Never Stop Learning: Roann Monson on the Power of Finding New Passions at Any Age

Posted by Taylor Jablonowski on 1/12/19 8:00 AM

Roann Monson re-defines 80!

After 30 years of working in the ASU library, Roann retired on a Friday evening and came to work in the SWIHA Bookstore the following Monday morning. She then enrolled in Western Herbalism, a two-year program that is one of the most comprehensive and rigorous herbalism programs in the country.

“People travel here from out of state to study herbalism here at SWIHA. I learned so much from the herbalism program. In fact, I drink rosemary tea every morning for memory,” reports Roann with great pride.

Also a graduate of SWIHA’s Spiritual Studies certificate, Roann is proud to say, “I was ordained as a minister in the very first class of students that KC Miller, the school founder, was able to ordain as ministers.”


Roann has also completed SWIHA’s 200 hours Yoga Teacher Training program. Not shy about claiming her age, this spunky lady declares, “I was the oldest person to graduate from the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program, and will be the oldest student to graduate from the 600-hour Yoga Teacher Training program. SWIHA is for all ages! It has shown me that new, exciting interests are important at any age.”

While in her 200 hour Yoga Teacher program, her neighbors who were in their 60s and 70s, asked Roann to teach them yoga privately so they didn’t have to go to a yoga studio where everybody was much younger. That was three years ago, and they still doing yoga together in her backyard twice a week.

When asked if there was “defining moment” in her education at SWIHA, Roann shares, “In my Yoga program, part of our homework included the invitation to rewriting the Yoga Sutras based on our inner wisdom. I started posting me rewrites of the Yoga Sutras on Facebook with pictures of the flowers in my backyard taken with my iPhone. By the end of the class, KC Miller, my daughter and others insisted I publish my translations and photos into a book. So I did.”

She did indeed. Her books is entitled “Backyard Sutras” and it is one of the most inspirational projects ever completed by a yoga graduate.

In Sanskrit, the word “yoga” means to "to unite” and the word “sutra” means "string or thread." Roann realized she was being divinely inspired to produce something that would unite body and mind, bringing together wisdom and practical application. That’s exactly what her book is: Wise, warm, and full of wonderful affirmations for anyone who wants to practice being more positive in their approach to life. (Of course, it’s for sale in SWIHA’s Healing Pages bookstore.)

As we pause to celebrate January as National Life Coaching Month, Roann Monson is among the Life Coaching graduates whom we take inspiration from: Life Coaching was my first class at SWIHA. It is the foundation for everything I have taken and done since. Life Coaching was a coaching experience of ME. It helped me to gain confidence to take other programs, to step into my best self – something I hadn’t taken the time to discover until I was nearly 70 years old."

"The biggest thing I learned in Life Coaching was how to listen. I learned to stop and question my thoughts and what others say in a loving, aware way. 'That is a thought' or 'That may be true' taught me to listen to others without judgment. Helping others begins with listening to this own wisdom from within!”

With a tinkle in her eye, Roann offers a thumbs up to anyone thinking about becoming a Life Coach, yoga teacher, self-published author, or lover of life at any age.

Learn Something New

Topics: Great Graduates, Life Coaching, western herbalism, spiritual studies, yoga, national life coaching month

About the Author Taylor Jablonowski

Taylor Jablonowski is SWIHA’s Marketing Specialist and a momma to a three-year-old boy named Arlo. When she's not working to make the Healing Arts accessible to everyone, you'll probably find her somewhere in the woods with her feet in a river.

Taylor Jablonowski

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