This blog is about sharing my personal journey and a sincere hope that my experiences may also benefit you.
Me? I’m 57 and live in Sydney, Australia; I know, I got lucky there! Beyond that, I am just another guy, suffering the consequences of a self-inflicted western lifestyle; a sometimes poor diet and a lot of work stress. The clock is now ticking, and I am worried about aging.
Thirty years ago, a friend introduced me to Yoga, Meditation and the Ayurvedic approach to eating (YMA). There was lots of common sense to it—regular exercise is good for you, reducing stress through mindfulness and eating healthily… food is medicine etc., who could argue with that? For a while, I really got into it and did a lot of study. I developed a routine and changed my eating according to my body type. I felt really well on it but at the time I was put off by the let’s call it–‘alternativeness’ of it; it was too foreign. Looking back it was probably my impatience, ignorance and prejudice that meant I wasn’t ready to listen to what YMA could teach me. So in my impatience, I got distracted, life got in the way and many years went by and in the interim, I spent a lot of money chasing quick fixes supplied by others. I realise now that the wisdom of 5,000+ years of observation and real-life testing had been available all the time—it contained everything I needed. In fact, without going too hippie on you, it is teaching me I have everything I need within me… IF we practice with diligent focused practice or ‘Abhyasa’, as described in the Yoga Sutras..
It is long overdue to find a solution that will work for me and make sure I don’t end up being 80+ and incapacitated or demented. My Dad died just short of his 92nd birthday but Alzheimer’s set in ten years ago. It was an existence, not living—Right? Our genetics will probably determine what age-related illnesses we’ll eventually suffer from but through lifestyle, we can delay how soon they might develop. But which approach is best…? Arrgh, fake health news! I don’t want to add to the internet-full of whiz-bang solutions. I don’t own what I will share with you on this site. It will be based on the wisdom of 5,000+ years plus of lived experience of others. What I share will is dogma-free… Yoga is not a religion. I am not trying to convert anybody to any religious philosophy. There is no need to change your religion to apply the YMA. It is working for me—maybe it can help you.
So, how can I add anything? In YMA’s pure traditional form there is a lot of detail, including some very esoteric concepts. It’s there for you if you’re interested but as a western guy who has also struggled with understanding YMA, my purpose is to present what I’ve learned through personal study in a way that our less than flexible bodies can cope with and our western-trained scientific brains can find approachable. What’s required? 99.9% of it is just time—time to invest regularly in developing enough know-how, and then to continue to do the work on ourselves—no excuses...every day… well most days!
The modern health industry is full of “gurus” (using the misappropriated Yoga term for teacher) who cite clinical studies to push a certain type of exercise, pill or gadget–some of it properly researched but most of it just advertorial. As an ex-insurer of pharmaceuticals, I have seen it all! There is no shortage of ‘give me money and I’ll fix you’ pitches out there, and, as with all walks of life (you and I been around long enough to recognise snake-oil salesmen) some are genuine and some aren’t as principled as they should be! There’s nothing wrong with using coaches to learn from and get you heading in the right direction — like I hope to do here, but as the saying goes…’everything old is new again’! It would be foolish of me to pretend I have a new slant on YMA. I want to share what I’ve learned and tried out… my hope is it will help you. I do not pretend I own this information.
Being upfront and honest, at some point, I might ask you to buy a book, get a referral commission when you click on a link or perhaps ask for a donation to a Patreon page, but I promise it will cost you very little and only intending to recover expenses for bringing information to you.