I think many of my friends and family are tired of hearing about my birthday month. Turning 60, for me, was a bit overwhelming. I went on record saying that I did not want a party. I wanted to go on a bike riding adventure in Thailand. When quarantining would make that impossible and it was too late to schedule the safari that my husband had suggested, I had a little pity party for myself, and invited Peter and, I think, a few of my friends…. 😊 In the end, we spent several beautiful days in the Florida Keys and my husband had a party for me (at a beautiful place and I did not have to clean up!) My friends and family have been indulging me in this birthday time/acceptance, and I am filled with gratitude.
I am committed for the next 60 years to a bit more yoga and related study, more travel, more time spent on causes I am committed to and continued time well spent with my family and close friends. I am hoping for lots more adventures.
Speaking of adventures, while I was in India, I was lucky to visit the Ashram (now abandoned but a public park) that the Beatles stayed in in Rishikesh known as Chaurasi Kutia. The photo above was from one of the roof top meditation huts that still remain above the old dormitory. The ashram served as the training center for Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who devised the Transcendental Meditation technique. It was a prolific time for the band, and they wrote 48 songs while there in 1968 including most of the White Album. Of course, it would really dovetail with my whole birthday theme here if “When I’m 64” was written there, but it was not. However, John Lennon’s song, Julia, about his mom and Yoko Ono was written there. So, there’s that. It was an amazing experience, the pictures in this blog are from there.
So, this week’s practice is dedicated to feeling young at heart. Ok, so I am typing this and listening to a random Spotify play list and, I swear, I just realized Bob Dylan’s Forever Young is playing. Cool, huh?
I propose we maintain humor in our lives, in our practice and smile at random strangers every day. Perhaps do something that you haven’t done since you were “young”. Maybe drive a little fast with the top down (roof open), blasting music; ride your bike to get ice-cream (and not because it works the calories off), watch cartoons, build a sand castle….Spark some frivolous joy and celebrate the next 60 years with me!
Our Practice – Vrksasana - Tree Pose
I love tree pose. This picture, also from the ashram, is taken atop one of the private living "cabins" with a roof top mediation hut also. Sometimes tree pose comes to me easily, sometimes I cannot balance for 2 seconds. As we age (no matter how old we are), practicing the balancing poses will serve us well. If you feel a little uncertain in trying some of them, it is always helpful to place a hand to the wall or the back of a chair to provide that extra stability (whether you are 25 or 75, props are always good). While most of us who practice yoga know the benefits for mental and physical health, I was encouraged to see the following article on the Johns Hopkins website. Just a little reminder on some of the reasons why we practice, and helpful information for those times a friend that may ask “should I try yoga?”
I have covered tree pose in prior blogs, here is a link to one from March of 2021 that walks through the pose and its benefits:
Meditation - Forever Young
After that song played during writing this, I took it as a sign. I know, I should have a Beatles song here. But after hearing this song while writing the blog, I played it several more times and then read the lyrics. My anthem for the month. And I wish the same to you all, no matter your age. Stay forever young….XOX
Forever Young – Bob Dylan
May God bless and keep you always May your wishes all come true May you always do for others And let others do for you May you build a ladder to the stars And climb on every rung May you stay forever young Forever young, forever young May you stay forever young. May you grow up to be righteous May you grow up to be true May you always know the truth And see the lights surrounding you May you always be courageous Stand upright and be strong May you stay forever young Forever young, forever young May you stay forever young. May your hands always be busy May your feet always be swift May you have a strong foundation When the winds of changes shift May your heart always be joyful And may your song always be sung May you stay forever young Forever young, forever young May you stay forever young
Here is a clip to a video of Bob Dylan performing the song on David Letterman in 1993, a good version acoustically.
Nurturing with Food – Lemon Nanna
When I was in India, I loved a drink called a lemon nana. It was served frozen, like Dells, and had flavors of mint and citrus. Really wonderful in the heat of the day. I searched the internet not finding exactly what I remembered. During the reconnaissance I discovered that the recipe is possibly originally middle eastern. I then thought of emailing a friend I met in India and he sent me two YouTube videos. Through a little adjusting, I think I have it down. This is great on a h summer day. Rishikesh is alcohol free, however, like Dells, I think this could also be enhanced (for the right occasion), with some spirits!