104-Year-Old Yogi Still Teaching and Thriving

Sarah Alender
104-Year-Old Yogi Still Teaching and Thriving

Lil Hansen of Ludington, Michigan, is 103.5 years of age as of writing, which means that everyone is asking her for nuggets of wisdom, secrets to longevity, and how to stay healthy when you become a centenarian.

Her secret? Yoga, of course! (But you knew that already, didn't ya!)

According to WZZM, a local ABC affiliate, Hansen still lives in the town where she grew up, drives her own car, and holds down a job. “I’ve lived here all my life,” Hansen told ABC. “I’m very fortunate; I really am.” On Wednesdays, she goes to her job at the Ludington Area Senior Center, where she provides yoga instruction to about 30 senior citizens.

Teaching Yoga to Seniors

 Credit: WZZM13.com

Most of the students are in their 70s and 80s, according to ABC. When asked how she manages to teach a yoga class at her age, Hansen replies, “I make it up as I go.” Her students don’t seem to have a problem with this; one called her a “true marvel,” while another referred to her as a second mother, adding that she doesn’t think there’s anything Hansen can’t do.

 Credit: WZZM13.com

Hansen, who will be 104 this November, includes standing and lying asanas, as well as those on all fours, in her hour-long yoga classes. She credits the practice with helping her reach an advanced age and speeding the healing process after a bad fall last year–in which she broke bones in her hand, knee, and foot.

She does have her funny "senior moments" where she starts to talk about how to perform a posture and then forgets the next steps—which she and her students just happily laugh off and proceed with the sequence.

Telling ABC that she doesn’t stress or agonize over her injuries or ailments, Hansen says that she wants to keep teaching yoga as long as she can. “As long as they enjoy it, I will enjoy doing it.” said Hansen.

Image credit: WZZM13.com