Grief happens when facing the results of ageing. This is not news to anyone over 40 who finds out they will soon need to buy their first pair of reading glasses. Or when you have to visit your dentist and hear him refer you to a peridontist (gum doctor). Or, you notice that more than the problem of gums and hairlines receding, your waistline and midriff are preceding.
I suppose I can make light of all of the above because I’ve gone through these dilemmas and find myself still here.
Lately I’ve seen some people who are dear to me grappling with osteoarthritis – another experience I’ve endured.
Human beings are blessed in one sense to have long life, but cursed in another way that the body-machine suffers inevitable wear-and-tear over the years. Knees, those extremely flexible and Herculean joints, are especially prone to degeneration. Hips, the miraculous fulcrum of our body, are also susceptible. And, of course, all of the spine from Atlas to Sacrum, erodes from much bending, flexing and rotating.
There’s a point when we’re growing older that we end up we facing unpleasant facts because we must. Skirting them becomes too uncomfortable, painful even. It’s time to get those X-rays done and the appointment made with the orthopaedic surgeon.
The process one goes through when dealing with any part of the body wearing out is reminiscent of Kubler-Ross’s “Five Stages of Loss: Denial, Bargaining, Anger, Despair and Acceptance”.
I can remember my first visit to an orthopaedic surgeon who told me that I needed hip replacement surgery. Part of my bargaining process was to set up two more visits to surgeons just see if I could get a more positive diagnosis.
It was a relief when I finally got to the acceptance stage but that took years of grappling with my emotions and the disease.
Having a yoga as a life-time companion makes all the difference because there are all the tools at hand to meet and deal with each of the stages. There are physical routines to relieve pain, breathing to create energy, meditation to foster equilibrium, and relaxation to cultivate openness and embrace the inevitable.

Freedom