Friday, May 17, 2013
I'm not sure what caused this feeling. It began after a lifelong friend was hospitalized in a local long-term care facility.
The facility is probably one of the best in the country. The staff is skilled, caring and mostly young. The patients are mostly elderly. Many are alert, but a few spend their days slumped in their wheelchairs staring into the distance. Most of the people spend their days doing things like playing bingo, going to Sunday church services, or attending chair yoga class.
I live in a small semi-rural community. Often when I visit, I see someone I know from the community who is now in a wheelchair.
None of them planned on ending up here. Had you told them two years ago that they'd be in these wheelchairs today, they would have scoffed at the idea.
Some are younger than I. I look at them and think, "That could be me in 3 months."
An 84 year old friend listened to this story, and replied: "Time is short!"
|Image from Iyengar Hatha Yoga Center of Hawaii - Manoa Yoga Centerwww.manoayoga.com|
'I don’t consider fifty as old. Over sixty, the life energy begins to decline and it is important to use the skills and intellect to counteract this decline in life energy. This energy is very sensitive and when it detects a weakness it (Flows less?) and the body quickly becomes stiff and weak.' --I remember reading this somewhere I think it was in BKS Iyengar's book, Light on Yoga.
For someone over sixty, health is a much deeper and more complicated issue than “fitness” and “weight. It is the very flow of life itself.
As Iyengar said, it is very important for someone over sixty to use intellect and skills to stay healthy. The body/mind detects weakness in bio-life energy and reacts accordingly by further restricting this energy.
This may be why an hour a day of gentle yoga can make such a profound difference in health after sixty.