No Matter How Much Yoga, Age Takes No Prisoners

Jan 7, 2018 | Age, XAging | 15 comments

Age Happens

It seems to me that what distinguishes a young person from an old one is a cavalier approach to illness. I’ve been guilty of this myself. While still in my forties, I was diagnosed with hip osteoarthritis. I knew that it wasn’t possible to make the arthritic condition go away except by having replacement surgery. But at 47 years, I figured I wasn’t old enough, so I toughed it out for 18 years before succumbing to the surgeon’s knife. Two hips at the same time. Now I have these young (artificial) hips and no more arthritis.

Along the way, I was diagnosed with a pre-cancerous condition that necessitated a total hysterectomy and oophorectomy. Since I was already post menopausal, it didn’t seem like such a big deal. Only the loss of womb, ovaries and cervix. This operation, too, has been successful.

Yet in my early sixties, I still felt indomitable.

Over the years, some of my teeth fell out and needed to be replaced by implants. Five of them now, not to mention several bridges and crowns. I just took it all in stride and joked about the cost. The equivalent of a deposit on a rural property.

The thing I didn’t see coming, no pun intended, was my eyes. Reading glasses, okay. Who loses out if you’re vain about wearing reading glasses? But then, there were cataracts to be dealt with. Everyone says lens replacements are a new lease on eye life. But not mine. With my lenses, if the light catches me at a certain angle, I look alien-ish. A certain glinting that you might expect from a comics super hero.

Just now, I am at the effect of ptosis. In lay terms this condition is called sagging eyelids. It’s one of those many things I’m discovering that is caused by the march of time, the influence of gravity and normal aging.

Another eye thing that has crushed my cavalier approach to health and well-being is called: strabismus. Or esotropia. This is when one eye looks directly at an object, while the other is cross-eyed inward. My optometrist tells me It’s just a bit of laziness of the part of my right eye muscles, caused by, you guessed it aging.

These are all things my mother never warned me about. And, sadly hers was a generation that missed technological and medical advancements that now give us years more longevity. She died way too early–53.

What to Make of It

The way I see it, in many ways, I am affected by the march of time. But the yoga and meditation practices I do mean I have learned a way of being with whatever arises. Not fighting and not succumbing.

The energy I might have invested in trying to vanquish ageing is better spent on making the most of these years. For me, that is learning new things and deepening the knowledge and skills I have. Most of all I’m looking out for sharing yoga and its benefits. And there are so many, and so many people still who have not discovered its lovely advantages.

So, here at the beginning of 2018, I’ve already co-taught a week-long early morning ‘immersion’ in yoga and meditation to 14 or so students. I’m excited by the prospect of all the yoga teaching I will do this year.

I hope to see you in classes, workshops, the Ekam April retreat, and maybe even in yoga teacher training.

15 Comments

  1. Too true Eve! One thing you sadly realise is that no matter what you do, hormones rule, and when age naturally adjusts things somewhat,these dips and highs massively affect all those things you thought you were managing delightfully on your marvellous diet and yoga outlook!

    Reply
    • Hormones are a big part of a woman’s landscape. Just as natural, for the most part, as the she-oaks along our river.
      So is ageing natural, Nikki. Might as well aim for grace in how they affect us 🙂

      Reply
  2. Dear Eve,
    thank you for sharing the courageous side of ageing. You are the main person in my life that inspired me to do a daily yoga practice. thank you for you..
    for your wisdom and your inspiration.. I am in my 60’s now and look forward to a healthy life..so far so good !! and I strongly believe it is because of yoga. Namaste Cherel

    Reply
    • Goodness, Cherel. How old were you when we met?
      Nothing, I want you to know, makes me happier than hearing you are inspired to practice consistently. What do you do in your practice, just out of curiosity? xx

      Reply
  3. My bro had a lazy eye when he was little. They gave him a parch to wear when at home, and exercises to do, and it corrected. Not to say that everything can, or has to be, corrected (young eye muscles are no doubt more adaptable), but just so you know 🙂

    Reply
    • Wow. What a ride Eve.
      I admire your tenacity in dealing with all of it.
      I was diagnosed with a cataract 2 years ago and after much research began using glutathione, a antioxidant used to fight free radicals in the body. 0ne Year on and cataracts are completely gone. Much to the confusement of my optician!
      Sometimes there are other solutions to ne investigated.The nofy is eager to heal itself with a bit of help. Sometimes!!

      Reply
      • There’s nothing like having a life crisis to make you focus on what is most important, as you would well know, Karis.
        May we be whole and healthy to whatever extent possible!

        Reply
  4. Hi Eve,
    I love reading your writings. I can totally relate to your experience, thank you so much for sharing it so authentically. XO
    Amy

    Reply
  5. The holiday season seems long Eve. I miss your wonderful classes and the opportunity to connect weekly. What a wonderful teacher you are!

    Reply
    • Missing you and Ken, dear friend.
      Sorry we couldn’t have a quieter connection on Sunday. The market setting was craaaazy!
      Ben and Jade are still here till Weds night. They seem to like to stay close to home, so we might not get that excursion to your place.
      Janeece is having singing at her place Sat. night. Will you be there? xx

      Reply
  6. Dear Eve, ah yes the rich tapestry of aging, sometimes every week there seems to be something new to deal with … and as with a flower it’s petals can’t be forced open early. Neither can we prevent each flower fading away. Maybe we can be more like flowers then, by enjoying the experience of being fully open as the right time comes and also yield without complaint or loss with the inevitability of less vigour and our return to where we all came from … and will reappear in one form or other.

    Reply
  7. Eve, as always an inspiration!

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  8. Eve, as always an inspiration!

    Reply
  9. Thankyou Eve for your writings, from my aged perspective I can only say that your yoga teachings over these past two years of my life have helped me enourmously in coping with the aging process. I do my best to spread the word and hopefully share your enthusiasm with others. Eternally gratefull, Marie AND Eugene.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Marie, for your support. The beautiful thing about yoga is that it is for everyone. I love turning people on to yoga, no matter what age, size, shape or gender.

      Reply

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