Active older people resemble much younger people physiologically, according to a new study of the effects of exercise on aging. 

The findings suggest that many of our expectations about the inevitability of physical decline with advancing years may be incorrect and that how we age is, to a large degree, up to us.

Aging remains a surprisingly mysterious process.

--from an article in New York Times


Surprisingly mysterious. 

But then, posers and mysteries abound. Wondering.

Why is awareness so heightened here I can barely get a few hours sleep?
Why such pleasure in washing my clothes by hand and hanging them on a line?
The same for the pleasing  inconvenience of washing dishes in a plastic bowl with hot water carried in a bucket from the bathroom?    
Why am I stuck on backbend and so in love with the Ashtanga system?
Why such joy in the chill predawn darkness riding the scooter with the wind in my face?
Why the wee smile while haggling prices with those bad boys—the auto rickshaw drivers? 
Why is it both deliciously comfortable and uncomfortable sitting on my rolled mat often in the cold for my turn to practice in the mornings? 
Why the heart pounding excitement about collaborative art project with D?
When did the cultural differences that used to annoy me become funny?
Why does working at People for Animals beckon and inspire me to work there? Why do I often resist?
Why the enjoyment (can't find the right words - neutral enjoyment? the aliveness?) in moments of fear or loneliness?
Why are people so exquisitely beautiful? And sometimes so exquisitely horrible?
And finally, why do I dread the 30 hour trip home with our wild thing kitten?!!!

Someone said last week, we like it here because we are out of our comfort zone.

I don't know. I just hope I never get back to it.

Take me to the river! Wash me in the water!

And this too is yoga.




Was going to write something (I thought) insightful and clever about self-absorption versus self-awareness especially in relation to yogis here, but something happened today that puts me in the first category -  at least only for the moment.... I hope. 

Sharath said the magic word: Pashasana (first  pose of 2nd Series) this morning.

Not so fast, Ms. Happy Face.

Moi: But I can't stand up from backbend yet.
Sharath: It’s ok. You can do.  It's easy. Stand up!

This I could not do.

What pleases me – far more than the free pass to 2nd Series - is Sharath believes I can and will do it soon and easily. And I am beginning to believe it too!

I’ve felt close, but have also had (quite) a few moments here feeling bad, and have been sneaking out before standing bends because of sleeplessness (my excuse) and ….. Fear.

Sharath is an amazing teacher. He seems to know just when to kick your rear, when to ignore you, and when to offer support.

 I bow deeply  to him.


As for self absorption, it's an easy thing to fall into when one is here. Yoga, asana, doing it all well, advancing, socializing, eating, FaceBooking, etc.


Not just here but in my life at home, I feel happiest at these times:  during yoga practice, when I am doing something of service, engaged in creative activism, or making art. Why? I think because I move from self absorption to self awareness; ego drops and is forgotten! Don't we all drop the burden of ego when performing certain activities? (And at certain moments it often spontaneously happens.) 

I am so enthralled too, with the work Alexander Medin is doing. He seems to prove service, art, and yoga take us out of ourselves toward truth. Medin is changing the lives of heroin addicts by way of an undiluted Ashtanga practice and through ass-kicking (extreme – in the jungles of India) SERVICE. One thing I learned when practicing with his group Back in the Ring in Goa – is  – there except by the grace of God…go I. Who does not seek happiness and peace in life? Who has not walked toward it via paths that are illusory, dangerous, destructive? 

Here's links to Back in the Ring, and Medin’s TED talk is amazing too.