Today I turn 36 years old. Today I am nearer to 40 than 30. Today I am once again eleven years older than Chris, dammit (for four blissful days a year I am, on paper, only a decade older than him as his birthday is a few days before mine!).
Yet for all this potential fuel for depressive feelings of being over the hill, I feel the complete opposite. I feel youthful, full of zest for life and enthusiastic and excited about the future. I know that age is just a number – sure, there’s nothing I can do about that pesky biological clock ticking away inside me like a time-bomb, but apart from that, my age does not define me.
Before I left the house this morning I checked two things: 1) that I still had a visible six-pack and 2) that I could still do the splits. It was yes for both. This may seem incredibly vain and un-yogic (and probably is) but, for some reason, these two random criteria form my annual audit of whether I’m still in good shape – my aim is still to be ticking these boxes aged 80! So, with that, I donned my new leopard print leggings and a hot pink vest and toodled off to practice, with no hint of mutton in my mind… 😉
After a stormy couple of days, the overcast sky began to break up on the way to the shala, and shafts of rose and orange dawn beamed down onto the puddled road, like a birthday gift from the skies. I felt incredibly happy.
Then, as if to continue this sense of birthday goodwill, not only did I turn up to practice AT THE CORRECT TIME (no mean feat – see previous posts), but my practice also felt special and wonderful today. The room is so big and full and the standard of asana so high, and with that comes a liberation, as you realise you are a mere drop in the vast ocean of yoga. This humbling anonymity makes it easier for me to turn inward and use my practice as a form of meditation; there’s no need to perform – no one is watching, and there’s no need to compare – we are all connected into one big ball of yogi energy. Today I felt the shala’s energy. Today I felt the energy and miracle of life, and felt blessed and glad to be entering another year. And, as an ex of mine always used to say: ‘there’s no point complaining about getting older – it’s better than the alternative!’ 😉
Post-yoga sweaty Becky, aged 36 (in front of a rather impressive ornately carved door – we’re treating ourselves to a night in the lovely Shanti Niyalam guesthouse until we move into our new Gokulum digs tomorrow :))