The benefits of yoga were not on the radar of Anne Noonan, aka the ‘Silver Yogi’, when she worked in a high stress corporate environment in the 1980s and 90s.
Anne felt as if her career was sabotaging her health and vitality. She observed the angst of older women with whom she worked. The ‘glass ceiling’ was the cause of much discontent and this was reflected in attitudes and overall wellbeing. She became concerned that stress-related illness and overall poor health might be the inevitable outcome of this work. Anne knew she didn’t want to become old and ill in that environment, but leaving didn’t seem to be an option. Her upbringing had taught her to work hard and stay in one job forever.
She had already experienced worrying health issues. As her health took a downward spiral she recognized that she had to do something about it. Her intuition was telling her to get out, so when a redundancy was offered she was delighted to have a reason to leave the corporate world.
Flair and fashion
At that time Anne’s interest in exercise only went as far as aerobics, with her real interest being the cute aerobic outfits. She certainly hadn’t embraced the benefits of yoga. But within her existing interests lay the clues to her reinvention!
Anne always liked working with women and had a natural flair for fashion and style. Her business as a personal stylist was launched, helping women to dress to impress in the workplace. With a business partner she started a fashion range and for ten years she helped women look their best on the outside.
Despite leaving the corporate environment and doing work she loved, her health was still not good. She was worried about insulin resistance, possible future Type 2 diabetes, menopausal symptoms, insomnia, anemia and a hysterectomy. You would never link these issues with the healthy Anne Noonan of now, but that was her life then. She knew she didn’t want to take HRT, antidepressants or any of the other medications that were being suggested to her.
She felt challenged by two questions:
- Was there a way she could be healed using holistic methods?
- What was the point of helping women to look good on the outside if they were feeling terrible and unhealthy inside?
And from this another reinvention began. She started to study Nutrition and gain qualifications in this field. As she changed her dietary habits, and food addictions were overcome, her health improved significantly.
Discovering the benefits of yoga
Incorporating movement into her life became important to her so Anne decided to try yoga. A Bikram yoga class – 90 minutes in an intense temperature – nearly killed her. Yet she felt that yoga may have something to offer her. She practiced and then studied yoga and over time it became an essential part of her life. It also became the basis of her new business, offering yoga classes predominantly to women over 50.
Even a yoga business can be stressful
Anne’s skill as a yoga teacher was soon recognized and her classes became very popular. Requests for classes for groups and in specific locations poured in and she said yes to all the opportunities. By the end of 2019 Anne was running between 20 – 23 yoga classes a week. She had to hold herself back from demonstrating all the yoga moves as she was completely exhausted after a few classes every day.
And then Covid-19 ground everything to a halt. But people wanted the benefits of yoga even more while they were isolated at home. Anne once again listened to her intuition and met this demand with online yoga classes. This opened the possibility of yoga classes to people who were geographically not able to attend her classes, or to those who were only prepared to try yoga in the privacy of their own home. The benefits of yoga have been greatly appreciated by this new group of students, and existing students have embraced the new delivery medium.
Working with people of a similar age Anne hasn’t encountered any ageism. In fact her age is an advantage. Her vibrant good health and flexibility make her a great role model for her clients. She happily acknowledges that it was her own lack of wellness that drove her to find a formula to heal herself, and it is this formula that she shares with others. A healthy lifestyle leading to no disease or degeneration in your 60s and beyond is the ‘simple but not easy’ formula that she encourages other women to embrace.
Anne now wishes that she had known earlier in life that it is possible to create your own work and be successful. She wishes that she had developed an entrepreneurial mindset at an earlier age.
This ‘Silver Yogi’ loves to help people stretch their minds as well as their bodies. She encourages them to step into areas that they never thought they could. Anne now believes that older women need to step up and realize that they are far more powerful than they believe they are. They can then run with that belief to achieve all that they hope for.
From her greatest struggles has grown her greatest gift. She inspires other women to experience their best possible health and strength through good nutrition and the power and benefits of yoga. Through that she inspires them to live their best life.
You are NOT too old for whatever you want to do
When asked what she would most like to share with people, Anne said she’d love people to believe in themselves and never listen to “You’re too old for that”.
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