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Getting Older or Getting Better
How to embrace life at any age - Page 2

The main reason muscles become smaller and weaker over time has very little to do with the aging process. It has a lot to do with being less active. In addition, a lot of aches that people attribute to age are really due to improperly using the body. If you walk knock-kneed all your life, for example, you're putting unnecessary stress on your hip, knee and ankle joints and they'll suffer for it. What about that hunched-over spine that you see on so many seniors? Many times it's the result of a lifetime of poor posture. Bad alignment and abusing your joints result in osteoarthritis and many other forms of joint and back pain. That's different from aging. Abuse and aging are two different things. You can stop abusing your joints and spine at any time and start taking care of them. One of the best places to start is Yoga.

(Article continued below.)

Concerned about aging gracefully? Yoga will add grace, no matter how many, or how few, years you have. It will also improve your posture and make your spine and joints suppler. It will make you more flexible in body and mind - or it will return flexibility that you lost. A lifetime Yoga practice is one of the best guarantees against the afflictions that so many people falsely associate with aging. This is because Yoga not only works with the body, it also opens up the mind and spirit. A flexible body is only achieved with a flexible mind. Yoga uses the synergy between the two to work its magic.

Because they create more strength and flexibility, exercise and Yoga can help release mental blocks and prove that you are capable of more than you had assumed. It only takes one more step - stretching the mind - to achieve even more. People "get old" when they shut down their minds, become fixed in their beliefs and start thinking that they can't learn new things. The only reason computers so often confound people in their 40s is because they believe they can't learn about them easily. Children don't share this belief, which is why they so often have to help their parents figure out how to install the latest software. The only thing stopping you from learning anything new is your belief system. The more you are willing to try, the more you are willing to question attitudes that are holding you back, the richer your life will be. You are also less likely to suffer from a creaky, confused old age.

People become better when they are willing to test their boundaries and go beyond their perceived limitations. This can be done at any age. Life is entrancing, joyful, horrifying and awe-inspiring. There are a lot of new things to learn, a lot of things to get passionate about, lots of excitement to be had. Why miss out on any of it by closing yourself up, by hunkering down in a rocking chair and allowing yourself to get old? Your body is your vehicle - take care of it. You mind is a tool - use it. If something starts to go wrong, fix it. It's a simple recipe, and if you want to get better instead of getting older, all you have to do is use it.

Back to the Beginning >> Busting the Old Age Myth

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