This is one inspirational Yogi who blows the “Im too old” excuse right out of the water! At Ninety Five she is still teaching Yoga every Monday night, Tuesday nights she goes to square dancing, Wednesdays she keeps for entertainment, Thursdays for house work and odd jobs (Vivien lives on her own!) and Fridays she catches up with friends she says!
To celebrate her 95th Birthday Vivien Vieritz attended our Yoga NRG for Soul Yoga Retreat at North Stradbroke Island last Sunday. Not only did she attend the two to three hour long Yoga sessions, she did headstands on the beach, attended extra practice teaching sessions from our Yoga NRG Teacher Trainees who are learning to teach yoga. Vivien also joined in on the impromptu run in the rain after Savasana laughing the entire time!
Her words of wisdom and stories about her life that she shared throughout the retreat were so inspirational for us all. She has been taught by the famous Mr BKS Iyengar who Vivien says complimented her on her headstands many years ago!
Pearls of wisdom that stood out simple yet so true were :
“Never be nasty to anyone, be kind!”
She also suggested “Know where your food comes from”
Vivien then went on to demonstrate headstands in her bright orange jump suit showing us many variations chatting to us the entire time she was upside down.
I first met Vivien quite a few years ago when I was teaching at Yoga Fest in Brisbane run by Jonathan Murphy. I remember seeing her front row in her leopard skin onezie 😉 I went over to her before the class letting her know if she needed to back off there were options she could take given it was a Power Yoga Class I was about to teach.
She smiled humbly and soon I recall I was in ore of witnessing her energy, stamina and her yoga practice.
Each year Ive taught at Yoga Fest or Sunshine Coast Yoga Day it is always a pleasure to see her their sparkling eyes and smiling. Seeing her literally takes my breath away.
This year at Sunshine Coast Yoga Day after my class I mentioned the retreat. I then return home from teaching Mindfulness in New Zealand to get a message on my phone from her “Im coming on your retreat but you better call me back, but not tonight as I teach yoga and not Tuesdays as I go dancing!. You better call me back as I need to get organised to know if I need to get my yoga class filled or if I can make it back in time to still teach it on Monday night”
When you get that sort of message on your mobile you can’t help but smile!
To have Vivien join us on retreat was an absolute gift
She absolutely loves dancing so we arranged some square dancing to celebrate her special birthday.
As the lucky stars and divine intervention would have it, we had a engineer mechanic from Rockhampton by the name of Steve who came on our Yoga Retreat who also loves dancing and does it twice weekly.
This made it so special for everyone there when Steve was able to lead Vivien in a waltz on her ninety fifth birthday and to finish off the retreat they danced to
I had the time of my life and did the famous dirty dancing lift!
This even brought the catering team to tears as they all came out to watch the magic moment!
Witnessing this and being part of this special occasion is a true testament to the fact Yoga ‘is’ for ‘everybody’ and practicing Yoga as Vivien says “Yoga is a gift that keeps your body healthy and your mind youthful!”
We had all walks of life attend the Yoga NRG Retreat and all ages. We had guys who were there who were mechanics, surfers, others who worked in the mines, women of all ages from a variety of backgrounds also. Some had never done yoga before, others were teachers or training to be teachers. The common thread that stood out was at the end of the day we all are vulnerable and we all just wish to be happy.
In todays modern world we need Yoga and Mindfulness more than ever to remind us to “take in the good”.
Vivien was also very impressed with the fact there were more men on our Retreat than last time, she enouraged them all to go out and tell their friends how good yoga is for them! I will share conversations we spoke about with some of the guys on retreat about men doing yoga for the first time stay tuned for my blog
Breaking The Barriers ~ Men doing yoga and the Myths about Yoga.
I will leave you with one other pearl of wisdom from Vivien
“Never judge anyone, because you just don’t know”
“Never give up” and
“Keep doing Yoga!”
On the evening of her birthday Vivien shared this
“Years ago you would have been in the grave at ninety five! And Ive no plans to be there anytime soon!” (see link below to the footage of Vivien)
Thanks Vivien you are one of the most inspirational people Ive ever met!
Thanks for encouraging everyone to “Get out there and just start sharing Yoga”
After spending time chatting to Vivien more about Mindfulness and one of the Pillars of Mindfulness being Non Judgement stay tuned for my next blog Ive written on :
How to use Mindfulness to help handle Judgement when it comes our way more skilfully.
Vivien pictured here with some of our Yoga NRG team and Retreat guests (Kristen, James, and Kate) Vivien is the one doing the headstand !
or our Yoga NRG Youtube Channel