faq: will yoga keep me young?

short answer: yes! and no... you'll get older and and feel younger!

long answer: Age is a perception of time. But this is always true: we have never been as old as we are right now.

We think of aging as a linear progression: that it is inevitable to become old, and desirable to remain young or to return to some favorite set point in the past. This is what we long for as “normalcy”, to go back, or for the future to resemble the past. It’s easier; so much energy is required to change the direction of progress, especially if you are in a minority of society.

What do we love about the past, about being young? We were adaptable, with a fluid intelligence unburdened by patterns that take hold over decades. We were light hearted, with fewer cares, responsibilities. But what about the body? A young body is light, high functioning, resilient to weariness and unstressed by chronic mental habits.

An old body is compressed and calcified, stiff and stressed, but the mature mind has taken on self-assurance, self-knowledge, wisdom, direction, and the ability to make good, clear decisions based on desired future outcomes.

Regardless of age, a successful body is one that meets gravity well. What happens over the years of aging is usually a progressive limitation, accumulation of the unprocessed feelings and unconscious habits that create insensitivity to chronic sensations. All of this results in deterioration of resilience, and is normalized, along with the narrowed, more pessimistic mental perspective.

So let’s be abnormal.

Yoga techniques are designed to decompress the body, systematically create order, and improve native biology so that the body ages not backwards toward our younger selves, but forwards to an optimized, increasingly mature self.

Moving with breath increases the circulation of lymph and blood, improving drainage/detox, which changes the chemistry of the body, liberating energy through the process of healing and strengthening.

Healing hinges on the creation of space in the body: length in musculature, easy attachments for freely moving joints, including the foundational joints of the body, the spinal vertebra. The concept of kundalini fits here: opening the space between the vertebra allows free flow of energy and cerebrospinal fluid, allowing free movement of electrical energy (nerve impulses) as well as reducing the mechanical energy required for normal movements: sitting, walking, asana.

Creating freedom, liberating energy, awakening the body: this is the direction we want to take with age.

The intellect and will direct the systematic changes; the body responds in the same way the mind does. When we have space within, we can expand our perspectives for naturally creative thought. When the body is awakened to interoception, the mind too becomes self-aware, so that we are able to step aside from heavy currents of thought and redirect the mental energy towards love, light, and positivity.

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