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Use Yoga to Embrace Getting Older, Not Fight It

"Man plans and God laughs." --Hebrew Proverb

These past few days I've made a few unsuccessful attempts to fly home only to be sidelined by turbulent weather. The score is currently Mother Nature -- 2 and Diane (innocent yoga chick trying to fly home after a relaxing vacation in South Carolina) -- 0. I will try again tomorrow. I'm lucky enough to not have a burning commitment that requires my presence at home, so these extra vacation days are a pleasant surprise. They are also a reminder of how little control we have of life and how Mother Nature and Father Time have their own agenda (one which does not cater to us).

This, Too, Shall Change

Anicca was a word that I heard every day of my 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat. It means impermanence or not enduring. As I sat for hours on end in the same position and suffered everything from pain to itchiness to mental mind chatter, this word became my mantra. During the retreat we were continually told that we could bank on one truth -- things change. In the past four years since my first Vipassana retreat I've come to learn that it's not about trying to control situations/people (an illusion since things are always changing and we have control over nothing) but about our relationship to these situations/people that counts. It's no surprise that my mantra is still anicca (yes, even after all these years).

Changing Your Relationship to Aging

Even though the reality is that things change and that Father Time and Mother Nature are in control, we still fight. We slather ourselves in anti-aging creams, we consume anti-aging potions, we go under the knife -- all in the name of staying young. I'd bet that Father Time and Mother Nature laugh at our sad little attempts at staying young.

I am well aware that I'm getting older. Rather than fighting against reality, I'm changing my relationship with it. I don't see getting older as something bad. I don't judge the changes. Instead, I celebrate them. Granted, this isn't all that easy to do in a society that prizes youth. Still, it's possible to change one's perspective. I also treat my body and myself with more kindness and compassion. I may not be able to stop aging, but I sure as hell can age gracefully. My goal is to be that 90-year-old lady that laughs too loud, calls em' like she sees 'em without apology, flirts with all the young men, and hangs upside down on her Yoga Swing

Age Gracefully with a Little Help from Yoga

In addition to eating healthfully, drinking lots of water, inverting on my Yoga Swing every day, meditating, getting out in nature regularly, exercising and practicing yoga, I laugh often and make pleasure a priority. Here are some tools to help you age gracefully:

  • The Five Tibetans are 5 simple moves (done either 7, 14, or 21 times in a row, depending on your ability) believed to improve health and retard aging.  I often practice these rites because they give me an energy boost and can be done in about 10 minutes. Here are two YouTube videos of the Rites being performed. Both are around 10 minutes and offer different modifications of the moves:

Tomorrow I'll try yet again to fly home (the third time is the charm, right?!?!). As I stand at the ticket counter you can bet I'll be chanting my anicca mantra knowing that somewhere Mother Nature and Father Time are laughing. I'll be laughing right along with them (whether I make it on a plane home or not).



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