Seven Steps to Aging Well

We all aspire to cultivate more vitality, strength, and balance throughout the stages of life, and yoga offers many health benefits as we age. In her Kripalu R&R workshop Seven Steps to Aging Well, longtime Kripalu faculty member Vandita Kate Marchesiello shares a few accessible practices designed to support a healthier aging experience.

Vandita herself has been using these seven tools for the past 40 years. The techniques she presents are adaptable and adjustable, and they can help bring our entire being into greater harmony.


“When practiced on a regular basis, meditation may result in feelings of contentment and clarity,” says Vandita. Meditation practices, such as anchoring the mind on the breath, can help us become more fully present, strengthening our ability to remain spacious and rooted in the face of life’s inevitable ups and downs. Even as few as three to five minutes of meditation each day can yield enduring benefits. The key, according to Vandita, is commitment and consistency.

Try this brief breath meditation.


“Whether it’s about relationships, health, healing, or prosperity, the power of visualization can bring about desired results,” Vandita says. Visualization pairs well with meditation; from a relaxed, focused state, you can bring to mind what your heart desires. If it’s healing you seek, for example, Vandita suggests visualizing a warm light washing over your entire body.

Here’s a deeper look at the eye-opening benefits of visualization.


“Affirm what you desire, and believe that it will be!” Vandita enthuses. Creating a habit of positive self-talk is an energetic form of self-care: Directing kind, encouraging words toward yourself can renew your confidence and your sense of connection. Add an affirmation or two along with your visualization and meditation practices, and notice how these uplifting words make you feel.

Ready to try on an affirmation or two? You can do it!

Conscious Eating

Conscious eating is the practice of mindful consumption. Setting aside time to take in a meal in silence, without the distraction of electronics or conversation, can help us eat less and feel satiated more quickly. “Notice the aroma of your food,” Vandita says. ‘Note its texture in your mouth. Chew your solids until they become almost liquid, and drink your liquids slowly.” 

Here are some more mindful ways to enjoy your morsels.

Pranayama (Breathing Exercises)
Connecting to your breath is a powerful way to open up to your life force, the energy that infuses you with vitality and creativity. Pranayama is effective for healthy aging because techniques such as Alternate-Nostril Breathing can both energize and calm the nervous system, Vandita explains.

Learn how to establish a home pranayama practice.

Asana (Yoga Postures)

It’s a no-brainer that keeping your body strong and flexible is important as you age, and you can tailor a yoga practice to suit your specific needs. “Listen to your body,” Vandita states. ‘Establish your practice from the inside out, paying attention to what your body is calling for.”  

Here are a few fun ways to modify balancing poses.

Yoga Nidra (Yogic Sleep)

Yoga nidra is a nourishing practice that can be cultivated while in Savasana, the final resting pose of an asana practice. According to Vandita, there are numerous health benefits that can arise from simply relaxing into receptivity. “Learning to deeply relax lowers the heart rate and respiratory rate, and it releases chronic muscular tension held in the body,” she says. A bonus benefit: The relaxation that yoga nidra provides can boost our overall energy and stamina, so we’re working on all cylinders.

Tune in to more ways yoga nidra can help you find yourself through letting go.

Find out about programs with Vandita Kate Marchesiello at Kripalu.

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