A great-grandmother-of-seven is still flexing away aged 85, thanks to her love of YOGA.
Yoga fanatic Betty Marshall has been practising the art for more than 40 years, and says it has transformed her life, making her fitter and very flexible.
Mrs Marshall has taught classes for 42 years and has even used it help people with multiple sclerosis, stroke victims and many other handicapped people.
“I qualified in 1974 and I’ve been teaching it ever since then”, Betty smiled.
“It truly is the best thing to do to balance the body with the mind. I took it up in 1970. I had been ill and couldn’t do any strong physical exercise.
“I had also met an Indian lady who had taught me breathing exercises, and it happened from there. I decided to take it up and teach it to others.”
Betty, from Scarcroft, West Yorks., has just taught her last regular class at her local village hall, but says she will continue practising and take the occasional class.
She said: “I have a disabled husband and mainly because of him and having other jobs I found it too much to go every single week and I was getting very tired.”
Betty, who has also previously worked as a reflexologist, trained in Leeds at a night school and was certified by the British Wheel of Yoga in 1974.
The pensioner, who has two children, six grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren, suffers from a degenerative eye condition which is treated regularly but has not let her age slow her down.
“Of course there are certain positions I can’t do anymore due to my age. I can’t hold my head down, for instance.
“From starting I practised with friends until I felt confident teaching people.
“You do a lot of things over the years, I am now 85 but I can still teach, you don’t have to do the postures to teach, I can still do quite a few of the things but if you are a good teacher you can talk people through it.”
She added: “Yoga has made me fitter and stronger and it teaches you a full balance of mind and body.
“The idea really and truly is how your physical body houses your mind. There’s a lot of anatomy involved, and you learn physiology and the literature along with it.
“It’s not a sport of any kind – it’s a way of life. There are a lot of ethics involved in Yoga and it makes you think deeper and reflect on yourself.”
She added: “I love my classes and I believe my students enjoy them as well. We have a little meditation and quite a bit of breathing practice.
“We have ten minutes of relaxation and of course we improve ourselves physically with our postures.
“We have a lot of fun, friendship and better health mentally, physically and emotionally.”