Age and Aging

By / 22nd August, 2017 / Blog / Off

I have been dying to write about the concept of “age” for awhile as the older I become the more apparent that our culture is so against the signs of aging such as wrinkles and grey hair – that mark our time of living on this planet. Insecurity often accompanies the physical changes that our body experiences along its natural journey through time. But why not love these marks of maturity along with everything else?

Much of imbalance in our culture comes in our failure to recognise the final stage of life and our inability to offer the elderly the appropriate tools for developing the higher consciousness that is naturally awakening in them. We deprive the elderly of their intrinsic wisdom and have little appreciation for the beauty and wisdom of the natural winter seasons of life.

Ayurveda literally means the “science of longevity”. Its offerings span not merely curing diseases, but maximising the life span, and providing optimal living. It recognises that we need time and space for spiritual growth in our later years. How we have really lived is reflected in how we age and how we die. Our elders reflect the fruit of our culture for good or for ill.

The body is said to mature around 21 years, the mind around the age of 30 but the soul does not mature until the age of 50, where the higher aspects of our life truly begin. Some cultures celebrate aging, seeing the passing of years as a sign of wisdom, evolution, and enhanced capacity for grace. I feel slightly shamed when we look at how the old are treated in the West.

Old age is the stage of life dominated by Vata, the biological humor, and its attributes of coldness, dryness, decay and disintegration. Whatever one’s constitution by birth, in old age we must consider anti-Vata treatment. Oil therapy both internally and externally becomes important. Tonification rather than reduction therapies become the primary focus along with tonic herbal foods and herbs. Ayurveda has so much to offer in these later years.

Yoga postures are important for maintaining flexibility of the joints and for preventing arthritis. They should be practised regularly. Pranayama is helpful in maintaining strength and vitality and strengthening the lungs. Meditation is essential for dealing with the aging process and for deeper contemplation on the meaning of life. I like to look into the eyes of older people – true beauty is apparent, often as the physical body shrinks – the soul shines. Let’s look for how much joy and compassion can a person hold?  How much wisdom, love and vigour? This is the true measure of ageing well.

Below are pictures of my own mother aged 20 and then now in her late 80’s.
Can you still see her beautiful essence?

Natural Health

Herbs for the elderly

Chywanaprash is the best all round tonic for maintaining health and youth of tissues. It was originally devised for making the old feel young again and for helping yogis live and practice longer.
Gotu Kola is perhaps the best herb for improving hearing and memory
Ashwagandha is the main herb for maintaining strength of bones and joints. It strengthens immunity and is an excellent tonic all round.
Guggulu is the best herb for arthritic pain, as well as swelling & cracking of joints
Triphala treats constipation and helps rejuvenate the colon.

Recipe to love – warm up with spices

Spices in chai like cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger all warm the body, stimulate digestion, and increase circulation. Many recipes are turned into warming tonics simply by adding spices. Here is my favorite chai and yes, it is perfect for everyone, (including the elderly). Nourishing and soothing on a fragile digestion.

Chai Tea

1 cup of almond milk
(homemade-bought almond milk is often too watery)
¼ tsp cardamom
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ inch fresh ginger
2 tsps ghee or coconut oil maple syrup to taste
Bring almond milk to a simmer, uncovered. As soon as the milk begins to simmer add spices and stand for 3-5 mins. Add oil or ghee and maple syrup.

Cooking Class – Cooking with Spices 

On the subject of spices in the next month I will be running a session on “Cooking with Spices” that will cover the importance of inclusion for digestion. You will learn more about your own “agni” (digestion), kitchen remedies that can benefit, cooking healthy vegetarian food, and meeting like-minded people. The groups are small – limited to 8 people.

“I LOVED the cooking classes.  Thanks very much for organising them.  I feel so lucky to have stumbled across your website this year when feeling like my energy was never going to come up again.  The skills you have, the knowledge that you willingly share, and your passion for Ayurveda incl yoga, meditation, nutrition and cooking are awesome.  I’m very grateful to have benefited from them.”

To register your interest please email

My Thoughts

I suspect that the most powerful and basic way to connect to another person is to just listen. The most important thing we can offer another is our absolute attention. Especially if it is given from the heart. It has taken me a long time to realize that just saying “I am sorry” can be enough when someone is in pain. When you listen, without interrupting, people know you care. Loving silence…

A quote that resonates for me is:

Natural Healing Auckland