An article by this name recently crossed my path inspiring me to address our vision of aging once again, especially since I am launching YogaMotion’s 6th series of Yoga for Healthy Aging next week. The fact is, we are all aging each day that we are alive. It simply becomes more apparent after we enter the latter years of our life. The 8-week course I offer is appropriate for anyone desiring to maintain and enhance their strength, flexibility, and stamina in body, mind, and spirit.
Unfortunately, in our society, the idea of getting older stirs up feelings of fear, resistance, and worry. Our relationship with this natural process needs a bit of a facelift, so to speak. For it is through aging that we grow richer in our experiences, deeper in our knowledge, and wiser in understanding. These are the priceless gifts that await us after our years of being students, householders, parents, and professionals.
With more than 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day we are rethinking and redefining what it means to be 55, 65, and 75. After all, baby boomers as a group are the wealthiest, most active, and most physically fit generation up to the era in which they arrived, and were amongst the first to grow up genuinely expecting the world to improve with time. I still believe that. Do you?
To truly live our best lives, we must embrace not only the care of our physical health, but also nourish our emotional, spiritual, and relational wellbeing. This means overcoming our fears and compassionately greeting our older selves to make the most of each precious breath, moment, and relationship. Courage gives us the ability to overcome the challenges of getting older, create action plans for our best possible future, and realize our fullest potential by making peace with life itself.
The root of the word courage is cor - the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant "To speak one's mind by telling all one's heart." When we let go of limiting thoughts in the mind we are more capable of expressing the wisdom of the heart and from this place of compassion, we can effectively address the opportunities of getting older.
Awaken to a higher level of personal awareness.
When we pay close attention to our body’s messages, the rhythm of our breath, the rise and fall of emotions, and our quality of mind, we obtain the ability to reroute our course of action toward a higher state of balance.
Reimagine the future.
Imagining our best possible future is an awakening unto itself. The possibilities are as unlimited as they are uplifting and transformative. Opening our minds and hearts allow us to re-energize our lives.
Formulate an action plan.
Intention without action simply leads to unfulfilled dreams. Instead, get clear in your heart’s desires for how you want to feel and be in the world, day by day, year by year, and take the steps that create the life you enjoy living. It’s truly up to you.
Be a work in progress.
Being vibrant and soulful at any age, we must continue to learn and grow through new experiences and ideas. As the masks of pretense, arrogance, and status fall away, we become more playful, flexible, open-minded, and even irreverent. Aging offers us the opportunity to be that much more comfortable in our own skin, reawakening a sense of wonder and creativity.
Do your work and leave a legacy.
The work is that of cultivating freedom, peace, and calm by participating in daily practices that bring them about. Through that effort, we are rewarded with living a vibrant, soulful life. By releasing old fears and insecurities, we find deep peace and can share this goodness with others leaving a legacy of love.
Join the practice of Yoga for Healthy Aging
and Live Courageously
Recommended reading: Courageous Living/Courageous Aging: Your Best Year Ever Reimagined by Ken Druck.