105-Year-Old Lil Hansen still teaches yoga and shows us that age is just a number
Living to see 100 candles on the birthday cake is pretty freaking amazing by anyone’s standards. Living to be 105? Shocking. But celebrating your 105th birthday by teaching your weekly yoga class? Well, that’s downright miraculous. And that’s just what centenarian Lil Hansen did last week.
While some people think growing older means slowing down, Hansen is having none of it. Instead of celebrating her birthday with an extra tall gin and tonic and a few Golden Girls re-runs like some of us do (just me?), this 105-years-young woman from Ludington, Michigan celebrated by teaching a yoga class at the local senior center – just like she does every week.
Born on November 30, 1911, before women had the right to vote, Hansen pre-dates the sinking of the Titanic, World War I, and Hellman’s Mayonnaise. She started teaching yoga a few years ago – at the ripe old age of 103 — and she’s still going strong.
“I don’t feel any different,” Hansen said. “I’m just a bit more careful than I was years ago, but I don’t feel old.”
While most people would consider themselves lucky enough to live to be 100, and some seniors prefer to wave their canes and wax on about the “good ol’ days,” Hansen keeps young and spry with a little Downward Dog and Sun Salutations. In fact, according to the Washington Post, studies suggest that yoga can help reduce heart rate and blood pressure, relieve anxiety and depression, and ease back pain.
Not only does Hansen teach the weekly yoga class to a group of 70- and 80-year-olds, but she’s also president of her Bridge team and still plays a mean card game. Talk about #lifegoals.
What does Hansen think about turning 105? “It’s no different than being 55,” she told Ludington Daily News. “The only thing different is I don’t have the friends I had at 55. The change is, I’ve lost all my friends.”
But while she might think she’s lost her friends, the folks at the senior center might beg to differ. Dozens of people turned out for a surprise party for her at the senior center after the birthday yoga class. Not surprisingly, she’s an inspiration to the youngsters there, many of whom are in their 70s and 80s.
Hansen still lives alone in the house she grew up in, and refuses to let her age define her. When asked if she feels blessed to be able to do all of this at her age, she responded, “I don’t think about it, I just do it.”