Surrendering to Age
A while ago I came across the above expression. I can’t quite remember where it’s from, possibly from Stephen Jenkinson. He’s a Canadian storyteller and author who writes about ageing and dying. One of his books is entitled Die Wise.
As I understand it, diminishing dominance has to do at arriving a late stage in life, let’s say the last quarter, and slowing down considerably. With any luck this happens gracefully, but not always.
I relate to this notion. I recall that the younger version of me was motivated by making my name in the yoga world. You would find me age 40 to 60 opening and running yoga businesses, teaching teacher trainings, workshops, retreats, writing for publication, plus, plus, plus.
Even after moving to sleepy old Mitchells Island, I got busy with drawing the local teachers together, running workshops and intensives and furiously, at times, writing to this blog.
At my age, physiology has conspired to make me much more considerate of my energy levels. No matter what kind of yoga I do, how much or how little, let’s be honest, I don’t have the verve of my 40 year old self. And, that is just as well as I have for some time taking up the more reflective yoga practices. Pranayama, yoga nidra, loving kindness meditation, relaxation are gifts not just for me but for my students, also.
Diminishing dominance but not a back seat
And yet, the last couple of months have pushed me onto a bigger stage. Without seeking renown, some special opportunities have found me.
First, I was granted the honour of helping co-facilitate Maria Kirsten’s ‘Yoga for Older Grownups’ course after Maria’s untimely death in April this year. This course, part of Maria’s amazing legacy, combined various resources–videos, manual and eight 2.5 hours zoom sessions.
The participants were from right around Australia, as well as the U.S. and Germany. I’ve never heard of such a program being presented posthumously. The poignancy of this unique event made it feel like all the more privilege to be part of it.
… being approached by J. Brown, a U.S. yoga teacher and podcaster. He asked me to engage in a recorded conversation with him. That interview has been aired this week and it’s quite alright. If you want to devote 1.5 hours to listening to J. and me talk about yoga and more, I can happily recommend it. The name of the podcast is J. Brown Yoga Talks and is pretty easy to find.
When I listened to the recording of me talking about my life, all 76 years of it, I realised that I have a lot more to say.
Perhaps I’ll have to shelve this idea of ‘diminishing’ for the time being. But I’m perfectly delighted to concede dominance to the young’uns. It’s quieter and calmer in the shade with far fewer distractions from one’s yoga practice.