Feeling Young and Strong at Any Age
Age-defying bodywork in the media tends to focus on appearances: a firm, defined and tanned body is often seen as strong and healthy. But does it mean we have a great bill of health? Does it mean we’re free of daily excess tension? And most of all, does it mean we’re truly happy?
Modern fitness and modern hatha yoga are an outcome of the 18th-century industrial revolution. Throughout the 19th century, more and more people worked in offices or factories. They no longer got the healthy exercise provided by working outdoors. Over time, personal fitness became a necessity and a focus. Inspired by their own understanding of Olympic Greek athletes’ good looks, bodybuilders started modern personal fitness.
At the same time, mirrors became readily available, and appearances became more important than ever before. Popular fashion took over the world by storm and ever since, body-image limitations have launched most of us on a competition to look and behave in a “fashionable” way. We’ve been conditioned to believe that to be manly means being tall and buff while being womanly means being thin and not too tall. We’ve been conditioned to believe that a firm and tanned body means being strong and healthy looking.
A Different Perspective
The plain fact is that many incredible-looking yoga teachers end up getting injured. Many successful models are starving themselves. And some healthy-looking adults are experiencing health challenges of all kinds. Rather than focusing on age-defying looks which motivates us to overdo while exercising, we can, instead, measure strength and looks from a different perspective: our good inner health, joy and peace.
Beyond appearances and feel-good body sensations, we can learn to listen to our whole-body intelligence. We can use our body in an integrated way which means that each body part works in harmony with the others. As a result, our mind becomes more flexible and we build flexible strength. We reduce or eliminate chronic excess tension in our daily life. We discover that true strength has more to do with our mind and bone structure than the size of our muscles, and that happiness and health is an inside job.
Keep the following in mind for the best age-defying bodywork results:
- Keep health, joy and happiness an integral part of your fitness program.
- Be open-minded and playful.
- Use quantities of whole foods to detox and nurture the body and realize that whole foods in a capsule might be needed to bridge the gap between what we eat and what is needed to stay healthy.
- Remember that our gut health influences how well our brain functions and how good we feel about ourselves at any age.
- Spend time in communities.
- Spend time just being instead of always doing.
Cecile Raynor is a wellness coach, Alexander Technique teacher and tai yoga practitioner. As a Juice Plus+ rep, she educates people on the benefits of whole foods in a capsule as a way to bridge the gap between the food they eat and the nutrition they need to thrive into their optimal health and well-being. For more information, call 617-359-7841 or visit OffTheMatYogaBlog.com or CecileRaynor.JuicePlus.com.