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The Yoga of Aging and Chronic Illness: Transforming a Curse into a Million Rays of Light

By Jivan Joti Kaur Khalsa PhD

One thing I love and appreciate about our lifestyle is that we can use ourselves as laboratories. Over the years, Yogi Bhajan taught us a multitude of yoga kriyas, pranayam techniques, and meditations for every imaginable purpose—vitality, anti-depression, sexual potency, pregnancy, habitual behaviors, effective communication, brain balancing—the list is limitless.

He gave us recipes, diets and fasts to detox, strengthen and balance our bodies. He taught us the science of Naad and the Shabad Guru for every possible outcome. The only catch was that we had to develop our discipline to utilize all of these gems. The teachings were basically free; we just had to try them out on ourselves. We were like the guinea pigs in a real-life laboratory. And the teachings are there for every stage of life.

In the last few years, pretty much starting when I more aggressively started going through the aging process, I have been challenged with chronic health issues. At first it felt like a curse. I thought, “I am a Yogini. My diet is very pure. This isn’t right. Aren’t we supposed to be healthy until we just die in our sleep?” But, as a Yogini, I decided to use myself as a laboratory in my health challenges as well. I experimented with our teachings—Pranayam that gave me energy, Yoga that stimulated my immune system, Meditations that balanced my emotions, and Paurees (prayers) that kept me connected to the One—to name a few.

In 2011, I started writing a book to share what I had learned: “The Yoga of Aging and Chronic Illness: Transforming a Curse into a Million Rays of Light.” I have learned so much. I’m sure that others have invaluable stories and tips to share as well. So, I want to include some of them in the book. I am looking for stories and tips from people who have used our lifestyle to manage aging and chronic illness with grace and dignity.

If you have any such stories to share about your experience with this stage of life, please contact me: [email protected]. I’d love to talk with you. Thank you and Sat Nam.

Jivan Joti Kaur Khalsa, Ph.D. is a Level I and II Kundalini Yoga Teacher Trainer. She is a Level III Candidate in Sat Nam Rasayan and has written three books, The Art of Making Sex Sacred, Editions One and Two and Dying Into Life: The Yoga of Death, Loss and Transformation. [email protected]