"Surely healthy lifestyle, yoga practice will certainly help slow the the ageing process but one has inevitably to come to terms with the process of ageing". Ramaswami
|My photo choice not Ramaswami's.|
Krishnamacharya at 84 - see http://grimmly2007.blogspot.jp/2015/02/krishnamacharya-practicing-at-84.html post
Photos from krishnamacharya's Yogasanagalu see my Free Download page
Right now I am teaching a 15 day 100 hr Teacher Training program in Vinyasakrama Yoga. 60 hrs of asana vinyasas, 20 hrs of pranayama,yoga for internal organs and introduction to dharana meditation and then a 20 hr component of Yoga Sutras constitute the entire program. This is being organized by Yiga Vahini in Chennai. Last year I did the same program for Yoga Vahini in Chennai. I will be doing the same 100 hr Vinyasakrama Yoga program for Yoga Institute in Sydney Australia from April 22nd of this year. The registration is open. Here is the link
Changes take place all the time. Patanjali recognizes three changes or transformations called parinama-s.One is changes in a person due to circumstances called avastha parinama. Then the changes that come about due to efflux of time called lakshana parinama. Then of course transformations brought about by specific individual efforts on oneself. These specific activities which help to brings about fundamental changes of dormant but inherent qualities or dharmas are called dharma parinama-- like with yogic practice one is able to transform a habitually distracted mind to a mind or chitta which can remain in a state of intense focus called ekagrata. This transformation is called ekagrata parinama.
Everyone goes through the changes brought about by time.These changes or avastha parinama are seen over a period of time. Black hair turns grey or thins.The skin loses moisture slowly and becomes wrinkled. Muscles lose their tone and start sagging. Ageing signs are unmistakable
Just as changes are visible, there are invisible changes taking place inside the body with time. My Guru would say that several internal organs including the heart tend to get displaced from their positions over a period of time and these changes and regular inversions(sirsasana, sarvangasana) would help to slow down the descent of these organs. But one also would understand that the changes to the various vital organs may be retarded by Yoga and healthy lifestyle but can not be prevented altogether.
Cells age and become less efficient. Further old cells die and may not be replaced. This leads the vital organs to function less well. In some organs some cells die but are not replaced and thus render it less efficient. The intercostal and other accessory muscles of breathing including the diaphragm become weak. The lungs also become weak and unable to fight infections like pneumonia, pleurisy etc. The kidneys tend to shrink and this leads to many complications. The heart and the blood vessels start losing their elasticity. There is an all round decline in health as one ages. Surely healthy lifestyle, yoga practice will certainly help slow the the ageing process but one has inevitably to come to terms with the process of ageing.
There are several systems that are said to be helpful in coming to terms with the process of ageing and the inevitable termination.The Vedic philosophies Samkhya, Yoga and Vedanta reveal the stunning truth about the real self. The real self which is unwavering consciousness or awareness and in the midst of the ageing of all parts of the body it remains without an iota of change, they declare. That is the truth about oneself and they commend that one start considering the atma as the self and not the decaying body. Thus while all parts of the body decay, the core of each one -the self- does not undergo any change and thus is immortal. Could this awareness be a way to meet the depressing changes of old age and the inevitable end to the body?
See my Ramaswami Resource Page at the top of the blog
See also my Iyengar post on ageing...
My page at the top of the blog....
And perhaps my previous post on the goal of Ashtanga yoga..., another reminder that asana is but one limb and though we may continue practicing (some) asana throughout our life, for health and fitness, discipline..., as a support for our concentration practice, as we age we may wish to add more focus, give more attention, to the other limbs and the goal of Ashtanga, though we may only travel so far.
but why wait until we are ageing?
|Photos from krishnamacharya's Yogasanagalu see my Free Download page|
What does practice look like after 70 years?
Krishnamacharya's Yogasanagalu ( Link to translation) was originally published in 1942, these photos are from the 3rd edition 1972
Or perhaps practice after 70 years just looks like this...
|from Breath of Gods|
*These pictures were taken for and added to the 1972 edition of Yogasanagalu putting Krishnamacharya at 84. Krishnamacharya was first taught asanas by his father from when he was six.
See the follow up post here
Yesterday I posted 120 odd pictures of Krishnamacharya demonstrating asana from the 3rd edition of his second book Yogasanagalu, he was 84 at the time. The pictures were remarkable, how did he manage to stay that strong, that flexible, his eldest son Desikachar gives us a clue,
".....Of course, he was also doing Āsana for three to four hours daily in addition to his Prāṇāyāma. His practice was extremely rigorous and that may account for his being able to handle these large quantities of spicy and sweet foods.”
and the third post in this series