Yoga is truly an amazing practice for longevity; it keeps us limber, oxygenated, strong, and more relaxed. Over the years, that adds up and increases how the body deals with the eventual wear and tear of daily living.
While yoga is a huge part of my life, I also love getting inspiration for longevity from those people living yoga off the mat.
My grandma who lives in Israel just turned 94. She has never stepped on a yoga mat but she must be doing something right. Yes her genetics probably help her out, but what we know from science today is that our genes are influenced by our lifestyle, so our daily choices really do have a literal impact. So what are some good rituals for longevity?
1. Stay Fashionable
Besides going to the hair salon on a weekly basis, when she goes out, she still dresses to impress. Colorful shirts, matching earrings and necklace, a bracelet, elegant sandals, and a little bit of makeup — let's face it, fashion brightens things up!
2. Eat Close to the Source
No rocket science here. Rarely have I seen my grandma eat processed foods. Whether it's fish, chicken, meat, veggies, or grains, she consumes fresh, local, and unprocessed foods.
3. Read, Listen, and Watch
From travel shows, the history channel, and comedy, to radio stations, the newspaper, and novels, she keeps her mind active by learning, contemplating, and staying involved in current events.
4. Get Out
Even though she moves a bit slower than years past, she still gets out for a walk to the park (taking a break at each bench on the way), goes to lectures, music concerts, to visit various friends and family, and takes the bus to the farmers market across town.
5. Make Food for Others
Growing up, my grandma always cooked amazing food full of texture, color, and taste. Today, with the help of a live-in caretaker, she still makes food and shares it with my whole family. She truly expressed her love through her food.
6. Keep Sharing
I am always amazed at how much she has to share from what she is learning on TV or lectures, in her reading, or her past life experiences. She loves to share all that she finds interesting about the world.
7. Spend Time with Friends and Family
Whether it's a phone call to her upstairs neighbor, coming over to my mom's, or inviting my cousins and their kids for a meal, being surrounded by friends and family simply helps make life more rich!
While our modern day life has so much to offer, in seeing my grandma I think about how life was a bit slower back in the day and that some of the wisdoms of how people lived would probably do us all a little bit of good.
If you really think about it, its pretty simple: Connect, eat healthy, stay engaged, live life, give, share, and keep your loved ones close. Here's to yoga off the mat and sweet, abundant longevity!