by KATHY LOY

Some people may do remarkable things and some may lead remarkable lives but few, like Frank Iszak, do both. It’s not every day that you learn about someone living in Rancho Bernardo who in 1956, along with seven others, hijacked a commercial airliner to escape the horrors being perpetrated in Communist Hungary. After a brutal mid-air fight for control of the plane and a “blind” landing at a NATO air force base in West Germany, that day became what Frank considers his “second birthday” and he began living his second, equally fascinating life.

In the mid-1990’s, Frank found yoga. “I was a martial art practitioner until I became 65. Then I realized that I am too old for the demands of karate and I met my wife, Serpil, at the same time, and we both decided to try yoga,” said Frank. Through yoga he has been able to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and later became a yoga instructor.

As is the case with some people whose lives improved after immigrating to the United States (Frank became a citizen in 1962), they want to “give back” to the country that took them in. “To me, being allowed to step into my dream – America – was the most precious gift of my life. Being accepted by the people of this free society was a privilege that one day I was to repay, to reciprocate,” said Frank. In doing so, Frank and his wife founded the non-profit Silver Age Yoga, a community outreach program that brings free yoga classes to underserved seniors.

Keeping in mind the unique health challenges that seniors face, Silver Age Yoga is a style developed by geriatric scientists and taught by specially certified instructors. “We have 25 venues in San Diego (at libraries, senior centers and churches) and in six states across the country,” said Frank. “We have delivered over 12,000 yoga classes without a single injury.” Classes are also available to the blind and visually impaired.

To contact this remarkable man or to get more information on the Silver Age Yoga program, visit www.silverageyoga.org. Although participants do not pay for classes, there are costs associated with running the program and tax-deductible donations are always appreciated.