Let's face it, by the time we've hit our thirties, we have most likely been to our share of funerals. Grandparents, great-grandparents, great aunts and great uncles and the list goes on. Sadly, you've most likely had to bear witness to someone who has also died way too young. Aging and death are inevitable and once we can accept this, we can begin to live more freely. Accepting that notion is not easy though as there is great injustice in this world. At the same time, we need to find meaning in growing old as this may be the only thing that can keep one moving forward with joy and optimism.
I bring up the topic of age because we live in a culture that constantly resists the concept of aging. However, what we resist, shall always persist, and growing older will come to all of us. That is of course, only if you're lucky. Growing old is a privilege. The simple fact that each of us goes to bed each night, and wakes up in the morning, while someone among the billions of people whom we share this glorious planet will not, is a gift unto itself.
Yoga serves as a reminder of the changing state of our bodies, but also of its ability to regenerate itself. Yoga may not be an eternal potion or fountain of youth we drink from, but it can be a lifeline. This lifeline helps you manage stress, reduce tension and anxiety, calm the nervous system, detoxifies the skin and larger organs, and facilitates joint mobility, flexibility and balance ( particularly in our older years).
I have struggled with the concept of myself getting older. I want time to freeze. I want my loved ones to stay with me. I want to take comfort behind my identity, my dark Italian coarse hair that will one day turn grey, my doe-eyed wonder that will one day lose their innocence, and my olive skin whose wrinkles will hide away my once unique birth marks. The reality is that time is not stagnant. It keeps on moving. It truly is a state of mind and the mind can choose to stay dormant in time, or willingly welcome it in.
We are all getting older. We can hide behind whatever skin product, cosmetic procedure, hair growing innovation you'd like, but the truth is, age will come to us all. Simultaneously, so will a rich life full of experiences, all bringing with them a range of emotions and memories. How you choose to respond to all of these experiences, will determine how graciously and gracefully you embrace your age, not in the imminent future, but in the unfolding of this very moment. For the time is here, right now, to accept and embrace who you are, regardless of age.