As I cleaned an old pine table a few days before my 70th birthday, I began to understand something about yoga and growing older. This table has been in the kitchen for years, a surface for holding items just brought into the house or about to leave it. Now, as part of some big changes, it is to become the table where, on the porch overlooking the lake, we’ll eat most of our meals. Looking at it carefully for perhaps the first time, I decided to clean it and oil it before it was moved.
I dusted it, wiped it and then cleaned it many times, astonished at how much was removed with each wipe. A task I thought would take a few minutes of minimal effort turned into a sweat-producing challenge. With each effort, the natural patterns and colors of the table became more visible. When I finally decided I had done enough for now, the table didn’t look ‘like new.’ Rather it looked like itself, some of the blemishes removed, others even more apparent. Its natural beauty became clear.
And so it is with yoga. A consistent yoga practice invites us to delve deeply into ourselves. It requires serious effort that is not only physical, but also mental, emotional and spiritual. As we develop the strength, flexibility and spaciousness to be fully who we are, our natural beauty shines through.
So, if you ask me whether yoga will help you stay young, I’d say no. Definitely not! But it will help you be you. What could be more important?