Age IS in our control – Brenda’s blog
Brenda with her family. Maybe a decade older but feeling a generation younger.
This Blog was written by Brenda. Ignore the side note on the website that it was authored by Dora. Dora just does not know how to make the change to that fancy coding thingy on the side…but she is working on it….
So…Here is Brenda’s blog:
Recently I heard on the news that sixty is the new forty… I automatically did the math and discovered that I’m only in my mid-thirties!!! How exciting is that! With another birthday just passed, this is fabulous news. This year I’m working on developing a new routine: I park my car at the top of the hill to catch the bus in front of the Admiral Starbucks, which allows me to get off the bus after work and go directly to the studio. It is important to me to be dedicated to my practice. I learned that I have to plan my day around my yoga practice; otherwise there is never a good time to take yoga. Life is so busy I can never squeeze an hour in, but I can plan my day around that hour.
The other day as I was getting on the bus, still bundled in a layer of coats, my long dark hair with waves of silver flowing behind me, a lovely young lady touched my hand and said, “Excuse me, ma’am, here take my seat.” I said no thank you, and thought to myself; I know good and well I could hold a chair a lot longer than you any day of the week! Then, I took a deep breath and smiled. I don’t feel old. I don’t feel tired, I don’t need to rest… Though there was a time when I did, long before yoga…
A year or so after my hysterectomy (more than a decade ago), feeling so many aches and pains, as if I was literally going to break, weak in my body, although I didn’t understand it from that perspective at the time, I was diagnosed with osteopenia (pre-osteoporosis) and placed on Boniva, a bone strengthening drug. I wasn’t able to continue on the Boniva–I was gaining weight and feeling extremely uncomfortable with myself. I felt as if there was something I was missing, there had to be another way. This began the journey of personal discovery.
I found yoga, or yoga found me. As part of my commitment to myself when I relocated from Michigan to Washington, I decided to make a few life changes. Yoga was part of those changes, along with quitting smoking. The moment I landed on my yoga mat for the very first time, I knew I was in the right place. I could barely hold a downdog, even child’s pose was not comfortable, and laughed at the idea of being able to touch my toes. I stuck with it, though there was nothing particularly comfortable about the process. I simply decided to ride it through! I dedicated myself to 2 months of yoga. After a few intro series, I moved into regular classes. Before long, 2 months became a year and I became one of the most often seen faces at the yoga studio. I began to lose the weight, and slowly over the course of a year quit smoking.
Then, I was laid off from a great job, as life would have it–a blessing in disguise! I developed a daily practice, took as many workshops and yoga teacher training programs that I could afford, and besides my love of the practice, I felt my body becoming stronger. As my body became stronger, I as a person became stronger. I discovered a beautiful movement in my body that allowed me to connect to my mind and my spirit, creating a trinity of sorts. This was what I had been missing!
Brenda in handstand, something new that she learned after her 50th birthday….
Recently I went through some basic health screening tests. One of the tests measured bone density. Want to know the results? I’m considered at low risk for developing osteoporosis! Once at the beginning stages of osteoporosis, and told I would develop full osteoporosis, my body now tells a different story. Proof that age is in our control to a degree. Lifestyle choices and daily yoga practice was not an easy decision, it took determination, will power and dedication. But slowly what was a question of sheer willpower became a way of life. Now, I cannot imagine life without yoga.
Yoga has made me stronger–my bones became stronger, just like my muscles became stronger. Now, I can easily touch my toes, even do a few arm balances. Yoga connects me to my body, allowing me to feel and learn and listen to my body. It connects me to my soul, allowing me to believe in myself, and it connects me to my mind, allowing me to have healthier perspectives about the future.
I have a healthy mind and a healthy body, a world of difference from my old self. Not only do I practice yoga, I teach yoga and I also landed a new job in the field that I love. Yes, ten years ago I would have taken the seat on the bus, now a decade older, I feel two decades younger. I am happy to stand on the bus…