Ever look around to see that you are the youngest person in the room? Ever look around and see the opposite? Having recently turned 50, I get both perspectives. My dearest friend is 68; my best yoga buddy is 35. I often find myself somewhere in the middle.
This is fine with me. While my yoga practice is not what it was 15 years ago (this is probably a good thing), in my mind I still feel like a new college grad facing a promising future (in a convertible, in the Berkshires, on a sunny day).
Age happens…if we’re lucky. Though the march of time is inevitable, it is our stride that ages us. We can plod and trudge along, or we can choose to dance and skip and maybe even pick up the tempo a little bit. The choice is ours. And it’s an easy one to make. Getting the nerve to make it is not so easy.
Yoga to the rescue! Like the superheroes we used to dress up as in youth (Adam still dresses this way sometimes and he has got to be almost 40!), yoga swoops in to save the day. Swoop might be the wrong verb here, but yoga does make a huge difference. With time, commitment and consciousness (the cit part of sat cit ananda), the yoga practice helps us make the decision whether to go gently into that good night or party all night long.
Asana (yoga postures), tapas (meditation), and svādhyāya (self-reflection and study of the yogic texts) open us up to a deepening appreciation of our life and years. It’s not a denial, but rather an awakening. In yoga we find ways of seeing a little more of the wonder in life. It is this glimpse that fuels the choice to dance.
Sure, the body ages. There are more pops in the hips as we stretch into trikonasana, chattaranga plays havoc with rotator cuffs, and once lithe limbs creak, but each aspect of our changing bodies gives us an opportunity to see ourselves, our practice, our true nature in a different, and possibly more beautiful, light.
Try it. If you’re an advanced student, take a beginner series. You’ll be amazed at the depth you might have missed the first time around. There is so much here to experience beyond the physical practice!
Once you let got of your expectations – of your body, of your practice – you’ll find something more sustaining. Like the headwaters of the fountain of youth, this is the tonic that will help you get up your nerve to choose the bouncy step over the plodding one. It is an experience so special, that like someone called to the ministry you’ll wish it for everyone.

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