Can Yoga Cure the Effects of Aging?

"Yoga is invigoration in relaxation.  Freedom in routine. Confidence through self-control.  Energy within and energy without." Ymber Delecto

yoga from Stress Express by Snowden McFallThree bad car accidents over 20 years have left me with some tension, imbalance and misalignment in my neck and shoulders.  Chiropractic helped a great deal, but what really healed me and continues to is yoga.  Almost every day, I get up and do yoga stretches and postures.  The spinal twist regularly realigns my neck bones after shifting them in sleep.  Tree posture helps me keep my balance and I even do it while shaving my legs.  Warrior 2 helps me stay strong and plank firm my arms and belly.  I am in better shape than I was in my early twenties- all due to yoga.

Practiced for over 5000 years, yoga is a powerful and popular form of exercise that over 11 million Americans practice regularly. Last week was International Yoga Day, with good reason.

Is Yoga a Cure for Aging?

A study in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity found that 12 weeks of yoga slowed cellular aging!  Yoga , breathing and mediation was done for 12 weeks, 90- minutes a day 5 days a week.  Cellular damage was reversed and depression decreased.  A new study in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found that a 3 month yoga retreat reduced inflammation and stress in the body. People who attended felt less anxious and stressed, and inflammation decreased.

Most of us cannot take three months to do a yoga retreat, but what we can do is incorporate yoga more in our daily lives.

The Center for Integrative Medicine of Thomas Jefferson University found that a 1 hour session of yoga lowered cortisol (the stress hormone) in participants with no previous yoga experience, even seven days later. Practicing yoga for 20 minutes increases your focus and ability to learn, far better than aerobic exercise.

Yoga:

• increases flexibility through stretching
• improves posture and tones muscles
• promotes better breathing
• massages all internal organs of body
• increases lubrication of tendons, joints, ligaments
• flushes toxins out of the body
• reduces depression, alcoholism and PTSD
• provides a deep sense of relaxation and boosts moods

How to Incorporate Yoga Into Your Life

• go to a beginner yoga class and tell the instructor you are new.
• use a yoga video from Gaiam or Yoga Journal and start at the beginner level.  Start slow and be gentle with yourself.  If something hurts, don't do it.  Go at your own pace.  Watch Rodney Yee- his videos are terrific.
• start stretching regularly.  This will make a big difference for you- guaranteed.
• incorporate meditation of some sort into your daily practice.  There are lots of great meditation apps.

Years ago, I watched a Dr. Oz segment on aging. All the exercises demonstrated that helped with aging were yoga postures!  So start now and revitalize your body!

 

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