Yoga teacher to teach again after ‘she turns 100’

Connie Dennison has been teaching classes in Dunfermline for 40 years. Picture: Mark Ferguson

Connie Dennison has been teaching classes in Dunfermline for 40 years. Picture: Mark Ferguson

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A WOMAN who is believed to be the world’s oldest yoga teacher has vowed to continue holding her popular classes after her 100th birthday.

Connie Dennison held a yoga session last week and is hoping to be fit enough to resume the classes after she turns 100 later this year.

Mrs Dennison, from North Queensferry, Fife, recently suffered a fall and has been left with a weakened left side following a bout of shingles two years ago.

But the nonagenarian – who has held weekly sessions for pensioners in a local church hall for the past 40 years – has promised to fight back to full fitness for the new term.

She said: “I’ve not been as fit as I would have liked recently but I am determined to carry on with my classes. My ladies in the class are like family now and I wouldn’t like to disappoint them.

“I had a small fall recently which has affected me and the shingles has left me with a slightly weak left side, but I have been practising yoga for more than 40 years so it will take more than that to stop me.”

Mrs Dennison, a great-grandmother of ten, first took up the fitness regime around 50 years ago while living in Melbourne, Australia, after spotting an advert on the side of a tram.

For the past 40 years Mrs Dennison – who will receive her birthday correspondence from the Queen on 4 August – has been passing on her knowledge to members of the class she holds at St Leonard’s Church, in Dunfermline, Fife.

She said: “It was around 1965, when I was living in Melbourne, when I first took up yoga.

“A friend and I saw an ad on a tram and thought that looked like fun.

“From the start I was hooked and have been practicing it ­almost daily since then. It is a wonderful exercise routine and it so healthy for the body and the mind.

“The problem back then was nobody had really heard of yoga and it was considered by some to some kind of New Age fad.”

Her enthusiasm for yoga has also spread through her family. Daughter Carol, 72, granddaughter Susannah, 45, and even nine-year-old great-granddaughter Coco, are all keen practitioners.

Mrs Dennison was recently put forward for the title “World’s Oldest Yoga Teacher” after reports named New Yorker Tao Porchon-Lynch, 96, as the Guinness World Record holder.

But Mrs Dennison, who was born in Lancashire, has admitted she “couldn’t care less” about the honour after Guinness officials denied her the title due to her not holding any official qualifications in yoga.

She said: “Some of my family and some of my ladies in the class asked me to if it would be all right for them to put my name forward, and I reluctantly agreed.

“As it turns out I would need yoga qualifications to hold the official title, but when I first started nobody had heard of yoga, never mind have qualifications in it.

“I am not one to hog the limelight so I couldn’t care less about any records, as I am quite happy doing my own thing in my own time.

“I’m just determined to get back to my ladies at St Leonard’s as the new session starts in September.”

Class member Sophie Henderson, 90, from Dunfermline, said: “I’ve been attending the classes since 1975 and I would definitely put me still going strong at 90 down to Mrs Dennison’s classes and yoga. She really is an inspiration.”

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