The Sydney Morning Herald Spectrum on Saturday ran a piece called “Beautiful At Every Age”. Basically, the article was making a case for doing exercise, especially for the senior population. Building up our muscles will ward off fat being deposited in our bodies, and create a toned body with ease of posture and movement.
This supports the novelist Isabelle Allende’s two-pronged advice to the elderly, that I’m fond of repeating: 1)¬†Practice good posture, and 2) Don’t make old people noises.
The SMH columnist went on to say “emerging research suggests exercise has a rejuvenating effect deep down in the cells, in the mitochondria, and on the telomeres of chromosomes.” Deterioration of these is likely to accelerate ageing.
How does yoga fit in? (I thought you’d never ask!)
Yoga practitioners know that asanas give a physical workout that’s good for strength, flexibility, and posture. Moreover, we breathe consciously while doing our postures and practice pranayama, too. Finally, we adopt a relaxed attitude in all we do, and do regenerating practices like pratyahara, savasana, and yoga nidra.
Meditation is the icing on the cake because it gives us the calm detachment that lets us see that “looking good” and longevity and not the most important aims to shoot for. To be able to realise one’s true nature bestows more bounty than “beauty at every age” could ever present.
Ironically, the veteran meditator will often exude beauty, grace and happiness, even though these may have never been primary goals.