Posted by: eveyoga | July 21, 2010

Never Too Late

My sister who is older than I (I won’t say by how much although she looks younger than her years) suggested I follow up my “ageing” topic from yesterday.

I don’t know what to say exactly except something I’ve been noticing for a while. That is, many of my friends have parents who are going into nursing homes or progressive care facilities. They’ve reached an age where they can’t any longer live alone – either for physical reasons or mental decline.

My generation is most likely looking at our future. It seems sad that people need to be isolated at this stage of life; even though these homes accommodate groups of people, it’s not the same as having family or friends around.

It’s said by some that we come into the world alone and we leave the world alone. But this goes against what I have come to believe and experience in yoga. The definition of yoga is union, and the solace of this belief is that we are all interconnected, we are one, in fact. One way to experience oneness is through is through reflective practices. In yoga, these are yoga nidra, pranayama, meditation. Religions and other disciples like Buddhism offer their own spiritual practices.

It’s important to learn these practices early in life so that we build up inner reserves to draw on when we’re “getting on”. But really it’s probably never too late.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. Hi Eve, for 6 months now I have been teaching one class per week to a group of well-aged women (in their 60s, 70s & 80s) many of whom have never practised yoga before. NSW Health support an initiative called the Older Womens Wellness Network and conduct a range of activities and wellness talks to connect women in the 50+ age group. I was contacted as part of this program to provide gentle yoga classes.
    As you can imagine, the range of health and physical issues run from the common to the extreme, but many of the most regular students are often those who are confronted daily by unique and difficult limitations from their physical bodies. There are regularly 12-20 women who attend and no matter their condition, they bring an eagerness, an openness and a willingness to each class. To me, this is the true spirit yoga inspires, regardless of age.
    Yes – the postures are individually (often greatly) modified, yes – savasana is conducted with the ‘troubled teens’ practising martial arts within sound reach (… yay! pratyhara), yes – basic breathing (let alone pranayama) is challenging, but the integration, the steadiness and the stillness which arises vastly overomes these and any other limitations.
    Many of these older women live alone. Many have said they wished they had discovered yoga ealier in life. Regardless, they are joyfully discovering yoga now and yoga is gifting them a new space in their life, a place of personal connection, a place to grow… older… more comfortably.

    • I’m blown away that the State government is supporting older women in this way. I’m going to check OWWN out to see if the program exists out our way.
      You spoke so eloquently, Nadine, about what yoga can mean to an older population – just because they have more at stake in many ways. They are often more loyal and more grateful than the young ‘uns.
      Keep up your good work.
      XO E.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories