Okay, you cannot really stop, but you sure can slow the process down enough so that you really feel good getting there, and yes…I did say feel good.
And since the blog is titled “Om” it might also fit that the solution would be yoga related, and so it is. Our bodies are designed to last us our entire life, provided we take care of them. Yes aging happens, but the aches, pains, and the extreme metabolic slow down that occurs is simply from the life long abuse we so readily provide it. We are not destined to live out old age stooped over a cane, or walker, or even wheelchair. We are not destined to swallow bottles of Phillips Milk of Magnesia for our entire retirement, and rub Ben Gay on our joints forevermore. That all most likely occurs from the unbalanced lifestyle we push upon our bodies when we are younger and thoughtless.
So now you might be thinking, damn…I’m not allowed to have fun when I’m young, not when I’m old, so what the *^$#^$@$&()&#$%$, why live?
You can live, you can even abuse your body occasionally, but give it the proper respect, after all your body is allowing you to live it up at its expense. The least you can do is try to feed it right, and give it the proper exercise whenever you get the chance, and even go so far as to say, MAKE those chances. Then, when you do go a little crazy, drink too much, or gorge on a Flintstone steak, your body will likely forgive you and instantly remove all traces of gluttony.
And to that end – we have a lovely series of exercises designed to help you do just that:
Begin with a few long deep breaths, spine nice and straight. Sit on the floor if you can, otherwise find a comfy coffee table, and pull your legs up. Pull the feet in close to the body, pull yourself up from the sternum, and begin to ‘butterfly’ your legs. Do this for a couple of minutes and continue to breath long and deep, or again, if you can, breath of fire.
Continue then, with a nice strong forward bend, legs straight out in front of you, back nice and long, extend the arms upwards, and then draw them down to your legs, reaching as far forward as your body allows you. Hold wherever you can, or use a strap if you need to. You want to press the back of you legs down onto the mat ( or table) and let the forward bend stretch your spine. Hold this pose for a couple of minutes, again in either a long deep breath, or if you can, a breath of fire. Remember to keep the knees together, and not let them splay apart. If you must, then slightly bend the knees until they agree to be straight.
Next, we’ll follow with the reverse of a forward bend, and into a nice strong back bend. You want to be on your belly. Let your arms reach back and grab first one foot, then the other and pull them towards your body. Hold this pose, and when you fell strong enough, lift yourself on an inhale while continuing to hold your ankles, take your gaze upwards. You can hold this pose for a few soft breaths, release, and then move back into it when you feel ready, or you can try to rock back and forth in this pose. This is called bow pose. Here too, a long deep breath if fine, or breath of fire. This will reduce fat in your waist, stimulate your digestive system, and recharge your lymphatic system like nothing else can. Try this for a couple of minutes too.
Everyone knows ‘downdog’, and if you don’t, just ask your dog. They do this all day long. Body makes a nice triangle, you are bending forward from the waist, long legs, long back, push into the entire hand, and let the heels keep pushing into the ground, and let the hips keep moving a way from the shoulders, remember, just let your body make a nice equilateral triangle with the floor as the third side. Hold this for a couple of minutes, and yes, if you can hold it with breath of fire.
Finally, the last of the strenuous ones, try to hold boat pose for another couple of minutes. Sit down with your feet in front of you, close to the body, hip width apart. Inhale as you lift the legs off the floor so that you are looking at your toes, you are balanced on your sitz bones, and your arms are extended out in front of you. If you can, straighten out the legs, and move your balance slightly back. Long and deep breath or breath of fire. Hold if you can, for a couple of minutes.
Yeah!!! You have earned yourself a corpse pose. Just lie back, relax, let your palms face upwards, let your attention follow your breath in and out of the body. Keep your jaw soft, our eyes soft, don’t think, just breath. Do this for at least as long as you practiced your yoga.
Do this daily, and you will find most of your systems will remain working for at least as long as you do 🙂
Enjoy your well taken care of body.