Ageing July 2023

It was the news of the passing of Jane Birkin that sparked my interest in how the world views our ageing selves. That is, if you actually care what the world thinks. The media was full of pictures of this exquisite young woman and pictures taken later in her life showing how well or not well, its a personal opinion, Jane had aged. In Jane’s defence she was as vibrant, beautiful and intelligent looking at 76 as she was at 26. A few more wrinkles, a few more kilos but living in France she had kept her essence. Like Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve these amazing woman have just aged. And its looked like none of them had resorted to the Hollywood knife, all the weird surgery that confuses the ordinary onlooker. If you look at the older Hollywood stars, male and female, eventually they all start to look the same. Strangely androgynous, shiny, expressionless faces with only a hint of what the original face looked like. Jane looked like herself, only older.

I’m a big fan of the anti ageing aspects of yoga. For me a bendy, smiley person with an easygoing nature and a calm vibration is very attractive.  And this state of being is not unique to yoga. Anyone who is following their life path, has done a bit of internal work and thought hard about what they want from life and others, is generally really nice to be around and very appealing no matter what their age.

And the experts agree! You are not a victim of your gene pool (it does help a bit, those lovely cheekbones), your childhood, the longevity of your parents, your cholesterol levels or your BMI. Nope, the most well aged people have a few things in common across the globe which we can all emulate to live longer, better looking lives. They avoid smoking, keep a healthy weight, exercise regularly, have learnt to cope well with change (Buddha says, change is inevitable), maintain strong social relationships (including a stable partnership) and this group have a life long passion for pursuing knowledge and education.

And those living in the Blue Zones have a few more tips for us. Diet: eat beans and greens, every day. Eat lots and lots of plants and flesh food only twice a week. For protein add fish, eggs and nuts and cook with good fats like butter and olive oil. Sweeten your life with fruits, fill up on wholegrains like oats and barley and all inhabitants of the Blue Zones love coffee, tea, water and wine. Drink coffee (shade grown for maximum nutrients and to save the planet!) for breakfast, tea in the afternoon, wine at 5pm, and water all day. Never drink fizzy drinks.

Sound like a fun, good looking way to age.

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