by Suzanne L. Beenackers
There are self-help books that get you over the hump, inspire you, or change your life. And then there are the ones that really work. The ones that are so potent that even touching their cover burns your fingers, and you quickly put them in your mouth to cool them, while already thinking of ways to hack it. They’re often virtually unknown, coming to you through a final clearance sale or a secondhand book store. They carry the perfect disguise, making them invisible or unattractive to those who do not understand. It should come as no surprise I have several of them.
“One who constantly practices Uddiyana becomes young, even if old. Draw in above and below the navel. Practice diligently for six months then one conquers death without a doubt.”
Hatha Yoga Pradipika
I own many books on the Tantric (=Indian) roots of yoga and how to achieve immortality but they are all aimed at men. And submitting my estrogen curves to a men-only routine hoping to stay young and juicy, would be brainless. Aging is a hormone controlled process: Women who age get less estrogen and men who age get less testosterone. Both sexes slide towards a sexless equilibrium, where men and women look alike. That is usually exactly the direction we don’t want to go. According to my logic, using a male-based yoga routine could actually speed up female aging.
“White Tigress is the name for a female who has undertaken disciplined sexual and spiritual practices for the purpose of restoring her beauty and youthfulness in order to realize her full female potential and the condition of an immortal.”
I encountered a book that was a lot more appealing then plowing through Sanskrit texts: The White Tigress. This is not of Indian/ Tantric origin, but Taoistic/ Chinese. And if becoming a DIY courtesan appeals to you, its detailed instructions on how to live (including a few yoga postures I deciphered) may be your best bet of staying young and juicy for ever.
This post is second in a series Yoga Schedules October 2014.