There is always this saying about age being nothing but a number. Well, Fran Miller is living proof of it. She only became a yoga instructor in her 50s. Fast forward 40 years, she is now leading three classes every week in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles for the city’s Department of Recreation and Parks. As she approaches 91 this week, her students barely notices her age due to her energy in every lessons of hers.
“I didn’t even know she was that old,” exclamed Maureen Hanrahan, one of her students. For the past decade that she has been a part of Fran’s class, she always thought that the instructor was only in her 70s. Fran moved over from New York back in 1941. When she was just 40, her husband passed away, leaving the onetime secretary to raise two daughters. Her first ever step to try yoga out was after she spotted a newspaper advertisement for a class taught by a rabbi at the Van Nuys YMCA. In fact, yoga was something that had always fascinated her, but she mentioned it seemingly being “so far out”.
However, it was a totally different story with a rabbi teacher, considering that she herself is Jewish. Furthermore, the class was being conducted nearby. She decided to take a leap of faith and enroll herself in. Initially, the rabbi offered her free classes if she agreed to to be one of his demonstrators. She agreed to it. Eventually, she found herself filling in for his classes when he was away. During her first attempt at doing so, she was so anxious that she prepared a list of notes to aid her. However, she didn’t use them at all. After the rabbi announced his retirement, he gave her his position. Overtime, she was offered to lead private sessions, including a full-time summer job at the Highland Springs Resort in Cherry Valley, Calif.
As years continued she pass, Fran just went on teaching as she is not one who dwells on her age. “To me, it’s just a number,” she said. Although experts state that her staying power is rare, the prospect of “more and more 80- and 90-year-old participants” in yoga is foreseeable as nowadays, people generally live longer and the popularity of yoga is growing, explained George Salem, associate professor at USC’s Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, who has done a research on yoga and older practitioners. You can read more about Fran’s story here.
At OMG Yoga, we offer a variety of private classes tailored to each individual’s needs. If you feel that you require more attention and assistance from the instructor, then our private yoga class is the one for you!