The essence of flexibility is the willingness to let go. Surveys of centenarians (people who have lived at least 100 years) often ask, “What do you believe are the reasons that account for your long and healthy life? Is it your diet? Have you been exercising your whole life? Have you avoided tobacco? Do you drink alcohol?”
The intent of these questions, of course, is to identify common principles that could help us alive longer, healthier lives. Surprisingly, none of these questions clearly reveals the secret to longevity. The most common explanation that most of our senior citizens offer for their long life is their ability to let go.
Long-living people have flexibility and resiliency when facing the inevitable challenges in life. If you live to be 100 years old, chances are good you have experienced challenges and losses, yet these super seniors have been able to move through adversity and get on with their lives. They relinquish their hold on experiences that do not serve them. They let go and move on.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, this ability to deal with what is happening but not incur residual damage is a symptom of strong digestive power. The expression “digestive power” is applied not just to the ability to digest foods but to digest all experiences in life.