According to yoga scriptures, we are all eternally youthful: “For the soul there is neither birth nor death, nor having once been, does he ever cease to be.” This explains why we feel young inside, even as the image in the mirror slowly ages. The challenge is to keep our bodies in good shape so that we retain our youthful vitality. Yoga offers us a way to do this. Just consider two of the many things yoga has to offer, diet and exercise.
I believe that being careful about what we put into our bodies is one of the best ways to actively affect our health on a daily basis. A plant-based yoga diet that includes a variety of fresh veggies, fruits, nuts, grains, and a moderate amount of dairy helps prevent disease and provides the body with the healthy nutrition needed to keep us feeling good.
Exercise is, of course, another key to good health. The Chinese say, “You’re only as old as your joints.” It’s true that as we age, if our joints start to hurt, it affects our mobility. It can make it hard to do many of the things we’re accustomed to doing. Yoga offers many easy exercises for the joints like simple wrist rotations and finger stretches, and ankle, knee, shoulder, and neck exercises that can even be done sitting in a chair. Regular practice of these exercises helps keep our joints mobile, healthy, and pain-free.
Yoga asanas also keep our bones strong and our muscles firm and flexible. Yet perhaps one of the most important aspects of an asana practice is its effect on the flow of energy throughout the body. It is this that leaves you feeling enlivened after practice. And when you practice regularly, that vitality is with you when you wake up in the morning and stays with you throughout the day—you just feel better, healthier, and more energetic.
So if you want to keep your youthful vitality, eat well and take the time to practice some asanas each day. This will keep you feeling young on the outside as well!
Be sure to watch my new Alive Forever short film, and share it with your friends and family.