Monday, August 09, 2010

Ashtanga yoga and age

A dear friend, fellow blogger and  passionate yogini commented lately that it could be good when I wrote about Ashtanga yoga at my age, because it looks so easy when I practice. What an awesome compliment.Thank you, thank you, thank you.

The only problem, I do not feel much different than a decade earlier and of course I do not feel old. It's true, when I meet a yogi/yogini above 50, I think: Such an old person and look it is still possible to practice this challenging Ashtanga yoga. When I think this, I forget for a moment that I have the same age. I feel young. But to  look at the face of a person at my age is a polite reminder: youth is something else. (Between feelings and reality seems to be a  gap.)

There are a few slight differences to now in comparison to my 20s and 30s:
1. My body needs more time to learn new asanas, much more time perhaps. I don't care.
2. Nevertheless more is possible than I thought it would be. Dropping back from standing position into urdhva dhanurasana taught me this. "Wow", I thought when this happened the first time last year or so, remembering my age, "even I can do this". I had given up certain asanas already. This has changed. Nowadays I  think: "This asana is not yet possible, but one day it will be". I practice and practice and practice, every day (Practice and all is coming, we remember, Mr Jois said this). I don't use age as an excuse anymore not to try anything. What is true for yoga is also true for other areas in life: A new job, sex, new friends, everything is still possible. Only the own limitations hold many people back.

Ashtanga yoga liberates the body and the mind, it is said.
The body becomes more flexible, also the mind.

I distract.

No, I won't do more pranayama or meditation because of my age.
"Because of my age"... is in 99% a lousy excuse.

My body will tell me when no more is possible and when I will "only" be able to keep the status quo. Till then I go to my limits and push them a bit.
I have very good conditions for the time being: 3 times I can go to a Mysore class with a very supporting teacher, 3 times I practice alone on my mat, once a week I can go to a led class. A practice usually lasts 90 min. One day of the week usually it is the Saturday I relax and don't do one of the series. These good conditions help to improve my practice.

So far I get stronger and more flexible.
This might not be the case for every body at 51. Genes, life style play a role, for sure. But again don't limit yourself. More is possible than we usually think, this is what my Ashtanga yoga practice taught me.

I just had an excellent practice at home, I bent forward and backward, I balanced my body on my hands and on my head, I sweated, I felt like a young swan.
Age? Let's talk about this in 20 years. Thank you.


Me: Darling, oh oh oh, slowly my real age can be seen.
He: Don't go so close to the mirror.

Healthy at 100:


Ebatte said...

You're only as old as you feel. Do all you can WHILE YOU CAN!

bindifry said...

you are absolutely gorgeous

Ursula said...

Thank you ladies.....:)