The quality of our lives depend on the quality of our relationships, including the relationship we have with our bodies. Let’s be honest, we are middle-aged, at least I am, and so are most of my friends and students (some are millennials).
The question is: How do you want to age?
It is not the one handed arm balances that allow you to age gracefully but consistent practice time spent on the mat, moving your body in ways that strengthen, stretch, contract and release the muscles and joints.
We all want to be able to get out of bed easily in the morning (using our core), bend over and pick something up effortlessly (flexible hamstrings), and reach back in the car while driving safely (supple spine). It's a well- balanced practice that let’s you tap into and nudge open all body parts in a mindful and respectful way. We need more tenderness and curiosity in our practice, and let ourselves be informed by what is going on in our bodies and mind every time we step onto our mats, or sit on our cushions.
Yoga is not prescriptive practice, not a ‘one size fits all’ practice.
I have been noticing the tendency to resort to restorative yoga practices as people age (50+). Although there is a time and need for restorative yoga to balance the stress and anxiety in life and go deep into our connective tissue (as in Yin yoga), we need to continue to practice at a level that keeps our bones and tissues healthy by challenging ourselves to meet our edge, even as we get older.
Think about it like this: If you want to be strong as you get older, keep building strength, mindfully. If you want to stay flexible continue to stretch your body while tuning into your body's messages and signals.
Now, a flexible mind/personality is a different thing, and in my opinion is the result of an ongoing meditation practice. Presence is the awareness that is intrinsic to our nature. It arises when we are fully immersed in our experience. It is this process that eventually allows us to respond wisely to life's challenges, rather than react emotionally. It has now been proven that the brain and mind can continue to develop and change throughout life, enabling us to create new pathways!
So the practice of self-care is training our minds to re-embody rather than dis-embody, and making a space safe and comfortable enough to let that process happen. And from this lens, self-care begins to look a lot like meditation practice.
In meditation, we’re training two parts of our mind: concentration, defined as the ability to stay with our present experience (usually of the breath), and awareness, knowing where our minds are in any given moment.
As you get deeper into the practice of self-care, things might change. You might find that what you enjoy starts to shift.
I’ve recently had an insight: my habit of listening to podcasts every time I sit down in my car to drive either to teach or to pick up my kids has been adding to my stress level.
As much as I love to learn and educate myself, my Pitta mind goes into overwhelm with all the accumulated knowledge that I’m piling on during my drive time!
Not listening to podcasts made me feel like wasting my time, with all the driving I do these days…until I rediscovered the power of music, and the feelings a beautifully written and performed song can evoke! I am re-learning to tap into feeling and not dwell in my intellect so much.
Our mini retreat offered on Nov 4th will allow you to do just that. Tap into feeling through Yoga, meditation and let yourself be transported by live music by the incredibly talented Annmarie Soul.
Find out why Ayurveda is still going strong after 5000 years, and how it can help you thrive.
Savor organic food and cherish conversations, and allow your self to pause and breathe, at The Mountain Mermaid, right here in beautiful Topanga!
Please go out and watch the documentary HEAL, about the power of healing through positive thoughts, actions, faith and food.
Finally, which of my Ayurvedic Balancing Blends is your favorite and why? Have you smelled all of them yet?
I am expanding into retail and would love to hear of a yoga studio or gift store near you that might be interested in carrying my oils.
I will offer you 2 free oil blends of your choice for any leads that result in a whole sale account!
Enjoy this never-ending Summer, and remember to see the goodness in all beings!
With so much Love,