Q&A on ‘Yoga for the Golden Years’

The topic for the Hindi Satsang on Sunday, 23rd March, 2014 was ‘Yoga for the Golden Years.’

Following is the transcript of the Q & A between the audience and Smt. Hansaji J. Yogendra.

Smt. Hansaji and Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra

Listen to the audio:

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Q. In the golden years, when physical strength is decreasing, how to increase mental strength?
Smt. H: The point is, if the body is weak, the mind has to become strong and if mind is weak, the body becomes strong. So in young age, the mind is weak and body is strong and in old age, it is the other way round. So to increase mental strength, this is the path- become more self-reliant. You do things yourself. If you want a glass of water, you get up and get the water. If you have to go out, decide who can come with you and if no one can, go alone. As much as possible, self-reliance is necessary. Sometimes if need be you can take help. But making demands from the family will send them further away from you and if someone is forced to help you, they will do it grudgingly. So try and avoid demands and reduce your needs to the bare minimum.

Q. On growing older, the children are supporting their mother and becoming unreasonable. What can the father do in this case?
Smt. H: The bond between father and mother needs to be very strong. If they both walk in different directions, the children are bound to take advantage of it. They will support the mother and she will give in to emotions and give them what they want. Women generally act from emotions and men from logic and a good balance between both is necessary. There should be no difference of opinion between the two. If the children demand something, the mother should first consult the father on whether it is alright and both should decide on the actions to be taken.

Q. A person with a good yoga background wants to develop a good family. But if family members are not interested, what to do?
Smt. H: You just live your way – the yoga way of life. Don’t overeat, have a light dinner. As far as possible, try to see that you don’t use the word ‘Yoga’ in the house. The change should be subtle. I know one lady whose family members used to eat very spicy and oily food. Telling them that this was wrong made no difference. But when she was cooking, she began to reduce the oil and spice just a little and they could not make out any difference the food. Like this, over a span of five years, their oil and spice was reduced considerably without them even realizing it and they liked the food. Some patience is required with family. It is not possible to make them follow things immediately.

Q. Is there any benefit from having Shraadh?
Smt. H: We do not observe Shraadh for any benefit. And yoga, Jainism, Buddhism do not talk of Shraadh. This is a typical Hindu culture and if you believe in any ‘ism’ or your family believes in it, then you can observe it for satisfying them. But if you are the head of the family and others listen to you, then do not observe it. If someone has died, just distribute their ashes in the sea and do nothing more. But remember the good qualities of the person who has passed away and try and inculcate them in yourself and your children.

Q. How to deal with your family members getting irritated by your presence?
Smt. H: If your family members are getting irritated by your presence, maybe there is something wrong with what you are doing. Maybe you are giving too much advice or pointing out mistakes or sitting quietly and they think you are not doing any work, etc. Become useful to your family, be caring, speak something good, something short and sweet and leave it at that. A stage should come where they would want you to sit and spend some time with them. So try and change something.

Satsang is an open meeting held every Sunday from 9:30 to 10:30 am at The Yoga Institute, Santacruz East, Mumbai. It involves an interesting presentation to the public, made by the students of the Teacher Training Course. Each week, a new presentation of a Yogic concept is made in a simple way through skits and decoration for the general public, followed by a short speech from our Gurus, Dr. Jayadeva and Smt. Hansaji Yogendra.

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