Bette Calman retires at 87

A few weeks ago my dear mum Bette Calman decided it was time to retire from teaching after 56+ years.
She is known around the world for her energy + vitality in all things yoga, health, life + as well as her love of cat suits!

We are happy she is going to moving to the warmth of FNQ to spend time with a cherished friend, but as her daughter there was a moment when I got very teary; because it symbolizes the end of a chapter in life ~ both hers + mine.

I dont expect her to go anywhere soon but.….time is marching on and I want to get to know her ~ as the woman behind the labels of ‘mother, yoga teacher and wife’.  She has been my biggest influence and the older I get the more I am like her!  My family keep telling that I am getting more quirky like ‘Nanna Bette’….  its not a bad thing to be like your mum!

I see in my healing practice so many mother/daughter issues and I didnt want to live in dis-harmony so .

  • I let her off the hook for her shortcomings  so I could make peace with my past + step into my future as an empowered woman with an open heart + mind.
  • I became my own mother and treated myself with more love + gentleness which helped my health, wellbeing + happiness.

My mother gave me the best beginning in life that she could ~ its up to me what I do with that legacy…..

Here are some things I have learnt from our recent conversations.

  • Bette was in India when the Beatles were there….. In fact they were at the same ashram
  • Bette visited the Playboy Mansion as a guest of Hugh Hefner…….too scared to ask!
  • Before she found yoga she smoked 2 packets of cigarettes a day + used to be called Trigger
  • Bette married Bruce because he was dependable + trustworthy even though he was not Catholic!
  • She never wastes time on gossip or belittling another human being
  • She finds something positive to say to everyone otherwise she wont say a thing
  • She taught me to believe in the healing power of my own body
  • Bette has never uttered the words ‘I am tired’
  • She thinks Chris Judd from Carlton has the best legs in the world

To be continued…..

What do you know about your Mum….?

19 thoughts on “Bette Calman retires at 87

  1. I can feel the love you have for your mum and a real letting go of the past – there is acceptance and grace within your words….yes, how well do we really know our mums as a woman and not the labels that she has worn throughout our lives….food for thought!! xo

    1. Yes its amazing to think of them as who they really are….
      I love hearing her stories + looking at the photos. Whilst the physical presence may change ~ her essence has not changed at all…

      I have started telling my grandson some stories of ‘life in the olden days’ before internet + mobile phones!

    1. Hello Jo,
      I will pass on your congrats….although she is back from QLD now + thinking of a comeback tour!

  2. Aw Susie. Reading the article on your darling mother has just made me cry. It’s true – I have never heard her say a bad word about anyone. Such a beautiful lady with an equally beautiful daughter.

    1. Hi Susan
      aaaawwwwhhh! thank you!
      she is an amazing woman that is greatly loved!

  3. I started yoga with Bett in 1969 in Adelaide just after I was married She started me on a life long commitment to Yoga Meditation and Relaxation. Yoga I believe has supported me through out my life. I am now 67 and still attend yoga every week I am taught by Terry who was trained by Bett Thank you Bett for your gift. I still have a relaxation tape made by Bett which I continue to use I would like to be able to purchase CD’s made by Bett If there are any available. please let me know Kind Regards Suzanne

    1. Hi Suzanne…
      I will pass on your comments to Mum, she would love to hear from you! and I shall respond on your email…
      She does not have a CD!

  4. Hello Susanne, Remember me? I remember you and Bette from when you were a baby. Then I took Yoga lessons from her for many years. Her wisdom and practical advice has influenced me all through my journey of life. When I am in a ‘fix’ I recall what Bette would often say to me. I agree about her ‘not being tired’ phrase and now recommend it to my daughter and grandson.
    Take care, Sue x

    1. Hi Sue…
      Of course I remember you!!
      I shall pass on your email to Mum. She is still vibrant as usual. She will love to know you made contact. Your a grandmother now? So am I?
      Funnily enough I recommend that phrase to my daughter too!


  5. I attended your mum’s yoga class in Brighton Sth Aus. and I loved every minute of being there.. Bette is often in my thoughts, and when I cannot relax, I think of her meditation of counting backwards, and walking down the stairs with her to a peaceful place… and by my bedside, in old typewriter type, I keep and have kept her scrap of paper she gave me… with the the poem
    “I have to live with myself and so
    I want to be fit for myself to know
    I want to be able, as days go by,
    Always to look myself straight
    in the eye:
    I don’t want to stand, with the
    setting sun,
    And hate myself for the things I’ve
    I want to go out with my head erect,
    I want to deserve all men’s respect.
    For here in the struggle for fame
    and self
    I want to be able to like myself.
    I don’t want to look at myself and
    That I’m bluster and bluff and empty
    I never can hide myself from me
    I see what others may never see
    I know what others may never know
    I never can fool myself and so
    whatever happens
    I want to be self respecting and
    conscience free.

    ‘Have a good day
    Bette C’ ( in her writing)

    this was back in 1986 . Bless her… such a wonderful lady.

  6. Hi…my mother in law Mary Iris Clutterham was a Yoga Teacher in Adelaide when I first met her in 1967. Did your mum know her? Sadly she died in 1997. In the 70s she took several groups to India. We wondered today how she learnt yoga.
    Helen Clutterham

  7. I went to her classes over 40 years ago and to this day still perform some what she taught me. Enjoy you have helped so many peopke

  8. I am 81 and still do some Yoga movements and listen to her voice with a Relaxation tape on Cassette player…Bette did weekly classes at Woodville Town Hall…and I rode my bike from Seaton each Monday (I think). Think Yoga has kept me fit as I still ride on Bribie Island, Queensland these days to my Yoga Class at U3A ( University of the Third Age) where we have a fabulous teacher each ‘School term’….THANKYOU Bette, for all your love and care of all the students thru the years. She doesn’t look a day older than when I last enjoyed the last class held because Council decided to ‘move us on’, I think. You are a lucky girl to have such a beautiful Mum.

    1. Hello Dot, Lovely to hear from you. I have just read your message out to Mum. That is a long time ago!!!
      Sad the council moved the class on… they had no idea how it would help people.

      Good to hear you are still doing your yoga!
      Bette + Susanne Calman

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