Getting to know Beth Cole: ‘a downward dog every day’

Beth Cole recently returned to her hometown of Baltimore after living in Arizona near one of her children. She lives at Linden Park Apartments on McMechen Street. At 86, Beth maintains a dedicated yoga practice, even teaching classes online.

“I’ve taught a weekly class on Zoom since I moved to Baltimore from Tucson. Yoga and me, for 66 years! I’ve been doing a variety of positions –’asanas’ – since I had my first yoga practice in college (at what now is the University of Mary Washington in Virginia) in 1958, well before many people in the United States ever heard of yoga. I continued to practice what I often called ‘stretching,’ back then.”

A meeting in the 1970s (“I was a nimble 30-year-old”) with a Pakistani yogi at a Jewish Community Center deepened her understanding of the practice. This encounter introduced her to yoga’s philosophical and spiritual aspects, which have since guided her personal practice and teaching philosophy throughout her life, Beth has embraced the principles of “love your life” and “explore the possibilities.” She believes in the importance of daily yoga practice, stating, “not a day goes by without a downward dog.” Her efforts to share yoga with other seniors in her building highlight her commitment to spreading the benefits of the practice.

“In the 80’s, I met an American doctor who was treating individuals with Ayurveda methods (a system of medicine native to India) and approaches including yoga. She became my physician, and with her I learned more about mindfulness, healthy eating practices, and distinct daily ayurvedic procedures, which extended to not only how I moved but how I took care of myself. This led to a more healthful lifestyle. As I aged, I saw a greater need for the extended yogic living approach, though I still focused on a full-blown, time-consuming career.

“Someone wrote that we understand life by looking backward, but life moves forward. What I learned about yoga in 1958 and over the next 50 years, I didn’t fully utilize until I retired in 2004. Then I began an earnest study. In 2015 I became certified as an instructor.”

Beth’s return to Baltimore brings her story together, connecting her family’s history. Her dad was a Baltimore doctor and her mom a Russian immigrant.

A lifetime of professional employment included roles as a special assistant to the president at National Public Radio headquarters in Washington, D.C. and later as president of the National Women’s Business Center, showcasing her leadership in marketing and business management. Beth is known for her strength and ability to tackle challenges head-on, evidenced by a solo move across the country, living for weeks without her furniture and other essentials. Her other passion is gardening. She has a daughter and grandchildren in Prince Georges County.

To learn more about yoga, contact her at

–Lisa Savage