Longevity and Moving like you’re 100!
One of the rumors about yoga is that it creates a youthful body, hinting at longevity.
Don’t know about that-I’ll tell you when I get there but I was reflecting on the whole age thing this week because my beloved auntie celebrated her 96th birthday (her husband is a younger man at 95!). My sister Basia, who has an incredible blog, wrote a beautiful piece about them and how significant they’ve been in our lives. (See India Ink entry for January 9, 2007, it includes one of my poems)
No, they’ve never done a yoga class in their life but they did frequently watch me doing my yoga routine when I visited them and had great fun mimicking the stretches! I used to visit them when I lived in Manhattan and they lived in Connecticut and I enjoyed doing sun salutes in their backyard which was full of magnolia and dogwood trees they had planted.
I also remember watching them work in their huge vegetable garden, noticing how thorough their “work-out” was as they bent over the low cucumbers, tied the tomato stalks, laid rocks along a pathway and even cleaned out the roof rain gutter! They continued moving like this- outdoors and surrounded by greenery – well into their 90’s. My uncle would go into the woods when they moved to Vermont and pick mushrooms (an ability most Polish people learnt in childhood, especially those who grew up near the forests).
This was their salute to the sun and the earth and the forest and the air. Maybe what I was doing in my yoga practice was recreating this way of moving, which was their life. As we say in Polish, STO LAT! (May you live 100 years!)