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Sipping from the Fountain of Youth

by Naomi Sophia Call(more info)

listed in yoga, originally published in issue 188 - November 2011

Youth is not a time of life, it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and
supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigour of the emotions; it is
the freshness of the deep sprigs of life. ~
Samuel Ullman

As far back as 323 BC, the search for the elusive fountain of youth, the elixir of life that would take away aches and magically reverse aging began. Countless individuals repeatedly travelled 'somewhere' in search of this effervescent tonic. Yet all along, these precious pearls of wisdom were within their reach.

Standing Yoga Pose

One can assume that the extensive quests of those unfulfilled seekers were at least enhanced with a multiplicity of physical activities and mental challenges.... two key ingredients in the fountain of youth!

As scientists today spend millions striving to extend life as we know it, some have discovered that looking outside of ourselves is the exact opposite direction to be travelling. Thankfully, we can access the quintessence of life that we seek. To do so, we only need to adopt the ancient practices of people who dedicated their lives to understanding their bodies.

Indigenous people spent their days seeking knowledge from within. They believed that all living beings are connected, and, that the practices they performed to improve their body, would also improve the quality of life everywhere. They sought guidance from the wisdom of nature and observed the movements of wildlife. This deep seated awareness spurred profound inquiries, creating a well spring of knowledge that has proven to be of lasting value. The inspirational practices that they created can be done by anyone, and do not require going to a studio or gym, and, you don't need any equipment....simply an open mind and a little time.

Yoga Pose

Key ingredients in the elixir of life are fresh air, earth directly under our feet and sunshine. When we look back, we see a very different lifestyle from what most people embrace today. Throughout the course of a day indigenous people were consistently moving their bodies, and mostly outside. They did not sit for hours at desks and computers or in front of televisions. Tibetan monks would trek up steep mountainsides, working the land, tending gardens, drinking fresh water and breathing clean air. The act of daily life was rich with reward.

Yoga Pose

The 'conveniences' of modern life are in part, the demise of well being. Our Earth, especially unpopulated areas, can not serve up the same quality of air or water that she once did for us. We need to prioritize creating opportunities in our daily life to seek out the best ingredients we can to nourish ourselves. For many, the idea of creating time for one's health occurs as a luxury.... something that comes after everything else is done, or not at all. Exercise is often moved to the future to do list.

       Above all things, reverence thyself. ~ Pythagorus

Instead of struggling, or creating stress to figure out how to get an hour to exercise, take 'sips' from the fountain of youth. Give five to fifteen minutes to yourself first thing in the morning before anyone or anything else. Then possibly again at lunch time, before dinner or before retiring for the evening. Young mothers can find a few moments here and there, or that coffee break in the office can become a refreshing sip of renewed vitality, minus the caffeine!

Many people find that renewing themselves throughout their day is much more helpful than only once a day. The effects of an exercise session first thing in the morning wear off. It is also more 'green' to exercise in your yard or where you live, verses spending yet more time, gas, energy and money to drive to an indoor gym. During the time that you prepared for, and drove to, the gym you could've made a healthy smoothie and done at least 15 minutes of Do-In!

Yoga Pose

Do-In is the art of energizing and warming the body up from the inside out. This practice predates reflexology, shiatsu and acupuncture. It was by first working on one's own body that one could develop insights into their health. Do-In is simple and can be done anywhere, though like all exercises, it is most beneficial when performed outside. Do-In comprises a series of movements including: light tapping, pounding, massaging or pinching that stimulate your chi or ki, also referred to as energy.

When there is pain in the body, it is believed that our chi is blocked or stagnated; by practising Do-In we help to both move and build our energy, strengthening every meridian and system in our body. Spontaneous Chi or Meditation in Movement is another ancient technique for enabling the body to access and strengthen this well spring of vitality within us. Many people find sitting still for meditation to be very challenging. Inviting meditative movement eliminates this roadblock while creating deeper healing.

Yoga Pose

Conscious breathing and stretching are a simple must for longevity. Breathing is the gateway into quieting one's mind and relaxing the body. When breathing is harmonized with conscious stretching more of our blood is oxygenated.

fruit herbs
berries


The other key ingredients for nourishing one's physical body are water and healthy foods. Everyday it is more widely recognized that a plant-based cuisine is necessary for longevity. We need to build energy, not deplete it by consuming animal products and poor food combinations. A minimum of 50-70% raw food offers the body vital nutrition and enzymes. Again, make simple, healthier choices throughout your day. Measure how much water you drink in a day. Half of your body weight in ounces is a good base.

We are the product of our prevailing habits of thought. Each is building his own world from within; thought is the builder... every experience with which you meet has been built for you by your own interior thought processes. ~ Dr. Venice Bloodworth, author of Key To Yourself

A key ingredient for a healthy mind is to challenge yourself, daily. We tend to become habitual in our ways. Change things up everyday, drive to work a different route, take anew path on your walk. It has also been proven that playing instruments, studying music and foreign languages help to keep the mind youthful. Bridge and word or number puzzles are also great sharpening tools that don't have to take a lot of time. See if you can memorize something new everyday! Make it fun!

If you are eating a healthy plant based cuisine chances are good you'll have plenty of the important omega fatty acids that your brain needs. Keeping well hydrated and taking those deep oxygenating breaths are also key to your brain health.

Your mind is your most important asset. What we think, we become. Our thoughts are the preview of what is to come in our life. This is the key ingredient to your youthfulness. Infuse positive thoughts and affirmations into your everyday. Pause, and don't just think I am youthful, feel youthful, close your eyes and see yourself years into the future radiating youthful vitality.

Your spirit needs and yearns to be nourished everyday. Do what you love, take moments to see beautiful things, grow that rose, run through a sprinkler or ride a bike and feel the breeze through your hair. Begin, or revisit, artistic pursuits that were put on hold. Many of us lost sight of our passions for practical purposes. Little did we know that those pursuits could nourish us in ways that material acquisitions never could.

In essence, the fountain of youth is within you. An infinite well of wisdom and energy. Keep in mind the words of Hippocrates, "Your health is your greatest wealth." Everyday, begin to speckle moments that truly bring joy to your spirit, challenges to your mind and nourishment to your body.

When we take little steps, or sips, everyday, longevity is attainable and maintainable. As you get started, feel your joy and new found energy. As you do, you'll also find that more time seems to magically appear from nowhere and you didn't even have to go searching! Remember to pause and give thanks everyday for the miracle of your life and you!


There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of the people you love. When you learn to tap into this source, you will truly have defeated age. ~ Sophia Loren

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About Naomi Sophia Call

Naomi Sophia Call is the Findhorn Press author of Fountain of Youth Exercises for Vitality, Radiance, Joy & Fulfilment in Fifteen Minutes and Yoga in Bed: awaken body, mind & spirit in fifteen minutes. Her work spans 30 years in the Healing Arts, specializing in work with the elderly and people in chronic pain. She is available for workshops and consultations via naomicall@gmail.com  www.naomicall.com   

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