Yoga

Yoga

Yoga has changed my life!
Getting up with yoga changes my morning, my day.
Yoga puts my feet (and everything between my feet and the top of my head) back on the earth, after a night’s sleep with my dreams taking my mind elsewhere. Yoga made me earthbound and aiming for heaven at the same time. Coming to realise that there is a heaven before death, and that it’s useless to wait for a heaven after death.
Yoga reminds me of my age, just in case I should think I am still a young god.

Talking about aging, and about the way in which we grow older, I trust with all of my being that I have influenced the way I age with my yoga practice. There are many lifestyle gurus on the internet claiming all sorts of beneficial effects of a particular product they are selling, or they claim a certain lifestyle change led to the discovery of a product they have for sale now, and please be quick because they are fast running out of stock.

No, I am not here trying to sell yoga to you. It’s not a quick fix, a one-time bestseller. It’s a bit of work and discipline. And it not only influences the shape of your body, but more importantly the awareness of your body and mind. I started in my late fourties, in the year I met Abraham. I discovered a positive effect of some kind of yoga exercise I had been advised to do by my physical therapist. Yes, physical therapist, I had incurred a running injury, due to pushing my boundaries a little to far. Midlife crisis, noticing some bodily changes, gaining weight, being out of breath running up 10 flights of stairs ….. or was it 2 flights 😉

OMG, I needed to do something, senile detoriation was setting in big time, and I wasn’t looking forward to getting all sorts of degenerative diseases due to bad lifestyle habits.
So ….. I started running, doing a weekly spinning session, and pushing it a little. I was scared of seriously getting older.

As I said before, I had incurred this muscle injury, and my therapist suggested I do some “Sun Salutations”. I decided to do these yoga asanas in the morning, and I noticed some changes in the awareness of my body and my energy. I felt more alive and energised after these exercises, and observed some changes in my thoughtlife. I am prone to having a pessimistic outlook on life, sometimes distrustful and needing to be in control. My thoughts were racing through my head almost 24/7, and there was no way I could stop this train. That describes me pretty well for the first 50 years of my life.

Yoga and meditation opened the door to some new perspectives, a new consciousness, a kind of awakening I experienced between the age of 50 and 60. I discovered also that I had a love-hate relationship with performance and perfection. Hence, I suffered several injuries. My physical therapist didn’t feel very sorry about this. I kept him in business.

This is the young god I wanted to be when I turned 50!
Photo courtesy of Artem Beliaikin on unsplash.com

So I started exploring yoga and meditation, and, being me, of course I wanted to be perfect at it, to do it right, and was always comparing myself with others ….. when, eventually, after many years, I learned to enjoy it and discovered a depth of silence within myself, and a level of contentment in life I had never experienced before. I made a clear movement away from self-rejection, trial-and-error-wise, and gradually moved towards self-love, and love for others, family and friends.

From my personal experience, I could of course make you a few recommendations about what yoga to try and what meditations to choose from. However, let me tell you this … it’s not about finding the right kind of yoga or meditation, but about finding a way to making it a daily practice, and stick to this for a longer period of time. And of course it’s nice to try a few different kinds of yoga.

I myself tasted a good deal of Raja Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and practised the 5 Tibetan Rites. These rites are not really a type of Yoga, but a sequence of 5 yoga-like exercices, of which it is claimed that it slows down aging. Well, this was music to my ears in the middle of my midlife crisis, and I started practising these in 2008 and still do them on a regular basis. (read “The five Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation: Original edition” by Peter Kelder)

What struck me along the way was that people gradually started to estimate my age 5 to 10 years younger. (ha-ha-ha?….. no, I am serious!) Being quite vain in a way, this kind of tickled my ego. It made me feel good about myself, and I needed this in my prolonged midlife crisis. So if you are a little concerned about aging, and the way you might get older, start doing these Tibetan Rites, and throw in a bit of yoga along the way.

Leave a comment if this blogpost inspired you to explore yoga and meditation, or just to let me know what yoga has transformed you. I’d be interested to hear from you. Or connect through the contact page.

Namasté