Healing Journey Monday: Healthy aging


Kat Atkin dancing in Philly


I’ll come back to another post or two on muscles and relaxation, but a few days ago I hit the one month from 60 mark and my recent thoughts have often been about how we think about aging and how different I think it can be.

I’ve noted since I was quite young that most people have an expectation that age means becoming ever more slow and stiff and infirm and there’s nothing you can do about it. I’ve also observed that people who exercise—particularly those who do yoga or something similar that helps keep the muscles stretched—and/or eat well are often active and lively and full of pep well into their 80’s or even 90’s. That’s not to say that they aren’t moving slower than they did in their 20’s or that they don’t suffer more ailments than they did when they were younger. But that sense of age inevitably leading to infirmity and immobility seems to be mostly a self-fulfilling prophecy.

At this stage, theory would have it that I should be starting the downward slope. But after 26 years of yoga and 15 or so years of practicing the Psychophysical Method and my own re-creation of it into triggers of release combined with yoga, I’m in far better shape than I was at 20 or 30. My father is 87 and until emphysema got in the way a year ago he played tennis every other day and did vigorous calisthenics on the days in between. His doctor has wanted to take him around as a shining example of the great condition you can be in with exercise. Personally I think more stretching would have eased some aches and pains from the tennis, but basically he’s part of my example group of elders who have stayed healthy and vigorous by working at it.

Some people are going to experience a debilitating issue regardless of exercise and some people will have some ailment that prevents the exercise but I really believe that the majority of people could experience old age in far greater health, with far more energy and far more mobility if they would take care of their bodies as if they planned to stay healthy.

See earlier posts:

Sway with me

Practices for Flow