We human beings have a myriad of ways to identify ourselves. For my part, I am a mother. I am a sister. I am 160 cm. tall. I have two artificial hips. I have been practising yoga for 51 years. And so on.
Sadly, it is less common that even the people who are clearly old will identify themselves as old. Why is that? What are they waiting for? As a concession, someone might admit, yes, I’m getting older, as though landing on being old is always a little bit in the future.
I haven’t waited, though. It seemed at first that this admission would be a mountain to get over. In reality, it turned out to be a mere molehill. I say I am old, and often people disagree. That’s fine. I know what I am.
The problem seems to be that there really aren’t exact criteria for declaring agedness. It’s more like symptoms just piling up that push one over the hill. The most obvious of these being wrinkles, as well as hair loss and/or hair growing in the wrong places. There’s old-age spread or shrinking; both can happen at the same time. And there’s the ‘old lumbago’. Loss of balance, strength, hearing, vision, taste. And disease (which happens at any age, of course).
As a young and more naive version of Eve, I fully believed yoga was going to be my insurance policy against serious illness and early demise. I’m happy to say I’m still here. Whether yoga is responsible for this is unknown, but I like to think it’s contributed. I have not avoided illness. I’ve experienced major surgeries and come through well; yoga was definitely part of my healing process.
Yoga practices give me great joy. The physical postures let me keep reasonably supple and strong. The loveliness of restorative poses, yoga breathing, relaxation and meditation invite calm and poise.
Every day I’m grateful for any well-being I enjoy. I don’t take it for granted. Anything can come around the corner unexpectedly. Remember when ‘pandemic’ was scarcely part of our vocabulary?
Somewhere along my lifeline, yoga became one of my identities, not just a thing that I do or a talisman to ward off ill health and ageing. I am old and I am yoga.
I’m curious about what your relationship is with the age you are at present, and whether yoga plays a major role indoor life. Please feel free to comment.
I’m old too… nearly 64. Inside I feel the same, the eternal sense of me. But I know outside has changed a lot. I have a chronic disease which has made me realise how precious these moments of life are. I’m interested in the doors that keep opening in consciousness as I grow even older, aware that it’s privilege, to live this day. Yoga practice and meditation are doorways into what’s inside. I can feel myself growing larger through these practices. Last year I was measured at 163 cms, this year at 164.5! So I tell my students you grow taller with yoga. Sense of humour also increases. thanks for your words… we need more people proudly stating “I’m old”… then maybe it won’t be such a dirty word.
Hi Cherise, It’s true and I forgot to mention it in my post…our senses of humour do increase with age. Some say it’s because there are so many more things that we need to laugh at. May you enjoy health and well-bing to what ever extent possible.
After completing my yoga teacher training with you and Collyn about 25 years ago, yoga has been my constant companion in some form. It helps me feel young even though I get achey hips these days!
Yoga constantly challenges me mentally, physically and spiritually. I feel like it’s a gift that keeps giving.
I feel like the yoga journey is one where you never stop learning about asanas, your breathing, your mind and body and about relating to yourself and others.
I love being able to share what I have learnt along to way, and opening up the yoga door, for others.
I am part of the local yoga community in the town where I live now with people my age (and a bit younger and older) who enjoy yoga classes and special friendships together.
I’ve just turned 63 so I’m sort of old 😃but I can’t imagine ageing without yoga.
What a lovely tribute to yoga, Ali. It gives me so much joy to hear that yoga is contributing to you, by the sound of it, more than ever. And then you contribute to your community. That’s just about perfect! Kind regards and namaste, Eve
I am old. I am content with old. I have been fortunate not to have been subjected to serious disease or injury as yet, however I am aware that this may happen at any time. I believe that regular yoga practice over the past 50 years has given me strength in body and mind. I am forever grateful to Yoga for providing positive direction in my life.
Even though I have never met Eve, I feel a connection. I enjoy reading YOGA SUITS HER very much and look forward to receiving it in my In Box.
Hi Diana, I have similar sentiments about ageing with yoga, and that’s why I wanted to write this post. It’s not a downhill slide at all with the great support of yoga. I’m just getting back to writing after a long break…possibly experiencing the COVID lethargy. Let me know if you’d like to see any particular topics on this blog.
Eve I really enjoy all of your writings and this is currently where I have been thinking and reading as well having turned 69 on 2 Nov it was the first time that I actually said it aloud to my family and GP during annual check up. 💜
My introduction to Yoga teachings and only came later in life during menopause- then starting with YTT wow what an entree into my personal beliefs and lifestyle. Still learning & struggling and trying to be the best of myself for this world.
So much to learn so much to do
Light and love 🌻
Yes, Sharon. I think I know what you mean. I had no idea when I started Yoga (at a 27 year old) that I would be a stayer. And even better, that I would be still learning at my age. Kind regards,
What a lovely gentle testimony of physical changes caused by time. Thank you for sharing.
I am 65, have been practicing yoga for 33 years and teaching seniors for over a decade. I agree with the title of your blog, thankful for yoga being part of my life.
It slows the ageing process a bit and allows us to recover from injuries better.
Let’s keep practicing!