Age is no excuse…
It’s an opportunity to expand inner awareness to the point of self-preservation and deeper self-awareness. One of the classes I teach is an intermediate level at a private fitness center. The students are long time practitioners, in good shape, and range in age from mid twenties to mid seventies. When a younger yogi moves into an advanced position like free standing scorpion or hand stand, some of the older students will say “that’s because he’s so young”, and I remind them of B.K.S. Iyengar or their 70-something classmate who easily moves into the splits and can put both feet behind her head. I think it’s easy to slip into making excuses for ourselves, so we don’t have to work harder, or be more disciplined. One of my famous excuses is time, or really lack of it. Somehow, in the mysterious workings of my mind, that excuse lets me off the hook for morning practice, or exercise, or writing, or just about anything I don’t get around to doing! Whether it’s age or time, or any of the others, it’s still just an excuse. No matter what age, a pose can be accomplished to a certain degree, we can always approximate the position, even if we have to sit in a chair. With only 5 minutes, we can do some kind of practice – pranayama, meditation, a few poses, anything is better than nothing.
I think aging is a perfect life-cycle plan. It makes us pay more attention, become more focused on balancing our lives, choose better nutrition, exercise more, learn better healing techniques, use our time more wisely, become more sensitive, love deeper, develop more patience, release our ego dependence, and spend more time in our Yoga practice!