02/23/2015 06:50 am ET Updated Apr 25, 2015

What Would Your Younger, Pre-Yogic Self Say?

I've changed so dramatically since I've gotten older and started practicing yoga; I haven't slowed down with age -- instead, I've sped up. I do things now that I never would even have considered in my thirties, forties, or even early fifties. Recently, I started wondering how a conversation with my former, younger, pre-yogic self might go. Kind of like this, I suspect:

Former Me: Hey, girlfriend. Let's get together for a glass of wine! It's been too long.
New Me: You can drink, but I've already had my one glass of pinot noir for the week, so I'll just have some decaf chai.

FM: Some what?
NM: Decaf chai.

FM: Are you jesting?
NM: I like to be aware and in the now. Wine makes my brain fuzzy.

FM: Wow. You still smoke, right?
NM: God no. Gave that up more than a decade ago. Yoga gave me the discipline to finally let it go forever.

FM: Really? [scowling] Well, I've heard there's nothing worse than a reformed smoker.
NM: Guess you're right.

FM: I'm fucking pissed about politics these days.
NM: I watch the evening news, write my senators, sign petitions. But what's the point of getting so riled up? I'd rather meditate and send out healing prayers for world peace.

FM: Meditate? Are you kidding me? I can't sit still for five minutes. I can't imagine meditating. You haven't gone religious on me have you? You used to be such a fun agnostic!

NM: Er...well. Not that I go to church. But I do pray every day.

FM: No shit. Are you on pills or something?
NM: The only pills I take are herbal supplements: kelp, garlic, turmeric...

FM: I used to take a multi. But it was too much trouble to remember every day. I know I should get more exercise, but I just don't have time.
NM: You should make some time for yourself. Why don't you come to yoga with me? I teach Kundalini yoga now.

FM: What the hell is that? Is that why you're dressed in white and wearing giant love beads? Have you joined a cult? You're starting to freak me out, future self.
NM: This is a mala. I'm not in a cult, but we wear white when practicing Kundalini yoga to expand the aura.

FM: Right. [rolling eyes] I never could understand why anyone would want to do yoga, anyway. There must be faster ways to lose weight.
NM: Actually, it's a terrific workout. I can do things now I never could do at your age, even though you're, what, thirty years younger than I?

FM: Like what?
NM: Headstands. Handstands. Chanting for two hours. Stuff like that. I practice Iyengar yoga, too.

FM: I'm shocked. You've got to be kidding. You can't possibly be me! I can't even balance on one foot.
NM: I'll show you how to do Tree pose.

FM: Um, I think not. Maybe in a few decades. So... you must still be shy, right? How do you get up in front of a class to teach?
NM: I use pranayama now when I'm nervous.

FM: What's that?
NM: Breathing techniques.

FM: I use wine when I'm nervous.
NM: I know.

FM: You don't sound like a lot of fun. At least you still use the F word, right?
NM: Once in a while. But to tell you the truth, I've kind of let that go, too. Our words are so powerful. Why put those negative vibrations into the universe?

FM: I can't believe what I'm hearing. This is what I have to look forward to? No alcohol or swearing, or staying up all night ranting about politics? What have I become?
NM: A happier, healthier, more centered person?

FM: Hmmm. This can't be my future. You still have sex, I hope? You haven't gone all celibate on me?
NM: Nah, better than ever.

FM: Thank God!
NM: And I travel, too. I'm not afraid to fly anymore. I've let go of fear; it used to rule my life.

FM: Believe me, I know. Hey, maybe getting older won't suck that much, after all.
NM: Sweetheart, the best is yet to come!

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

What Are You Afraid Of In Midlife?