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  • Writer's pictureRenae Molden

A plan for aging gracefully


Creating habits for healthy aging is a crucial step in our journey toward a fulfilling life. It's not always easy, but we can make significant strides in our health and well-being with dedication and commitment. This can be challenging. We can get so caught up in what needs to be done that we lose sight of what’s happening in our bodies and minds. Work, children, family, friends and partners can drive us toward a certain routine. Establishing a consistent self-care routine takes effort, care, planning and maintenance. It’s doable with attention toward inspiration, not discipline. Understanding what inspires us is a great way to fuel the energy of a sustainable routine.

 

We know it’s possible to plan for quality aging. According to this month’s newsletter, “The search for longevity does not necessarily imply living longer but rather living with quality, diversity, and positive stimuli. Brain learning and habit building can be directed towards a healthier lifestyle that prevents premature aging, but doing so requires an investment of time and commitment. It is essential to keep the mind conscious to observe the positive changes resulting from our habits.”

 

One of the main questions we ask ourselves and students as Kaiut Yoga teachers is: What is the one thing you want to be able to do for the next 30 years? The answer to this question will be different for everyone you ask, and depending on their age, the answers will be quite diverse. This question forces us to think about what we want to do rather than what we should do. 

 

For example, a 48-year-old woman who has been running for the past three decades realizes she’d prefer to spend her time dancing and acting rather than running. If her goal is to be healthy and keep extra weight off, she will likely make better choices when doing something she loves. Not only that, but she will also seek activities that support dancing over the next few decades and move away from activities that either distract her from the activity or prevent her from doing it. The Kaiut Yoga Method and the body awareness she’ll develop will help her understand which activities support healthy aging and which don’t. 

 

Healthy eating and reconnecting to our bodies are important. Establishing a consistent Kaiut Yoga practice will help maintain body awareness. When we are in the flow of life and doing the things we love, we lose sight of what’s happening in the body. Our brains were designed to focus externally while driving, working and spending time with family. It’s not until we take the time to remove ourselves from life to slow the movement of our thoughts that we can feel our realities.

 

Let go of negative stereotypes. When it comes to aging, negative stereotypes delay the acceptance of aging. It’s not until something significant happens that someone will say, “Well, I guess I’m just getting old.” We all say it at one time or another, and then we move on, ignoring the possibility of what could be. Losing the ability to get in and out of a truck easily isn’t something you must accept as never coming back. Ignoring the brain’s ability to learn and form new connections keeps us from seeking ways to improve our situations. But from what we’ve learned from research, it is already known that physically active individuals have less brain atrophy (Ferreira et al., 2019). Brain plasticity is proven to improve with yoga.

 

Yoga contributes to suspending cognitive decline. Studies indicate that yoga reduces cognitive decline, improves brain plasticity, and positively influences sleep. Additionally, it provides lasting improvements in the quality of life, contributes to the reduction of anxiety and stress, and improves balance and responsiveness, which are crucial factors for those who want to achieve a long life with autonomy.


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