YOGA: Longevity, age and growing stronger

It's no secret that yoga can aid mental well being. And recent scientific studies indicate that yogic practices are very effective in the treatment of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) 

It is believed that through the practise of all the 8 limbs of Yoga as described by the ancient sage Patanjali, it is possible to create new neurological pathways.  Can this be true? 

On a physical level, yoga and freedom are simpler to explain. The great  Yin Yoga pioneer, Paul Grilley, has some succinct logical things to say about the trajectory of aging.

He says that all humans follow the same trajectory of aging, but, some faster than other. Hence the only way to die young is to slow the aging process down.  But how?   

In the words of Ashley Montagu: " the idea is to die young as late as possible"

Yoga definitely is a key to dying young according to Tara from Tarji Journeys. Check out what she has to say here  She is convinced the yogic path has profound results in producing new neurological pathways.

Grilley points out the aging trajectory begins with birth.  From the day we are born we become more yin-like.  Yin represents stability whereas Yang represents mobility.

Babies are all mobility and flexibility and need to gain stability or strength. The first stages of aging are about gaining strength, not flexibility. Focus on the muscles! Get stronger. More Yang like.  At some point, perhaps in our 20's or 30's, we reach that mid-point. We are balanced between yin and yang: we have the flexibility and the stability we need. But, unfortunately, the trajectory continues, we keep getting more yin-like. If only we could hit the pause button and stay there, but we can't.

As we age, we get stiffer and stiffer. We can be strong well into our declining years, but the real health issues develop out of stagnation. Our joints shrink-wrap. Our ligaments shrink. Our brains shrink. We dry up and curl up, until, like a leaf in autumn, we crumble into dust and blow away. As we age, we need more yin practice to combat the growing rigidity.

Youth is a time for yang: Seniors need yin. Of course we need it all, but it is the relative importance that changes. Most of the seniors that practise yoga are wanting to regain mobility, especially in their joints, or to rekindle the flow of energy through their bodies.

By following the energy water ways of Yin Yoga we can all head down that path to dying young.



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