cheating death

A couple of weeks ago, an acquaintance from my yoga school invited me to her birthday party. She then said, “Yes, I can’t believe I’m turning 40.” I almost peed my pants. She looks 28, 29, 30 at the most. This girl can do the splits, vinyasa her heart out, and has smooth, glowing skin. She has been practicing hot yoga for eight years.

The thought of not actually looking old when I’m old is very appealing to me. I have a small heart attack whenever I think I see crow’s feet or smile lines creeping on my face.

All I really know about it: Yoga helps reduce stress – stress ages you (why my mother has so many grey hairs). Yoga also helps keep your spine healthy, which keeps your body supple.

Although you don’t see many over-forty somethings in yoga on a daily basis, I think it’s SO important for older people to practice at the least some type of gentle yoga and balance work. My mother recently fell when hiking on vacation and shattered some godforsaken bone in her elbow. I brought my father to a gentle hatha class, he couldn’t stand on one foot for tree pose. One of my major fears is my mother or father will fall and break their hip.

Both K. Pattabhi Jois taught yoga into his 90s and BKS Iyengar did 108 drop-backs on his 80th birthday. Patricia Walden beautiful- even youthful, at 62.

I hope I don’t offend anyone when I say I think Bikram Choudhury is a nut. I have taken many Bikram classes and love the practice and respect him very much for bringing it to the masses. His behavior has tarnished the reputation of yoga in the United States. However, it is pretty amazing to compare this picture from 1992 to 2012. He looks the same after 20 years!

More information on yoga and youth here.  An interview with >60 y/o yogis here.

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One thought on “cheating death

  1. Linda says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever met a woman who aged without getting a wrinkle. Wrinkles are a representation of every emotion we have experienced throughout our lives, the natural aging process and the external stresses placed on our skin – your body’s history. For me, that’s okay. Wrinkles aside, amid all the challenges of raising families, juggling careers and relationship demands, women often (consciously or not) put their own well-being last. When women, at any age, can learn to like, love, accept and respect themselves, they are able to enjoy all aspects of their lives and will also be much better equipped to handle life’s challenges.

    Instead of viewing your body for what it looks like, appreciate it for what it can and has done throughout your life. The body is an amazing machine; and just like any other machine, wear and tear show over time. I say accept these changes as evidence of signposts of a journey and look forward to what is still to come. But I hear your plea loud and clear to try yoga – less stress, improved strength, flexibility and better balance. The little bit of experience I’ve had with yoga has proven to be both physically and mentally challenging. Yoga fits with the idea that women should focus their energy into keeping their body and mind healthy. If we can do that, we will be able to see age, appearance and good health as a remarkable and beautiful thing. That is an ideal to strive for at any age.

    Thanks for your thoughts and caring

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