Ageing with human dignity is a major topic of Yoga study in the lineage of TKV Desikachar.
The table below illustrates the correspondence between the human phases of life and the antiquated, and arguably controversial, Hindu system of āśrama.
|Abode (Āśrama)||Phase of Life||Primary Concern||Primary Tool|
|Prime of Life||Energy
(vānaprastha or sādhu)
The use of abode (āśrama) correspondence implies prioritisation of value in life, in terms of the individual’s constitution (deha), place (deśa), time (kāla), avocation (vṛtti), interest (mārga) and energy (śakti).
The relevance (or value) of your Yoga practice at each stage of life
- Playful, energetic and fast moving
- Crave stimulation and overseas travel
- Develop a practice that involves stories and role-playing
Prime of Life (30s):
- Many career goals
- Crave to maintain a high level of energy and activity
- Develop a practice that corrects habitual tendencies
Middle Age (40s & 50s):
- Slower metabolism, stiffer joints, longer recovery time after injury
- Develop an introspective practice (e.g. the study of philosophy)
- Develop a practice that involves joint-freeing exercises
Old Age (60s & beyond):
- Stiffness, higher blood pressure, insomnia, instability
- Crave to maintain range of motion and agility
- Develop a healthy interest in hobbies
- Develop a gentle, restorative and relaxing practice