Befriending Ustrasana

Lazy Dog Pose

Words are so important. What you say and how you say it.
I had three different wordings for the workshop I taught on Sunday.
1) Working with the Older Yoga Student
2) Yoga: A Companion for Life
3) Ageing: A Possibility
I went with the first title because of exigency. I was on a deadline and I hadn’t yet conceived of the second and third titles. But then, I found I couldn’t plan the workshop until I’d arrived at the context which the latter two titles suggested to me.
I hope I was able to convey to the participants in the workshop how many gifts are offered in our mature years, especially when yoga is our companion.
I believe the holistic system of yoga meets our physical, energetic, mental, emotional and spiritual needs all along the journey of a lifetime. I think the most important and beneficial contribution of yoga is the way it shapes us over time to embrace all there is. Ageing is undoubtedly a bumpy road, but regular, preferably long-term, balanced yoga practice smooths our way.
I still work on doing regular practice ( recently challenged by 7 weeks of being on the road in the U.S.), and, like any overachiever-type of person, I’ll always be working on balancing my lifestyle. But for sure, I’m in for the long-term – 40 years next year!
Partly because Gita Iyengar, 65 yrs. old, is suffering from her own serious health concerns, I like this quote, attributed to her in Yoga: A Gem for Women:

Yoga is a gift for older people. One who studies yoga in the later years gains not only health and happiness, but also freshness of mind since yoga gives one a bright outlook on life. One can look forward to a more healthful future rather than looking back into the past. With yoga, a new life begins, even if started later. Yoga is a rebirth which teaches one to face the rest of one’s life happily, peacefully and courageously.


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