The truth is, staying youthful as the years pass is a choice you make now. Not tomorrow, but right now. Whatever age you are, you can turn back the hands of time and re-youth yourself by loosening up the body using gentle Yoga stretches which I will share with you later.
Growing older, of course, is natural. Learning to embrace the beauty of this journey will give you a quality of admirable grace.
It is the accelerated physical aging caused by lifestyle choices that can be avoided.
Remaining youthful is a “spiritually lit” road, where self-love is the root of all action. This is where YOGA comes into a league of its own.
Mother Teresa said it beautifully, “When I pick up a person from the street, hungry, I give him a plate of rice, a piece of bread" – but concludes that spiritual poverty is much harder to overcome.
Yoga does condition the body and keep everything in good order. Personally, I have not experienced anything that comes close. However, beyond this physical necessity, a yoga practice, steeped in meditative self-exploration, will reveal the essence of all we have been given - a magnificent vehicle to experience this life in. This cultivates self-love.
The love you feel for “yourself” will determine your level of self-care, and this in turn will be your anti-aging elixir.
Most people wake up and immediately enter this “On” mode and very often stay that way until they sleep. This means the adrenals are working overtime; the body never has time to replenish its energy and draws on all supplies to continue to drive our daily “missions”. This causes accelerated aging, illness, and emotional pain often reflected across the face.
Wrinkles and birth certificates are no indicators of biological age; look at the health of your spine if you really want to know how old you are. “You are as young as your spine,” is ancient Chinese wisdom. This is why yoga is known as the anti-aging exercise. Yoga keeps the spine flexible through simple, consistent movement and stimulates joint lubrication allowing ease of mobility.
We age quickly when we live life fast, never giving the body time to recover from our lifestyle demands. We lose connection with ourselves and perpetuate negative patterns, even when we see them clearly. It’s the self-destructive button that Freud spoke of, but that’s another article.
The good news - you can reverse it all with a slower, deeper yoga practice.
You only have to look at Master Tao Porchon-Lynch. She is 98 years young, an actively teaching yoga master, and a testament to this great practice. The body needs the chance to reset, to flip the switch from “fight or flight” (sympathetic nervous system) to what I call “love & light” mode (parasympathetic nervous system). It is only in this latter state that we are able to heal and rejuvenate, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Yoga allows us to connect to ourselves in the present moment, feel the breath moving through us and experience the exquisite beauty in our oneness with life. Making healthier choices becomes easier, and quitting the habits we battle with happens organically and we begin to truly live “La Dolce Vita”.