MY FELLOW BABY BOOMERS:
Attention all baby boomers ! Especially you over-50 men out there. Feeling like your joints need a lube job? Don’t like what you see in the mirror? Worried about the ravages of Father Time? Well, there is a way to turn the clock back, so take heart, my compatriots. We can stay young in body, mind, and spirit. We do not have to resign ourselves to an escalating loss of physical vitality. It is called Bikram Yoga, and it is the best method I know of for turning back the clock and feeling like a dynamo!
Most of us baby boomers have heard about yoga; many have practiced it. But some of us may still not know what Bikram yoga is. For those who do not, it is a form of Hatha Yoga developed more than 30 years ago by one Mr. Bikram Choudhury, who, at age 60+, is “one of us” baby boomers -- although I caution you not to compare your health to his, because the guy is amazing (and he may well live to be 130).
There are hundreds of Bikram yoga centers all over the world (check out bikramyoga.com on the internet for exact locations and class times). Standardization and uniformity are the keys: wherever you go in the world, you will find that the format of each lesson or class is always the same and almost always taught by certified Bikram instructors. Indeed, the Bikram method is nothing if not consistent: (1) it is always done in a classroom heated to 100 degrees or more; (2) each class lasts 90 minutes in length and consists of a series of 26 poses, always in the same order, with each pose done twice; (3) there are short rests between each pose, and these rests are in fact an integral part of the yoga activity; and (4) the postures are done in front of full-length mirrors so that one can constantly adjust and correct his/her execution of each pose.
In the 1960s and 70s, we boomers took our excellent health for granted. We popularized a number of healthful endeavors, consistent with our idealism and higher education. For example, we popularized natural and organic foods, and transcendental meditation – in between trips (and I use that term loosely…) to such places as Woodstock and Haight Ashbury.
the only trip many of us are taking is one from the couch to the doctor’s
office. While I have many friends in the medical profession and respect
what they do, some doctors prescribe for us medications we don’t
need. In fact, there is an overall tendency to try and let medication
do for us what we ourselves should be doing for us. As we boomers have
gotten older and more sedentary, many of us have resigned ourselves to
increasing dependence on medications and living out the next 30+ years
– or fewer -- in pain and on the “meds.”
By 2011, those of us boomers who were born in 1946 will reach age 65, currently regarded as the standard retirement age. If we do not take steps now to maintain and restore our health, we will forfeit our wonderful heritage given to us by our parents who gave us unprecedented affluence, freedom, and social stability in the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s and burden society with our own “eldercare” problems. If we don’t get off the couch and engage in such life-giving activities as Bikram yoga, we will cost our children and grandchildren trillions – yes, trillions, according to a study by the Harvard University Global Generations Policy Iniative – of dollars in healthcare. A crisis is looming, because Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security combined will more than double their relative burden on those younger working-age Americans over the next 30 years.
There is a simple way to avoid that crisis and show our love for our children and grandchildren – that is to show our love for ourselves, by taking care of ourselves. Bikram yoga is a time-honored, proven way to do that, and it is available to one and all for a relatively modest sum: the cost of the lessons is usually less than $10 per session, with numerous package deals available.