« Krishnamacharya said that one’s yoga practice should change with the seasons, both with the seasons of the year and the seasons of one’s life. It’s not appropriate to practice the same way in winter as one does in summer. In the springtime of our life we are young, filled with energy and enthusiasm, and our practice should reflect that kind of energy. The summer is a time of the ripening of our practice, and finds us at our physical peak in terms of our asana practice. With the coming of the autumn of our life the natural evolution of our practice is for it to become more introspective—to devote more time to pranayama, mantra, devotional practices, meditation and philosophical study—and to begin to back off a little on the intensity of our asana practice. As the winter of our life begins—that’s me right now—our practice becomes even more introspective. It is important to continue to do enough asana to remain healthy and reasonably supple, but it is unrealistic to think we can practice the same way at 65 as we did at 35. Even though I have a few more aches and pains now, am a bit thicker in the middle, and don’t have quite the strength or flexibility I used to, I still love the practice and continue to do the first and second series regularly. On some days I do my special “Ashtanga for Senoirs” practice, which contains parts of first and second series, done with fewer vinyasas in the space of an hour or so. The one great gift of the aging practice in regards to asana practice is this: the longer you practice, the better the quality of attention that you bring to the practice. Isn’t this what it’s all about anyway? »

Tim Miller

 

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