PROOF that yoga keeps you young comes with the (near)-retiral, at the age of 73, of Montrose instructor Margaret McDonald.
Mrs McDonald was guest of honour recently at a lunch at Newtonmill, by Brechin, the home of yoga student Mrs Rose Rickman.
And during the event she was presented with a bottle of champagne by another former pupil who was also a founder member of her classes, the Lord Lieutenant of Angus, Mrs Georgiana Osborne.
Mrs McDonald told the Review that she had become interested in yoga in the 1960s when it was featured on television by expert Richard Hittleman.
She told us: “He brought yoga back to Britain!”
But it was not until the 1980s that Mrs McDonald turned her interest into the instructing side of the art.
She enrolled with the Scottish Yoga Teachers’ Association (SYTA) and began a two-year, part-time course. This included residential weekends in Edinburgh.
The popularity of her classes soon grew, and venues included Inchbare Hall, Stracathro Hall, St Cyrus and, to her surprise and delight, Kinnaird Castle.
Mrs McDonald told us that the popularity of yoga fluctuates, and it sometimes depends upon who in the public eye is taking an interest in it.
She added that in the 1990s, it was Madonna and one of the Spice Girls.
Whilst regretting that she will no longer be taking classes out and about, Mrs McDonald will keep on the one she instructs at Columba Hall at St Mary’s Church in Montrose.
She commented that it is within easy distance from her home, and that one thing she will not miss is the travelling in winter conditions.
But she remains well able to instruct. She told us: “I can still stand on my head!”
She added: “You must also practice at home. It’s not just something to be done at classes.”
Mrs McDonald still has other interests, including the local cardiac group.
She also leads exercises at the Macmillan Centre at Stracathro.
And Mrs McDonald was the guest of honour at another celebration last week, at the George Hotel where she was honoured for her work with Montrose Yoga Club.
r During the celebration at Newtonmill members of Mrs McDonald’s class completed a sponsored Macmillan Mile walk to Stracathro School and back, raising a commendable £332.