Yoga of Ages

Aging is a bittersweet journey. When you're young, you can't wait to get older; paradoxically, as you get older, you wish you were younger. One is either looking forward or back. The concept of simply enjoying the present has its fleeting moments; but easily fades in the background of the mind with distraction. If one does not make the conscious effort to make the most of their only moment...now, the see-saw of "should have, could have, would have" will always sway back and forth. Yoga helps you in the aging process. It certainly has helped me.

I can only speak from my experiences; therefore, if I was to explain how yoga helps you before age 40, it would be an assumption. The anatomical benefits speak for themselves. You build strength, improve internal bodily functions, and enjoy more flexibility. From a mental standpoint, the gifts of yoga manifest when you're ready. Life has a way of throwing you a curve ball when least expected. Yoga has a way of making it easier to catch.

In the seven years that I have practiced yoga, there are seven pearls of wisdom that I have gleaned. It would not be truthful  to say that I am always successful in polishing each pearl on my "string of wisdom"; however,  for the most part, I do. Whenever I digress, I quickly re-learn the truth of what I know and get my "see-saw" back in balance. Perhaps what I am sharing will resonate with you.

Pearl #1: Don't waste time doing what does not make you happy. If you are not true to what resonates in your heart, you are cheating yourself and the world of a precious gift only you have to offer. It takes time to realize this truth and is even harder to follow it. We all have responsibilities. We all have one life to live. You must learn how to say no thank you or have the courage to pursue a dream. Time is priceless...don't waste it. It is not too late. As long as you are living, you have time. Use it wisely.

Pearl #2: Be honest not only with others, but with yourself. If someone does not like to hear the truth, so be it. Living your life based on saying what you think someone wants to hear is failing to be true to yourself and them. The truth does "set you free". If the truth is destined to hurt someone, be kind...but, be honest. The foundation of a relationship should be based on this practice. How can we expect greater sources, such as the leaders of the world, to be this way if we aren't in our own personal world? It is not your job to make others happy. Only one can make oneself happy...how they do it is their journey of life. Cherish your journey.

Pearl #3: Disconnect from people who have negative influence on you. I promote helping others with the intention of teaching them how to help themselves. But, if someone in your life seems to be draining the life out of you...they are. Remember Pearl #1...don't waste time. You will have to determine the "line in the sand" for yourself. To enable another is not helping them; it is reinforcing what is detrimental for many. (And, yes...this includes family) Positive forces unite and become stronger together. The same truth applies to negative. May the positive force be with you! And, regarding family...go back far enough in history and we will realize we are all "family" from some blood line.

Pearl #4: Pursue dreams and goals you have regardless of your age. Write the dream down and determine the first, second and so on, steps to make it happen. If you have a dream that resonates from the heart, the Cosmos has a fascinating way of bringing the necessary sources to make it happen. Be patient in your pursuit. All happens when it is best. To force anything to happen is self-defeating. Life truly is a dream. Make is a great one. Dreams that you know are achievable aren't true dreams, they're goals. Dreams are making your mind extend it's imagination to a new edge of reality.

Pearl #5: Save the judgment of others to the Higher Power. This might sound crazy; but I don't think even God casts judgment. After all, we are extensions of the Source. I feel certain that He is more focused on His creative side than the critical side. We all make mistakes. We are all born in different families, parts of the world, and different mindsets. To think that one way is the only way is contrived. Each life serves a purpose. We teach each
other and even the "worst" of us who have existed made a change manifest. Einstein said it best: "All religions are branches of the same Tree." Religion is one of the major reasons for most wars in history. I don't think the Higher Power has nodded in approval for either "side" when He has seen one the most basic commandments repetitiously broken: "Thou shall not kill." Ponder that.

Pearl #6: Forgive. To hold grudges, hang onto past experiences as justifications for current actions and keeping it alive is a waste of life and time. Every experience teaches a lesson. If you do not learn what you were destined to learn, it will manifest again in another form. Forgiveness is not for the source of your issue. Forgiveness is for YOU. When you truly release the anger or whatever other emotion your mind clings to, you will literally feel like a weight has been lifted off your back. Trust me, I know. Until you forgive something or someone, you will remain a hostage to your past. Forgive and forge ahead.  Remember, you only have ONE life....toss the baggage that weighs on your mind out into infinite space. Set the intention from the heart to forgive and you will find the way.

Pearl #7: Live and love with passion until the time comes to surrender to death. The body changes, circumstances change and such; however, live with gratitude of having the opportunity of this moment. Use it to give, love, learn, pray, show kindness, admire something of beauty or just be still. Life is like a roller coaster. There are ups and downs and everything in between. To think you can only be happy while at the "peak" of the ride is an illusion. As you get older, you realize that the time in between the "peaks and valleys" is priceless. Enjoy now....everything else is either over or an anticipated
experience....not real. Even death is a journey into the unknown. When you live with passion and see life from the bigger picture perspective, you realize there is nothing to fear.

Perhaps these are revelations that you did not expect to read. However, they are revelations that became crystal clear to me after yoga entered my life. Life without yoga is now unfathomable. There is so much to discover! I am grateful for the physical benefits; however, the deepest strength to emerge has been from the heart. Practice yoga, practice mindfulness, practice forgiveness, practice living with passion and you will have your own revelations. Let's unite forces to expand the awareness wider and be remembered as the Age of Yoga!
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