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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Publisher's Letter for September 2022

Aug 31, 2022 06:11PM ● By Marilee Burrell

Dana and Marilee

In my head I’m still in my 20s, and I have no intention of ever growing up.

~ Tao Porchon-Lynch

Yoga and longevity go together, as beautifully demonstrated by Tao Porchon-Lynch, the vibrant yoga instructor who practiced yoga her entire life and lived to be 101. This month our focus is on the healing practice of yoga and how to live a longer, happier and healthier life. There’s plenty of info inside these pages about local yoga studios and classes, as well as articles on natural strategies to help us feel good and age gracefully.

Exciting news on the longevity front is that diet and exercise can actually turn back time, at least when it comes to our bodies. A recent study shows that our “bio age”—the new marker that indicates how young our DNA is—determines how susceptible we will be to aging-related illnesses like cognitive decline, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. According to the study, switching to a diet rich in leafy greens and vegetables and amping up our exercise routines can significantly reduce our bio age in as little as eight weeks. That’s huge! Learn more in our feature article, “Growing Younger: Longevity Strategies that Help Reverse the Aging Process,” on page 22.

I believe that the healthy habits we incorporate into our lives build up our health reserves, sort of like a wellness 401(k). When we contribute nutritious food and movement into our account, our bodies contribute in kind, with, for example, better balance, better vision and increased bone density, helping to prevent falls and broken bones. And the good news is there’s always time to turn things around because our bodies are miraculous healing machines. In fact, they do their best restorative work when we sleep—no action or thinking required.

I admit I may go a bit overboard with my diet. I’m known as the “celery queen” in my family for the amount of celery juice I consume, and for pushing it and other juices and smoothies on others. I just love how good I feel when I nourish my body this way.

But while my diet has become stricter as I age, my exercise routine has grown to be gentler and less rigid. For me, a good day involves a little yoga and Synergetics in the morning, and then getting my heart rate up again later in the day by walking up hills through the woods near my house. I also have a rebounder set up next to my desk for spontaneous moments or for when I’m watching TV. When I search for a yoga class, I look for words like gentle, restorative, basic, over 50, yoga nidra or slow flow. All these things I believe are contributing to how healthy and independent I’ll be in my 80s and 90s, how my mind will function and how good my joints will feel.

To find the ideal yoga class for you, turn to our special local yoga section, highlighting the latest area yoga happenings, on pages 36 to 43, and also be sure to check out classes listed in our calendars on pages 44 to 51. More classes and events can be found on our website as well:

We hope this month’s edition inspires and motivates you to be proactive with your health. Take a step and start reducing your bio age a little bit every day.