Sutton on Sea woman says yoga saved her life - and she’s still teaching others

Dorothy Howard recently celebrated her 90th birthday.
Dorothy Howard recently celebrated her 90th birthday.

A Sutton on Sea pensioner who recently celebrated her 90th birthday says yoga has saved her life.

And, Dorothy Howard doesn’t just perform yoga, she is still teaching classes!

Dorothy Howard has always loved dancing, riding and swimming and started didn’t yoga until when she was 44.

She had previously lived and worked in London but discovered yoga after moving to the Isle of Islay in Scotland.

Dorothy explained: “I started doing yoga 46 years ago and even back then, I was quite old!

“At the time, I had been having some difficulties with my breathing and my doctor said I had an incurable chest complaint and that I would only have a few years left to live.”

Dorothy suffered more complications soon after when she was given routine medication to treat tennis elbow and that led to what she describes as a ‘life threatening reaction’.

She added: “All the medical people seemed to do was give me bad news.

“So I decided to step away from the doctors when I got a little better and turned to yoga.”

Dorothy says she hasn’t looked back and believes yoga has prolonged her life.

She said: “Yoga was really popular at the time I started and it was all over the TV so I began taking the odd classes or two where I could and loved it.

“I was done with doctors and decided to only go back if I had a bad accident.”

Dorothy says there was a shortage of people teaching yoga at the time so she decided to do something about it.

She learned the theory side of yoga - as well as the actual physical movements.

She is adamant the discipline indicates mind, body and spirit should all be equal.

After ten yearsin Scotland, Dorothy moved to Sutton on Sea and has been teaching yoga ever since.

She added: “Even now at 90, I have a very dedicated class of ladies I teach every Tuesday evening. They just won’t let me stop.

“I still do my breathing exercises everyday and work on my relaxation and posture.

“I have also been a vegetarian for 45 years and I believe with my diet change - and doing yoga for so many years - has saved my life.”

Dorothy says that she can’t live without yoga and feels it has helped give her a ‘sense of control’.

She explained: “Yoga has helped me find a way of dealing with my health. It has really helped and I couldn’t be without it now.