Eileen Fleming - Author, Reporter, Baby Boomer Activist - Health, Wellness, Spirituality
Getting Older Yet Better: INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this book is NOT to teach Yoga!
The reason this book will be published online for FREE as I write it; is because I am a spiritually driven political activist writerwhose new politics has become Yoga!
The IMPRESSION by the Dr. who read the MRI of my spine wrote I have a "broad-based disc osteophyte complex" [arthritic spurs] and "multilevel spondylosis" meaning degenerative arthritis. The reason I had the MRI was to determine if the burning pain in my neck and down my arms was due to spinal cord involvement.
X-rays of my deranged knees revealed "very severe, end-stage osteoarthritis" and my orthopedist could only offer me joint replacements for relief from the stabbing pains I would experience with most activities due to bone on bone because of no cartilage.
ALL the medical opinions I sought confirmed surgery was my only alternative and I was an "ideal candidate" being relatively young  active, healthy and committed to doing the rehabilitation required.
The purpose of this book is to offer my experiences of declining the surgical route, changing my ways and practicing Yoga.
In this 'public service book' I will relate my upcoming journey as a student in the Wisdom Method Training Program [beginning in May] because the best way I learn is EXPERIENCE and experience is NOT just what happens to you-but what you do with it!
Next best way I learn is to listen, read and write in my own words.
For multiple reasons instead of undergoing bilateral total knee replacements last September, I began to practice Yoga and quickly learned if one can BREATHE one can do yoga- although one may never do more than a few asanas/yoga poses.
The reason I am hooked on yoga is because I FEEL better physically, am more efficient at my work [writing] and am drawn to the spirituality.
The OM and Namaste
OM is a symbol seen in most all yoga studios.
OM is also a Hindu noun that is chanted or sung is prayer which originated in the yoga text known as the Mandukya Upanishad, written between 800-500 BC.
The Mandukya Upanishad is the shortest of the Upanishads – the scriptures of Hindu Vedanta, consisting of twelve verses regarding states of human consciousness: waking, dreaming, sleeping and illumination.
"The syllable OM, which is the imperishable Brahman, is the universe. Whatsoever has existed, whatsoever exists, and whatsoever shall exist hereafter, is OM. And whatsoever transcends past, present, and future, that also is OM." 
Brahman is understood as the divine within the Self and everything and everyone else.
"All this that we see without is Brahman. This Self that is within is Brahman. This Self, which is one with OM, has three aspects, and beyond these three, different from them and indefinable – The Fourth." [Ibid]
Vaishvanara, is the waking state represented in the symbol by the lower curve (the bottom of the "3") and the first state of consciousness.
The second is Taijasa, which is dreaming sleep or attention inward to the thoughts in the mind and is represented by the curl coming out of the center of the "3."
The third state of consciousness, Prajna, is dreamless sleep or deep meditation and is represented by the top curve (the upper part of the "3").
The Fourth state of consciousness, known as Turiya, is "indescribable".
"It is pure unitary consciousness, wherein awareness of the world and of multiplicity is completely obliterated. It is ineffable peace. It is the supreme good. It is One without a second. It is the Self. Know it alone! This Self, beyond all words, is the syllable OM." [Ibid]
The Fourth state is represented in the symbol as separate from and different than the other three states –and is represented by the crescent and dot in the upper right of the symbol.
Om is also comprised of three distinct Sanskrit sounds:
The A and U together create the sound "O."
The A represents Vaishvanara, the U is Taijasa, the M is Prajna.
Om is a sound and a symbol representing the divine in each of us, which connects all of us.
Om represents the sound of divinity in all things in the past, present and future.........
At the end of every Yoga class I have attended, the gesture and word "Namaste" completes the session in acknowledgment of the Divine spark within each of us.
Namaste literally means 'bow me you' or 'I bow to you' as the Nama means bow, as means I, and te means you.
IF we believe in that Divine spark within we will at least try to live by The Golden Rule.
Jesus explained it in Matthew 7:12: "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."
HINDUISM teaches: This is the sum of duty: do naught to others which if done to thee would cause thee pain. -The Mahabharata
BUDDHISM teaches: Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.-Udana-Varga
JUDAISM teaches: What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow men. That is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.- The Talmud
ISLAM teaches: No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.- Hadith