In our culture we carry a set of beliefs, attitudes, norms, and values used to justify the way we, discriminate, subordinate and prejudicially treat people based on their chronological age in our culture.
Even in our subculture of yoga the supposed vigor and beauty of youth adorns the covers of yoga magazines over more experienced yogis and learned teachers the majority of the time.
Advertising has created a whole industry out the fear of aging centered that will reach 291.9 billion dollars Globally by 2015. (That’s almost double the $115.5 billion dollar industry in 2010 just five years earlier-source link). Skin care products are a major contributing factor to this industry so that you can get rid of your wrinkles. Plastic surgery, face lifts, workouts, hormone replacement therapy, dietary supplements, all to remain the glamorous forever young.
How about this now erie quote by Marilyn Monroe, “I want to grow old without face-lifts .. I want to have the courage to be loyal to the face I’ve made. Sometimes I think it would be easier to avoid old age, to die young, but then you’d never complete your life, would you? You’d never wholly know you.”
― Marilyn Monroe
The problem is the same as the never thin enough episode, you will never be young enough, you can never turn back the clock, every minute of every day you are aging. Every minute of every day, the media and advertising are inciting fear and asking you to part with your money. They scare you into believing that aging is your problem or a problem and that if you spend your money on x, y, z product, you will be cured. (source link)
Age is something that is viewed as the enemy as evidenced by this quote by Sophia Loren. Even though the quote is positive, the pretext is, you must fight the enemy of age. “There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”
and this one
“To keep the heart unwrinkled, to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful, reverent–that is to triumph over old age.”
— Thomas Bailey Aldrich
One of the key things you gain as you age is wisdom and experience. You see this with the same studies on bridge players, chess masters, and bank managers: Memory and speed decline, but experience makes up for it. “If what you are doing depends on knowledge, then you’re going to do very well as you get older,” says psychology professor Neil Charness, PhD, of Florida State University. “And it makes sense. Which would you rather have on your team: a highly experienced 55-year-old chess master or a 25-year-old novice?” Read more:
Older brains are also better at making connections, research shows. Yes, you take longer to assimilate new information. But faced with information that relates to what you already know, your brain tends to work quicker and smarter, discerning patterns and jumping to the logical end point. Connections are what yoga is all about. “A friend of mine who’s been a doctor for more than 30 years said she can now often instantly evaluate a situation, making it easier to come up with effective solutions. “When I walk into a hospital room, there’s a lot in my head already,” she said. “In many cases, I can foresee what will happen, and that helps a lot.” Read more:
In the world of yoga I am motivated by Tao Porchon-Lynch, the Guinness World Record’s “World’s Oldest Yoga Teacher – who at 93 years old not only still teaches yoga but also dances. Lilias Folan, the first lady of yoga, and host of the 1970s PBS TV special and was the first one to bring yoga into living rooms. She posted this on her blog recently:
Slow me down, Lord! Ease the pounding of my heart by the quieting of my mind. Steady my hurried pace with a vision of the eternal reach of time.
Give me, amidst the confusion of my day, the calmness of the everlasting hills. Break the tensions of my nerves and muscles with the music of the singing streams that live in my memory.
Help me to know the magic restoring power of sleep.
Teach me the art of taking Minute Vacations…of slowing down to look at t flower, to chat with a friend, to pat a dog, to read a few lines from a good book.
Remind me each day of the fable of the hare and the tortoise that I may know that the race is not always to the swift; that there is more to life than increasing its speed.
Let me look upward into the branches of the towering oak and know that it grew great and strong because it grew slowly and well. Slow me down, Lord, and inspire me to send my roots deep into the soil of life’s enduring values that I may grow toward the stars of my greater destiny. Amen.
-Wilfred A. Peterson
Wilfred A. Peterson in Adventures in the Art of Living, published by Simon and Schuster, New York.
I’m also incredibly inspired by the Father of Juicing Jay Kordich who is 88 years old, full of vim and vigor, running around on trade room floors selling his juicers! Also in the world of food and nutrition I am energized by Mimi Kirk who is seventy-five years old and totally loving life and motivating people about raw food un-cooking. Louise Hay is still active in Hay House at age 87. Ram Dass is now eighty-two years old, his book Still Here Embracing Aging, Changing and Dying is based on the premise that while others may devalue the aging, it is a time to reconnect with your spiritual self and grow into wisdom. Despite the suffering that has come from his stroke, Ram Dass shares the wisdom that has also come through this experience.
In truth, outside the trance of media and advertising, as you age you actually gain the respect of your peers for your knowledge, experience and strength. “Aging is an inevitable process. I surely wouldn’t want to grow younger. The older you become, the more you know; your bank account of knowledge is much richer.” –William Holden Outside the trance of media and advertising you can step inside yourself (pratyahara) and see the truth, “We are not victims of aging, sickness, and death. These are part of scenery, not the seer, who is immune to any form of change. This seer is the spirit, the expression of eternal being.” –Deepak Chopra
For today’s class we are going to enjoy a chakra balancing class for one of the things I enjoyed as I watched my Grandmother in the last years of her life was coming more deeply into each one of her energy centers. She was more grounded, she had more fun, she had fire, her heart was more open than ever before in her life, she spoke her truth, she knew her future and she was connected to her own wisdom.