a joy out of seeing someone learning.”

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About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA’s mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author base...