The other night Matthew and I were up from the hours of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. with my Obachan (Japanese for grandmother).
She’s 89 years old and lives with us. She also suffers from dementia. She is virtually immobile and has to be either carried or heavily assisted to walk. This means everything you think it means. We bathe her, we put her on the toilet, we wipe her, we dress her…everything. Thankfully she can still swallow her pills and feed and drink for herself.
The thing is, she doesn’t need to be immobile. Her body is fine. In fact, doctors always remark how impressed they are with her vitals and how good her lungs sound.
So what went wrong?
The hard truth of it is, our bodies are tools, machines…they don’t do well with neglect. If we don’t use them they literally start to rust up, degrade, freeze…however you want to describe it. If you don’t use it you lose it.
The other week we were talking to my Aunt and Uncle about aging and how, because Obachan lives with us now, we are intimately familiar with how the body degrades. I asked them, straight up, are you guys doing your yoga?
Because yoga is intimidating!
I 100 percent believe that too. For some reason we get really caught up in the word “yoga” and think if we don’t have yoga bodies then we have no business even trying. I was actually not a yoga convert when I met Matthew. I always felt like it was something incredibly spiritual people or really wealthy people with a lot of time did.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Do you know what the first thing Matthew told me when he asked me to start doing yoga with him on the daily?
“Yoga is just stretching.”
Of course it is! Why had I let an official word like “yoga” keep me from doing something that is SO GOOD FOR ME? (Side note: I know yoga is more than just stretching for millions of people around the world. No part of me wants to belittle or cheapen the true art of yoga.)
Back to Obachan. Obachan had a rough night and we were up adjusting her, checking her vitals, and just sitting with her. I found myself asking, if Obachan had been doing yoga, even 10 minutes a day, would she be so dependent on others?
I have another Aunt who is a retired Physical Therapist. Every day she gets down on the floor and makes herself get up. It seems so easy, right? Lay down on the floor and get up. But do you know how many people can’t do that? Especially as we age?
And so, Matthew and my genius idea was born.
We’re going to bring you a 10 minute daily practice complete with goats. Why involve the goats? Because, it’s a cornerstone to our personal belief that all of us can benefit from even a Frankenstein version of yoga. Your skill level doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’re out there doing it.
I’ve personally noticed so many positive changes in my body since starting a daily yoga practice..and it’s often just 10 minutes. And because this farm cares about the health of our community, not just in the food we eat, but in the way we treat our bodies, we want to spread that message.
Because guys, we’re all getting older. And someday, someone is going to have to care for us. If we’re lucky it will be our family (take note, my children…we care for our elders around here) but at the very least (unless artificial intelligence really takes off) it will be another human. And human to human, let me tell you, caregiving is hard. Even for those who are called to do it. Even for those who are paid to do it. Caring for another adult human, day in and day out, is tough. I think it’s our responsibility as citizens of this world to try and stay able bodied as long as we possibly can.
So we’re launching it!
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