Scientific theories about how we age nearly all accept, without question, the doctrine of youth’s perfection. They focus on decline and pay little heed to the steady emergence of new gifts and capacities in later years. — Dr. Bill Thomas, author(1)
Understanding is power! Over the last several years our work here has shifted to specialize in helping to helping students and client in understanding the changing bodies, minds and life challenges of the second half of life. Our mission is to debunk these myths of aging as decline and help everyone with whom we work the opportunity uncover the possibilities that conscious and wise self care can create.
Jennifer Downs, on her Pivot Points Project blog, sums up this overall process:
Around the late forties or fifty we begin to experience a radical shift in our inner state. It demands attention because it is an immense change in perspective. This is the beginning of the “second half of life.” (1)
Understanding how we can take control of our health is paramount to enjoying life at any age, but more so as we encounter challenges to our well- being later in our lives. So much of what we attribute to aging can instead be understood as the cumulative effects of longstanding lifestyle and habits. With this understanding such we can be less frightened and more proactive in how we meet these challenges.
Yoga, meditation and related self care practices are tools to create conscious change. More specifically Yoga that asks us to look inward invites the kind to conscious change that allows us to make the adjustments we need to make to get back on course toward living our best lives. Because this approach endeavors do ask us to turn inward, learn new things and make new choices that may be uncomfortable. Still the effects of a more conscious and inward oriented can take us to important place and offer significant rewards. Some of these health based rewards are unique and specific to a more deep and subtle approach to whole self wellness and are outlined here. Many of these and other benefits of Yoga a and self care work that plumbs deeper processes of our bodies and minds is that it provides an alternative and a compliment to modern medical and exercise based health solutions.
Spending time and resources toward learning how to create physical and mental resilience requires making intelligent and informed changes to our lifestyle. This is not to deny the realities of our older bodies and lives, but instead embracing these realities so we take wise and informed action to lives our best lives.
The benefits of conscious and deep Yoga practice offers unique and specific changes in body and mind to help us feel better in the moment and support all we can do to be healthy in body and mind as “reap the harvest of our lives”. Perhaps more importantly, it offer the gift of allowing us to become more comfortable with our inner world. This can be the springboard to adapting to the changes life brings with more enthusiasm and grace at every age.
As Jenifer Downs summarizes above:
“The more consciousness we bring to this time and this process, the more we reap the harvest of our life.”(3).
(2) Tools and Tasks of the Second Half of Life, https://www.pivotpointprojects.com/blog/2016/5/31/tools-and-tasks-of-the-second-half-of-life
(3) Tools and Tasks of the Second Half of Life, https://www.pivotpointprojects.com/blog/2016/5/31/tools-and-tasks-of-the-second-half-of-life