Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

OTTAWA – As the morning mist surrenders to sunshine, a captivating community in eastern Ontario comes to life.

At a local yoga and fitness studio, Hannah Hamsa helps villagers with their daily awakening.

“Hear the breath, feel the breath,” she says calmly.

The 83-year-old took his first class nearly seven decades ago.

“The first lesson my yoga teacher said this will help you with the hurried, worried world,” she smiled.

Hannah Hamsa

Hannah has provided strength and peace to the students here for 35 years. Her classes are a favorite among yogis and yogis of all ages, like the 92-year-old beef farmer, Art Abbey.

“We are very fortunate to have her,” Abbey said.

“You can see from the number that keeps coming out that she’s obviously very popular.”

“She’s a great example of how to stay in shape as you get older,” said Hannah’s student and friend June Elliott.

“She is very inspiring, very well known in the area and everyone loves Hannah,” she said with a warm smile.

Hannah loves her community.

“Everyone takes care of each other,” says the energetic eight-year-old with a bouncing in the crotch.

She walks around Vankleek Hill four times a week in hopes that her steps will inspire others to get started.

“When you do it a few times, you feel the benefits of it. You start to feel good and you say, ‘Wow, that’s why I feel better!’ ”She said.

Hannah Hamsa

As he strolls through a Vankleek Hill Park, a yoga student stops Hannah to thank her.

“When I hold your class, even once a week, it saves me,” the student said.

“Seeing a beginner walk through the door to my yoga class, I know in my heart that something will change for them,” Hannah said laughing.

Hannah has been active all her life. As a young woman, she was a long-running, relaying majorette.

“With RoughRiders. We were called O’Keefettes,” she said.

Hannah Hamsa

Today, Hannah’s spin fitness. She encourages others to become strong and stay strong.

“I was building muscle here (pointing to her bicep) in three weeks when I was eighty years old.”

As she pulled up her sleeve, she asked this question.

“Do you want to see my bicep? There it is,” she laughed, pointing to the bulge.

Hannah Hamsa

Hannah’s mantra is simple. When it comes to improving flexibility, strength and balance, it is never too late.

“Just keep doing your best. Your body loves attention, so treat it well.”

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