I want to talk about ageing and yoga but in relationship to all we are
As the Russian novelist, Fyodor Dostoevsky one said
“The second half of our life is made up of nothing but the habits he has acquired during the first half.”
We have a much smoother menopause if we have established healthy habits earlier.
In the west yoga seems to has become a set of extreme postures and I want to dispel this myth. Yoga is not just a physical practice it is a spiritual practice that comes with ethical behaviour which is the Yamas and Niyamas which form the foundations of a balanced spiritual practice. They are the first steps on the path of yoga. As you live with the practice of these values, you will find your behaviour and thoughts start to change. With age, we need to build our spirituality if we have not already done so. With yoga, It doesn’t matter your tradition Christianity Muslim Hindu Jewdism whatever it is as long as it resonates at your deepest soul level.The Yamas and Niyamas are not harsh rules, but rather a description of human potential. They offer you the means to live with deeper integrity and joy.
Menopace it is the bridge to ageing some say moving from midlife to big joy. It is about moving to the next stage of life. Its time to go on retreats to have come to terms to really know our true self our own Nature. In early life, we are often taken up with young children or drawn out to be consumed with what life throws at us with age we can settle more knowing life is always full of challenges yoga is a real gift to help us with this. When we young we are more susceptible to what everyone else needs and thinks.
Yoga talks about the feminine calling it Shakti one of the most important Goddess or divine cosmic energy that represents the feminine energy and the dynamic forces that move through the universe. It’s universal energy and it can be called on to fight our own personal demons or when we need protection. For fertility and can restore balance.
We all need to find this energy nurture ourselves feel ourselves on this earth. We need to listen to the trees wind earth. The voices of our mother’s Grandmothers wisdom keepers who develop themselves in the ageing process. Age should not be something we afraid of or do not talk about. For all of us it about walking in the natural intelligence of life which is what Yoga really calls us to. As we age there is the greater realisation of the need to take care of the Sacred but I love that more and more of us at all ages are realising this and building these foundations to begin a path of change through age becoming more aware more divine our true nature. Look at us all here what a community we have here today. Or as I heard recently community come unity we are all one and yoga has taught this for centuries and science is only playing catch up Yoga means yoking unity union.
Of course, Ageing brings challenges menopause can affect our metabolism, our hormones. We often suffer pain arthritis which is inflammation high cholesterol (but please do your own studies of this often called the great cholesterol con. Cholesterol does increase with age but it is also our brain what heals a cut), high blood pressure weaker bones, memory loss.
I have been working with the over 50 ’s and people right up into their 90’s sharing yoga for more than 15 years. Yoga has many tools to help us age because it inspires you to a deeper self, finding your own natures truth and ageing is a calling to go within. It helps us decrease the imbalances in our bodies and mind both through postures and the many breath practices and of course meditation. Breaths that help in the menopause with hot flushes are Sheetali a cooling breath or Sitkari if you can’t curl your tongue. There is Agni-Sara which contracts and expands the abdomen and can help the metabolism digestion and more. A powerful breath for all of is the alternative nostril (anuloma vilona pranayama) Nadi Shoodna pranayama which is a powerful breath we should all be using. It can help endocrine system hormones and parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system and much more. It brings the two major energy systems into balance known as Ida and pingla in yoga. One of the biggest distresses in the body is that we hyperventilate breathing in and out the same by lengthening the exhalation we relieve the body of anxiety and the mind. If you think of your breath in anger what are you doing? We could have a little try of this breath if we have time.
I just wanted to say I am hoping to develop a class at my house for the over 50’s in the near future in Perivale. Please call me for further details.
The biggest killer as we age is falling and I use the Otago system in strengthening the body in classes which are scientifically known to prevent falling by 47%. I have developed a yoga class that strengthens and keeps the life force moving around the body and works on a cellular level also strengthening our bones. As we age it really is use it or lose it we do not have the same vitality and we do need to work a little harder. But it is always easier if we have done the work even in the 30 and ’40s. But that is not to say letting ourselves rest is not important putting less pressure on ourselves.
I am also a Bowen therapist a fascia release system which is really that the body is so interlinked every part related to the other. Nothing is separate. Recently science is only just catching up with ancient yogis and Bowen saying in 2018 they found the biggest organ in the body the skin the fascia which carries more nerves and has fluid pockets that affect the whole body. One thing I know about all health for sure is that it is about getting to really know ourselves taking responsibility for ourselves and finding what works for us. The truth I will always say the miracle is the body and the body is what is always seeking health and does the healing and we need to find what helps us.