Several companies and organisations, such as SENS Research Foundation, and Science for Life Extension in Russia, declared stopping or delaying ageing as their goal. (WP, "Ageing")
But already in 1935 the swami Yogananda registered his Self-Realization Fellowship Church in California. Among its purposes are: "To teach a religion or preech [!] religion known as "Self-Realization Fellowship" (Yogoda Sat-Sanga), the practical aim of which is to make lasting youth and arrest old age by using the unlimited power of God and Cosmic Energy instead of trying to obtain health only from the use of the physical means of food and exercise [The SRF Church Article 2d, highlighting added]."
The desire to live well and stay healthy until old age is much older still, and found expressions in classical antiquity also.
Now, "Stay young, don't age" is a goal that requires some tuning. The flux of energy from within is a deep-founded "yogi thing", and not everyone who teach yoga reach it. Yogananda, for example, died at 59 in 1952.
❋ To stay young and not age are seldom attained full well. The main thing to go for is to live well and make good use of one's life.
(1) There is biological ageing. The body and mind change over time, and social changes get added - while knowledge of world events and wisdom may expand. (2) Chronological ageing (how old are you?) is a convenient way of reckoning a person's age.
However biological ageing and chronological ageing may "pace differently", in that some of the same age look younger their age and others look older. That is to say, some look younger than the average, and some older. However, if the average drink alcohol, smoke and get poisoned or depleted by bad food, stress at work and at home and eat too much, that average is not as good as it could be. Thus, there is room for looking far younger than the average.
The difference between biological and average-tuned chronological ageing are not just on the surface. Transcendental Meditation, TM, has been found to slow down some sides to ageing considerably - by years - twelve years for long-time meditators. Since general health and wellness is improved too by TM, those could indeed be gladdening news to all who are able to get to TM.
❋ So-called chronological ageing is average-tuned, and averages may not reveal attainable tops.
✑ Research: [◦Dr David Orme Johnson]
✑ TM site: [◦Official TM site]
A neat goal is to live well and get old while still in good health, although feebler. A life well lived may be taken to mean different things, but a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction is likely to be there. A job well done, a life well done - Ancient Vedic teachings are that a human life may be used to explore who and what you are when alone too, and the best means for it is said to be meditation, such as TM.
As for health, yoga postures and gentle breathing methods may assist it also, among many other measures, including making good use of Ayurvedic balancing.
Here are some points that hardly should be overlooked. Some relate to the human id, libido, and its changing expressions throughout life. So, what gives natural delights, helps one in going on, and increases the joy of living, the quality of life. Also, it may increase longevity. The Epicureans sought it in their way - a way of balancing delights so that they could last a long time. The healthy id flows through phases and thereby make that side to life a success, an id-wise accomplishment.
"Even late in life, potential exists for physical, mental, and social growth and development. Traditional definitions of successful aging have emphasized absence of physical and cognitive disabilities." (WP, "Ageing")
Rowe and Kahn (1987) characterise successful aging as involving three components: a) freedom from disease and disability, b) high cognitive and physical functioning, and c) social and productive engagement." (Ibid)
❋ Successful ageing is fine - successes in different ways can be opening up.
There is room for drastic talk too, like "People ask me what I'd most appreciate getting for my eighty-seventh birthday. I tell them, a paternity suit [George Burns]," and, "Like the fruit he eats, man has his period of ripeness [With Thomas Jefferson]."
More: [Quotations on Old Age]
To remain healthy (without harmed, stultified, cramped, neurotic, deranged or belittled libido) as you grow and the body in time declines, is just as beneficial. Health also depends on your libido (zest, desires) and its fit outlets.
A good thing to go for is a healthy life for long. Another good thing is to die in peace. The long art of living through some of it stages of life tends to gain from suitable or convenient ccommodations. Some of these may cost much after some years, and have certain risks and costs. Some are long-range.
Still try to make the best out of it, out of living. You find an encompassing theory onsite. Deep down it is the theory of yin and yang made serviceable for building a Tao. Tao is a complementary balance (or way) in between yin and yang. Tao can also be a set of fulfilling routines and ways of handling this and that, etc. Many articles here are structured according to it and marked by "Get Tao" and an ankh, ☥, in tables of contents, as the case may be. By these tokens you can find the table-essays more easily as you survey the pages. The integrative approach has cornerstone parts of general research, Taoism, and report writing "baked" into it, as you can see, and also includes how to become a success in the fairy-tale way, according to structuralists like Algirdas Greimas, former minister of education in France. [Sts]
❋ Integrative studies may bring very practical results in their wakes.
Looking younger through Yoga
Some forms of yoga are said to confer immortality. Yogananda mentions one Agastya of South India. "He worked many miracles during the centuries preceding and following the Christian era, and is credited with retaining his physical form even to this day." [Link]
❋ Miracles are either real or imagined. Without good, solid evidence one may be ware and consider miracle tales with a sound measure of scepticism.
A real winner can look like a common man and conformist too. The hallmarks of a winner include being genuine. One may rise above looks. To be a real winner is to be steadily oneself, authentic. A culinary person is all right with fine children.
To prolong life in a decent, fair way is hardly unfit. Nor is time for free play. There are good news here: In a study, those who had been regularly practicing the Transcendental Meditation program showed younger biological age, with a greater reduction in biological age the longer they had been participating in the program, writes International Journal of Neuroscience 16: 53-58, 1982. Biological age measures the physical condition of your body in comparison to your "chronological" or actual age. For example, you might be 55 years old, but your body could be functioning as if it were only 45 years old. In that case your biological age would be 10 years younger than your chronological age. In a study, people who had been practicing TM for more than five years had bodies that were on the average 12 years younger than their age.
Also, a follow-up study of a group of elderly people (average age 80.7 years) who were randomly assigned to either learn the TM program or to three control groups found that those who learned the TM program showed a significant increase in longevity (survival time) in comparison to the other three groups. Reference: Circulation 93: 629 (Abstract), 1996.
There are also studies that indicate that many positive effects of TM work against some forty not so good effects of aging. [◦More TM research] [Cf. Meb]
❋ Positive effects of TM, Transcendental Meditation, are shown by research findings.
You may guard your subtle joy and life-breath well, keep your word, and get proficient in what invigorates the mind-body. You can guard your valuable things too, to cope better.
Deep meditation is fit for many, and a life well lived. It helps to get proficient too.
❋ We prepare for old age by a life well lived.
Ha: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Autobiography of a Yogi. 12th ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF), 1981.
Meb: Olsen, Per. Lægevidenskabelig og psykologisk forskning på yoga og meditation. Generelle virkninger og behandlingsmuligheder. 2. utg. København: Bindu, 1978.
Sts: Greimas, Algirdas. Strukturel semantik. Odense: Borgen, 1983.
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