‘Der Westen’, a regional news site in Westphalia, Germany, posted a profile on Anne Bernau, a lively 69- year old, in their series ‘Young and Fit into Old Age’.
Anne scoffs about the term ‘young and fit’: “What does fit mean, and why young? Be alive! That’s the point. Be wakeful, open, agile, cheerful, relaxed. Be in touch with yourself.” She has been seeking the latter since she was young.
She had a difficult time finding a yoga course in Germany during the sixties. She says she wasn’t a Hippie so she didn’t travel to India. Accompanying the yoga lessons, she also participated in the first meditation course – meditation with stones – but at the time she didn’t understand why she had to return the stone she had been using during the meditation. Today she knows: “Only the moment counts. It is about presence.”
She has been using stones for meditation to this day but her favorite is the Dynamic Meditation: “Sitting quietly for a long time is not my thing,” says Anne. “Dynamic Meditation was developed by Osho; it has five phases, is physical and starts with violent breathing, followed by cathartic rage, jumping, pausing and dancing. All this with music. At the end there is peace within.”
When she was in her mid-forties, Anne trained to become a yoga teacher. She is holding more and more workshops and prefers weekend seminars: yoga, meditation, singing bowls, walking. She also gives a weekly course at the Community College in Luenen who even supplied meditation stools for her group. The groups has been meeting for ten years now, the oldest woman being 82 years old – and only very few men participate. “To sit silently within a group is more beautiful – and simpler,” says Anne.