Friendly Reminder: We All Age, Too

by Nina

“Just as this is not the best of all possible worlds, your body is not the best of all possible bodies. But it’s the only one you’ll ever have, and it’s worth enjoying, nurturing, and protecting. “ —Daniel E. Lieberman from The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease 

You know how we have to be reminded—even through it is obvious—that we’re all going to die? 

Well, I think it’s also worth reminding everyone that if we make it to adulthood, we’re all going to age. No matter what race you are, you will age. No matter whether you are thin or have a larger body, you will age. No matter what your sexual orientation or gender identity is, you will age. No matter whether you are fully able-bodied or have a disability of some kind, you will age. No matter whether you are basically in good health or have a chronic disease, you will age. Whatever kind of body you have, right here and right now, that body will age. 

So that’s why practicing yoga for healthy aging is essential self-care for everyone. Most of us, no matter what kind of body we start with, can work on strength, flexibility, balance, agility, and cardiovascular health for whatever body parts we have that can move, even in a limited fashion. For example, here is a video from the Accessible Yoga YouTube channel of a chair sequence for improving balance: 

And all of us who have an active brain can work on stress management, brain health, and equanimity. 

For example, suppose you have a serious chronic illness, as my friend Liz does (see The Biochemical Basis for a Gratitude Practice). She practices yoga and meditation for her peace of mind, which improves the quality of her life. But she also “nurtures” and “protects” her body by using the asana practice, as well as walking, for its physical benefits to help maintain the body she has. I’m always inspired to see how well she cares for herself! 

I thought about this after reading Jivana’s post Yoga and Human Rights, when he quoted Audre Lorde:

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” 

From my point of view "caring" for yourself includes nurturing your body—the only one you'll ever have—as well as your soul.

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