In our household of six people, the average age is 66-2/3 yrs. I’d like to say that we’re all completely healthy and free from any complaints, but that’s not the case.
I’d like to say that 60 is the new 50, but, hey, really?
At this time, we have one recovering from hip surgery, another rehabilitating from knee surgery, three people on weight loss diets, one anticipating (?) cataract surgery, and quite a collection of meds being ingested on a regular basis.
Probably we would qualify as relatively normal for our age bracket.
Five of the six of us do yoga regularly. It doesn’t necessarily mean we are always paragons of well-being but we do have a ready companion to make the best of our health into our older years. I think it is especially helpful to keep up pranayama and meditation, the practices that can become more lustrous as we age.
I like this quote by B.K.S. Iyengar from Light on Life, on what his yoga practice means to him:
The miracle is that after seventy years, the gifts [of yoga] are still increasing for me….If you think that learning to touch your toes or even stand on your head is the whole of yoga, you have missed most of its beauty.”
An article on the news today pointed to a problem that is troubling so many people that I see these days – osteoarthritis.
It’s not just my imagination. Statistics say that two million Australians currently have the disease but within 10 years that number is expected to double to four million.
We think that osteoarthritis is just what happens as we get older. We call it wear and tear, but, in actual fact, osteoarthritis is not inevitable with ageing. Painful knees, troublesome hips and degeneration of vertebrae could all be helped by losing weight.
It’s thought that if Australians reduced their weight by 5kg that about half of new osteoarthritis cases would disappear.
Isn’t that incredible? Just 5kg!
In my experience, though, the hardest area to make an impact is in weight loss. I believe this is partly to do with our denial of the fact that we are getting old. We will stubbornly hold on to our same eating habits that we had as young people, even though our lives are much more sedentary and our metabolisms much slower.
I was never overweight but I still had need for hip surgery a couple of years ago. I am happy there is the technology that will give us new hips and a new lease on life, but I don’t wish on anyone the experience of major surgery, the possibility of complications, and a long recovery/rehabilitation time.
What yoga will do for arthritis sufferers is give some relief from discomfort and help in rehabilitation. Even better, the regular yoga practitioner will develop a sensitivity to what their body needs, including a moderate and wholesome diet.
Posted in Healing, Health, Yoga practice, Yoga Therapy
Tagged arthritis sufferers, australians, eating habits, Hip Surgery, hips, losing weight, major surgery, new lease on life, osteoarthritis, painful knees, rehabilitation time, wear and tear, wholesome diet, yoga practitioner
I noticed I was avoiding writing this post as it makes very real that I am beginning the surgery process. I’ll check in to the hospital in just an hour for pre-admission, with my bilateral hip surgery scheduled for tomorrow morning.
My intention is to keep you posted about what this process is like, especially from a yogini’s point of view. Please let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to talk about in a comment.