The yogis say there’s nothing wrong with death and that it’s part of life.
Which is fine, of course, until it’s your turn.
And maybe that’s why yogis invented yoga in the first place — to stave off death for as long as possible and make the rest of us look like wimps.
Whatever the case, yoga’s the perfect way to keep all your body systems in optimum condition and help you live longer.
But if you think everything’s hunky dory and you don’t need yoga, then try this little test to assess your current state of health (and life expectancy).
The sit-down/stand back up test
Sit. Stand. Repeat. This simple test was developed as a predictor of longevity by Brazilian physician Claudio Gil Aranjo.
Without leaning on anything, from a standing position sit down on the floor without using your hands, arms or knees to get down. You can have your arms out to your sides for balance if necessary.
Then stand back up once again without using your hands, arms or knees to get back up. Be very careful. Move slowly and deliberately.
Score: Sitting down. From a maximum of five points, take one point off your score if you used a hand or arm or knee to support you as you sat down. (This includes a hand on your knee or thigh.) Subtract 0.5 points if your balance got wobbly.
Score: Standing back up. Once again, from a maximum of five points, take one point off your score if you used an arm, side of knee, front of knee, or hand on knee to get back up. And take 0.5 points off if you lost your balance at any stage.
Total your points. If your score is less than 8, the results of Dr Aranjo’s study suggest you may be twice as likely to die within the next six years compared with those who scored higher. If your score is less than 3 points, you may be 5 times more likely to die within six years as those who scored higher.
It makes sense because this test measures:
- motor co-ordination and
- adequate muscle power relative to your body weight
And because yoga deals with each of these things perfectly, it makes sense to attend a yoga class at least once a week. And to practice stretching, moving, and bending on a daily basis in between classes.