The ancient Hindu text Vedas talk about the life span in different ages. In Satyug (earliest generation) people live up to 1000 years as per Vedic writings. Dwapar -yug which follows Satyug humans have a life of 500 years. After this comes the longest age, known as Kalyug where the life span of humans barely reaches 100 years. The body seems to age more quickly with advent of the later ages. Why does it happen? I asked the yoga teacher this question as I was undergoing yoga teacher training in India at a yoga school in Rishikesh.
The teacher tried to explain by explaining the physiology of the human body. I will try and put the same words as I heard. Our body is made of multi – millions of cells which are the building blocks of the body. As per biological science the cells regenerate very seven years giving us a new existence. Every cell in the body is replaced in this seven year cycle. If this process continues we grow and become young. But after a certain number of cycles (varies from individual to individual) this regeneration process slows down. This means more number of damaged cells in the body. This is ageing.
To further understand ageing we should know that the life is made of two components – Matter and Energy. The energy keeps the matter together, and we called this unique combination of matter and energy as life. When the energy in the body dissipates the matter decays leading to the signs of ageing like wrinkles and graying of hair. This is the product of thoughts which have been put into our minds that we are growing old. Believe me thoughts are very powerful and are responsible for the state of health. I realized this when I started to feel weak in my knees after my doctor said so. Before that I was never feeling the weakness. So, the thoughts are like a trigger of the state of body. Also the constant drilling of age is another factor which leads to quick ageing.
A very queer thing happened in this regard, when I asked one of the farmers in the village about his age. He was puzzled and said that his mother told that he was born on no moon night (Amawasya). Such people tend to live longer and healthier without any physical problems. Yes graying happens but the energy factor ebbs very little.
The role of what we eat
One of the most important things that affect ageing is what we eat. Eating food is the way to replenish the body with energy. The kind of energy here plays a big role. Nowadays in cities we generally eat preserved food which is poison for the body. Preserved food is only next to rotten food in its bad effects on the body. Compare that to a villager who eats only natural food and remains healthy.
Preserved food has no energy (life-force) and leads us to a dead mind and dead body. In fact researchers have proved that fresh food with less of meat content leads to a healthier body and sharper mind. Hence vegetarian food which is fresh should be preferred in daily diet for a healthy body. The same has been prescribed in diet in the Yoga school in Rishikesh where I was doing my yoga teacher training.
Yoga the way to Reverse Ageing
Yoga and all the poses and asanas are directed towards four things which induce positive thinking and controls ageing. The four things are:
(1) Thinking about the present moment
(2) Thinking about things which bring positivity (beautiful things)
(3) Thinking like a young person
(4) Eating the right food.
Thinking and being in Present – You cannot change what has happened in the past and do not know what lies in future. The only time under our influence is the present time which depends on what we do. Yoga and meditation follows this principle of forgetting the past, not worrying about the future and concentrating on the present. How do we know our age? By going to the past to record the date we were born Right! Yoga helps us to be aware about the present state and the exercises we do in Yoga are designed to bring us to this state and keep us there.
Think about things which bring smile – Yoga teaches us that humans are physically and need to develop on the mental level following the regime of yoga practices. It teaches us to expand our consciousness to include the whole universe. This will induce nice thoughts which will bring smile to your face, and it is well known that people who are happy live healthy and have a longer life.
Think like a Young person – Always keep positive and young people for company. The youth is an infectious thing. It spreads quickly and brings happiness and energy which are essential for health. Youth have the will to live and Yoga Nidra practice in yoga induces just this.
Eating the right food – Always eat living food like sprouts and seasonal vegetables and fruits. These have the energy which induces cell regeneration which is essential for maintain youth. Follow the diet plan recommended by seasoned Yoga practitioners.