There is no reason why a person’s life shouldn’t become better, fuller more amazing as they get older. Life should become simpler as we age. Life has the capacity to open us up an expand who we are, or to close us down and make use rigid and negative depending on our perception and approach to life. Regardless of who we are, life offers plenty of challenges and yoga provides a way to deal with these challenges.
The mantra Om (or Aum) has been handed down to us by the Himalayan sages. It is the most important mantra of Yoga.
Yoga offers a way to gain a clearer perception and tools to help us open up and become more amazing. Empowering us to embrace life and it’s challenges becomes a natural and positive part of our lives when yoga is involved. On the physical the effects of old age can be slowed and general physical well-being increased. Mentally and emotionally we can heal, become stronger and more resilient whilst more connected to our humanity. Consider most people’s problems are located in the mind, and most problems in the world emanate from the mind of man, and you can see why the mental, emotional and physical health can only be a benefit to us all. The intellect alone does not have all the answers, and sometimes the intellect needs to be put in its place. Welcome to yoga, the solution to all our problems, and not limited to just physical postures (asana), but all aspects of who we are. Tools and practices for all types of people with all sorts of issues.
The solution is yoga and meditation?
When the mind is silent and peaceful it becomes very powerful. It can become a receptor of bliss and wisdom enabling life to become a spontaneous flow and expression of joy and harmony. However, this inner silence cannot arise while there is a continual stream of disturbing thoughts and emotions. All this inner noise of thoughts and emotions has to be removed before one can truly experience the soundless sound of inner silence.
(Swami Satyananda Saraswati)
Now contemplate times you were calm, relaxed and made decisions, versus times you were not. Which states of mind led to the better outcomes? There is in my view much benefit in becoming masters of our minds. From a mental health point of view fundamental, from a quality of life perspective highly important and from the spiritual perspective fundamentally part of the journey.
To become aware of what state our minds and our physiology are in, and adapting to reduce negative influences is a difficult and challenging task, but very beneficial. It’s a very good starting point. To be able to use meditation and yoga to root out and ease the samskaras (issues in mind and body) although this can be challenging, ultimately leads to effortless action without negative results. It does so by making life easier, simpler, healthier and more relaxed. We can do more, with less and have a better quality of life.
To begin, then cultivate and develop our practice by regular and sustained practice is highly beneficial. Regardless of whether you want to develop “spiritually”. The practice becomes a mala (thread) in your life. The thread is your life and the beads are the practice. Positive transformation will occur if you maintain the mala of practice in your life. When there are days when I am unable to practice, which are very rare, it is very obvious as the day does not run as smoothly. This becomes even more obvious when two (or more) people living together, even if only one practices, skip a practice session. The practices balance all aspects of our lives. There are no shortcuts, just practice, simple. Maybe read a bit every now and then to understand intellectually, but let the practice transform you. Nothing is gained without transformation which only the practices bring. Learn to use the thinking mind as its meant to be, as something you use when you need it. Not something that controls you or causes you problems.