As I approach forty, ok, mid-forty, I am more aware of discrepancies between ages. Not number age, but the attitudes that close off opportunities for growth.
I see it in people my age and younger, who anticipate everything from worsening posture to no hope for their health or careers. Yoga people, as I hear us called, are in another place — allowing us to constantly explore possibility, which can’t help, but to give way to change.
This allows us to shift mentally and look at the bigger picture, making huge health and life changes. Not that the path is perfect, (every two year old falls down frequently). But it gives a resiliency that allows you to flow with success and failure, a dance that I take part in in life and in yoga. So hey, act your yoga age by:
1. Changing Up Your Practice or Your Class
Try something new. And by new it doesn’t necessarily mean jumping into a hot or advanced class. Slowing down in a gentle or yin class can open you to new things in your body and in your brain.
2. Taking Time to Figure Out What Your Body Needs, Every Practice
That’s part of what the breathing’s for. Connect into the body and it will tell you where it is in that moment.
3. Coaching Yourself Through Challenges and Analyzing Success
What things came together during that practice where you felt amazing? Let go of those challenges and those days when you didn’t necessarily feel your best.
4. Letting Go of Comparisons
It’s hard to keep into your own practice as you watch someone pretzel around you. Realize that noticing someone else’s practice is natural, but holding on to the comparison is unhealthy.
5. Taking it Off the Mat
Take the yoga out of it, and the same rules apply to your day-to day.
My yoga age sometimes depends on the day. Some days that means I am 8 and can find Wheel pose no problem. On others, that means I have to tune into my body more carefully and move into poses a little more slowly.
Truth be told, that has been the case no matter what age I’ve been. Your yoga age is a mindset of gratitude for what you can do, doused with huge gobs of joy, and sprinkled with experience.