Next time you do a downward dog, chant an ohm to Ruby Blue, aka Swami Neeladevananda. Blue was born Ruth Thaler in Poland and as a child immigrated to Washington with her parents. She was named a swami, the Hindu honorary title for master, in 2003 at age 86. Known for her inspirational lectures, tiny frame and ability to get everyone from naval officers to housewives into contorted positions during her classes at a D.C.-area Gold’s Gym (where she began teaching at age 81), Blue stood on her head daily until 83 before grudgingly scaling back to a more conservative shoulder stand until her death at 89.
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