Yoga outlines the 4 stages of life and how to best navigate and integrate them all. The first stage is the Student, aka Brahmacharya, and Dr. Seuss adds a flair of creative perspective.
Childhood to early adulthood is the developmental stage of life. This is time of learning and the discipline that goes with it. We observe other people’s behavior and imitate their actions. This helps us to pick up important abilities and skills. At this time, we are seeking Kama or enjoyment, gaining experience about the world around us.
Oh! the Places You’ll Go! was the last book Dr. Seuss published during his lifetime. Do you remember it? It’s this lovely story about life and how there are ups and downs and opportunities, and that things are going to be awesome and amazing! Except when they aren’t. And sometimes, well, they just aren’t. But we keep going, we keep progressing, we keep learning through this amazing experience called 'life.' None of us are immune to the challenges; however, neither are any of us held back from the opportunity to grow, make personal progress, try something new.
What I have discovered about 'try something new' is that it fuels my curiosity and therefore my creativity, opening up new perspectives and fresh outlooks. It has been scientifically proven, that when we continue learning and growing and experiencing 'something new' our brains remain more clear, alert and therefore, youthful throughout our life.
This ability of the brain to change form and function based on incoming stimuli is called neuroplasticity. Your brain is shaped by its own experience. So it’s without a doubt, a boon to your health to keep on learning.
Health involves more than moving your body. You also need to move your brain. “When you exercise, you engage your muscles to help improve overall health,” says Dr. Ipsit Vahia, director of outpatient services for Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital. “The same concept applies to the brain. You need to exercise it with new challenges to keep it healthy. The process of learning and acquiring new information and experiences, as through structured classes, can stimulate that process. The focus is not to earn a degree, or even take multiple classes, but to focus on a class to keep mental activity thriving.”
Although the first 25 years of life are known to be the formal time of being a student, we don't want to lose our curiosity, wonderment and willingness to continue learning something new. This can also mean simply shifting perspective.
Apply these two aspects to life that I learned from Marie Forleo:
When you hear yourself saying "I know this already," catch yourself and turn it around. Instead, when you are hearing familiar information or having a repeated experience, ask yourself this: "What can I learn from this now?" because you can always learn a new angle or a development deeper understanding. There is always a new level of mastery to reach.
Secondly, when you find yourself saying, "This won't to work for me" then ask "How can this work for me?" Let yourself be innovative as you open to new ideas and possibilities. This will keep you young at heart. You CAN maintain that 0 -25 year old you by remaining open to something new. Remember, the student phase is all about seeking enjoyment (kama), and you certainly want to continue enjoying your life. Don't you?
What is something new you can do this week?
The opportunity to learn is the intention of my offerings through the Ruby Wellness Academy. As I now transition from the name of YogaMotion Academy I will continue offering classes, courses, retreats and trainings that share the wisdom of Yoga, Ayurveda and Plant Wisdom. Personally, I was in need of a change. A need to shift my approach a bit and bring new perspective into the application of these ancient arts. This is a refreshing refinement that tis resulting in a new boost of enthusiasm and creative offerings.
Choose now to exercise your brain and you’ll also benefit by strengthening the wellbeing of your heart and soul as you learn more about YOU!