And now for today’s reminder that you’re never too old to start something new. We’d like to dedicate this post to the fighting spirit and the young at heart. Centenarian Charlotte Bleistein of Milwaukee, WI passed away over the weekend, but the fearless and passionate way she lived will never die.
A lawyer, political activist and all-around badass woman, Bleistein began her yoga practice at 102 years young.
Jim Stingl of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel took a class with her back in April:
“I don’t do a very good job because I can’t get down on the floor,” Bleistein told Stingl. “Everybody else can get down on the floor.”
Bleistein practiced her yoga on a chair with the help of her teacher Jamie Mullen and became a regular to the weekly classes held at church across the street from her home.
“It strengthens your body, doing the exercises,” Bleistein said at the time. “I’m in pretty good health for the age I’m at. Very few 102s are as active as I am.”
Locals knew her for being a fierce activist for peace and progress even into her 100s, not to mention still taking exercise classes and mile-long walks. But Bleistein was always active. Earning her law degree in 1939, Bleistein faced sexism within the field but eventually opened up her own law firm in the early 1950s, according to the Journal Sentinel piece. She literally built her own house with a friend of hers that became her home and office, and even into her later years remained an active member of organizations such as the United Nations Association of Greater Milwaukee, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and the National Organization for Women. Up until the day she passed, she was out and about attending community events.
Though she hadn’t practiced yoga earlier in life (that we know of), there’s something so beautiful and poignant about her giving it a go at age 102. May we all have the chutzpah and gusto to attempt new things in life, no matter what age. And may we all remember sheroes like Charlotte Bleistein who show us life is worth living and experiencing right until the very end.
Charlotte Bleistein, honorary YogaDork.
Read more about her life and passing here.