By Pam and Gordon Smith
It took a personal injury to bring into realization that my study into the ancient art of yoga, meditation and relaxation would be invaluable in aiding my own recovery and that it also had the potential to help others. At 86 years of age having suffered a spinal collapse, there was a choice between being passive to all the medics had to offer or returning positive control back to myself. I was fortunate in that my wife Pam has a lifetimes experience in teaching yoga and health-related subjects.
She foresaw that the energy of motion could be used to promote healing by using chair based movement. This could also help the aged and the less able, and help them to return back to the wonder and magic of life. This is where my recovery began. Alongside our yoga and meditation, Pam sought to train in a system which improved function but also brain plasticity, leading to the Ageless Grace® program developed by Denise Medved.
Every living thing has a perfect form and function that enables it to fit within the perfect economy of life. These life forms are a part of the natural order of things and have arisen out of a field of life and intelligence that has manifested from the center of each being. We are not all destined to be philosophers but can be helped if we discover those things which work. This means for those who are interested, in discovering what we mean by Mind, Feeling and ’Will’, we become more able to manage our affairs and plot a successful course through life.
Pam uses exercises which are chair based, fun, improve circulation, and help to keep the mind alert and reclaim happy memories. We are born into relative innocence and then conditioned by education and life itself by a confusion of ideas. The thoughts uppermost in our minds often leading us away from whom we truly are, this is when meditation can be of help and learning to be still and practicing “Watch the Monkey Jump”, that is the tendency of the mind to jump, like the monkey, from one branch of thought to another. This is only one small example of how meditation can help to bring clarity to our thought processes.
Stress can also be an overriding factor in our day to day lives, damaging our health and relationships. Music and movement can provide a refreshing break and return us to normality. For those who would also like to continue the meditational approach, there is the important link between the breath and the emotions “Calm the Breath-Calm the Emotions” by practicing the many life-giving breathing exercises, to aid the return to tranquillity.
Relaxation not only releases tension but increases energy levels, with the potential to help the healing process. For this to be effective it takes considerable experience on the part of the guide and teacher, as their own understanding is conveyed by the words they use.
Many teachers and guides of the Ageless Grace® program have had a lifetime of experience. When you are young and youthful the more energetic aspects of yoga and exercise may appeal. It is during the mature years with some of the problems this may bring, that a different approach could prove invaluable without losing the benefits of this timeless and age-old philosophy. ‘Get fit while you sit,’ Our way of thinking and speaking can empower us or deplete our life-giving energies. “Choose Life”, become a positive thinker and speaker. You are what you believe yourself to be. As Dalai Lama says ‘Just be Happy’.
Ageless Grace® Brain Health is based on research in neuroscience and the ability of the brain and central nervous system to change itself, regardless of our age. Attempting to learn new physical movements, much like we did daily as children, particularly activates the 5 primary functions of the brain (strategic planning, memory and recall, analytical thinking, creativity and imagination, and kinesthetic learning), for improved cognitive function. The 21 tools or exercises of Ageless Grace are spontaneous, creative, fun and done seated for ALL ages, in order to cause the brain to “figure out” how to do the moves from a chair. Learn more about the program
Pam Smith teaches at www.agelessgrace.com