I turned 37 this year which I know is not old but I had a moment of, “Right Shasta, better get your sh*t together now that you are getting older – no more jumping out of airplanes or scaling trees or making bad decisions.” Whatever that means exactly. I felt time was running out.
It was a fleeting thought of nonsense. Those who know me know that I am someone who deeply believes in human potential at any age. I know and guide connection to the deep source of light in all of us. I never limit myself or others based on their age and often do not even see age. I have friends aged 18 to 68.
I had a moment of tremendous inspiration recently about aging. I was fortunate enough to attend a wonderful training with Anusara teacher Desiree Rumbaugh at Omega in New York. What really struck me was that I was one of the younger people at this advanced training. There were 60+ year old grandmas moving from crow to scorpion wearing belly tops and nose rings. There were 5o-plus year-old marines doing complicated back bends who had significant shoulder injuries and of course Desiree herself is in her 50s and has one of the most inspiring practices in the world. Maybe getting older means getting better.
I realized that maybe I actually just need more time with these practices. I remember watching Danny Paradise, no spring chicken, moving from a seated forward bend into a handstand in one beautiful fluid move and gasping. He told me I was too young to do that practice – meaning I needed years of practice to get there AND I had lots of time. I always remember how freeing that felt. It is all within my grasp. There are really no limits. Just practice.
We have more time to refine ourselves as we age. – Desiree Rumbaugh
Age is certainly a reason people use to limit themselves. How many times have I heard my relatives say, “This getting older…When you are my age…I am not 20 anymore…” Let me not sound uncompassionate – I know there are certain physical and mental challenges that can arise as we age and truly handstand is not right for everyone but age is a myth that we buy into. Have you ever thought, “Now that I am 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, I should…” I know I have but I also know it is just a reason to stay small and safe.
Never one to play it safe, recently I have undertaken a more advanced arm balance practice that brings up some of my fears of literally and symbolically falling on my face. At times I feel frustrated, scared and incapable and probably would if I was 17 or 37. These feelings are not my truth however, they are just fleeting thoughts. Instead of getting attached to what I can’t do and limiting myself I know I just need more time to practice – meaning years of practice. By the time I am 57 moving into a handstand in the middle of the room is certainly my goal and with 20 years of practice I may get there. This goal means working and practicing at it now and not doing the dance of avoidance and not using anything as an excuse.
Why do any of this? Who cares about handstand or advancing your practice?
For me it is a means of expansion. I have to face fears, feelings of ineptitude, limits in my mind and body and beliefs I have about myself. Yoga for the sake of doing beautiful poses is egoistic but beautiful poses as an expression of our potential, power and radiance is an honor of the Divine within us. May we all remember this simple truth regardless of our age.
Watch this 92-year-old Yoga teacher talk about limitless Yoga practice.
Wishing you all abundant health, deep expansion and clear perception.
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And remember to tune into Shasta’s Vivid Life Radio Show Possibility 101 every Wednesday at 4:00 pm eastern standard time on www.vividlife.me.
A celebrated transformational leader and a leading pioneer in embodied spirituality and Yoga, Shasta has inspired hundreds of people through her breakthrough methods for awakening and empowering your inner voice and divine power. Director, founder and senior teacher with Balanced Life Yoga, she delivers public talks, seminars and trainings on evolution and empowerment. She draws on a wide variety of techniques including Yoga, Shamanism, meditation, energy healing, coaching and the Law of Attraction. She is especially appreciated for her passionate way of allowing individuals to make sense of their world and embodied, holistic means to become the change they wish to see.
As early as in her teenage years, Shasta embarked on her journey as a spiritual explorer which led her to India, where she studied yoga, meditation and energy healing. She has studied with many remarkable mentors and she has undergone thousands of hour’s intense practice of meditation and spiritual studies. Shasta has taken every opportunity to become adept in her field through her own practice as well as through extensive training in yoga, group dynamics, meditation and spiritual counseling.