Top 10: Reasons Yoga Is the Fountain of Youth

AKA, “How Yoga Keeps You Looking Young AF”

1. Flexibility

Flexible bodies are often equated with youth. Most children are naturally pliable. As we age, we fall less and brace more and in doing so we become less agile and less supple. Flexibility leads to better blood flow, fewer injuries and, counterintuitively, more muscle tone.

2. Strength

When you hold a posture long after your mind has told you to give up you will get stronger. Yoga builds physical strength by lengthening muscles, increasing the range of movement across joints, and relieving both physical tension and stress, all of which allows our muscles to work more efficiently and effectively.

3. Balance

Yoga’s weight-bearing postures help ward off musculoskeletal diseases like osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Inversions where the bones in the arms, wrists, and hands are strengthened by supporting the weight of one’s body, all work toward preventing osteoporosis and other problems related to a weak skeletal structure. Yoga stretches the body to relieve stiff joints and lengthen muscles.

4. Breath

People underestimate how important deep breaths are to overall health and vitality. Yoga increases lung capacity by delivering more oxygen to every cell. Proper breath can help with digestion and lowering blood pressure.

5. Focus on Gratitude

There’s nothing richer than a deep sense of gratitude that comes from within. By focusing on what we are grateful for, we tend to live with more ease and less stress. Developing a practice of gratitude helps calm the chase and drive for “more” by allowing us to be grateful for what is. As we age, it’s also a great time to find gratitude for the strength, breath, balance, and eating habits that we’ve built up over the years.

6. Skin Tone

The effects of both asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises) have been shown to correlate with reduced inflammation and improved metabolic function of cells and tissues, including skin’s appearance. Researchers have discovered that yoga experts have lower levels of a blood compound that contributes to inflammation. They also produced less of that compound when exposed to a stressor. Learning to control your stress response through postures and breathing methods could reduce inflammation and keep your skin looking younger and healthier.

7. Emotional (Dealing with Stress/Fighting Depression)

“Yoga has been proven to ‘re-set’ the autonomic nervous system to a more parasympathetic (relaxed) state, which is what is needed for the body to heal and recover,”

Yoga has the ability to help you reduce stress, anxiety, and anger and to move you into a more peaceful state of mind. By practicing meditation, asanas, and gradually learning to control your thoughts, you can have achieve a healthier mentality, resulting in more feelings of ease and less stress.

8. Brain Function

Yoga restores mental and psychological focus. The practice of yoga is the practice of being in the present. Yoga can help you be clear when making decisions. And, it turns out, yogis have better information recall and problem-solving skills. (But you probably already knew that!)

9. Building Immunity

A study done in Norway was able to pinpoint the effects of yoga on the immune system after only four days of practice. Researchers found significant increases in activity — about three times that of those who took relaxing walks in nature each day or listened to relaxing music. Findings like these are of particular significance for aging populations because the immune system becomes less powerful as we grow older — as does its ability to detect and correct cell defects, which results in an increased risk of cancer.

Another study found that yoga could actually reverse age-related degeneration affecting the heart, brain and nervous system, restoring them to “normal or near-normal levels of function.”

10. Reinforces Your Value

Setting an intention at the start of your practice is like planting a wonderful little seed of goodness on the inside and then helping it manifest with your deliberate physical movement and breath. Yoga can be a chance to practice graciously accepting your body as it is in the moment.

Stress, anxiety, and unhappiness all come from the mind. Yoga helps you be instead of helping you do. Yoga teaches us to be observant, to rest and to be still and in that quiet think about what a gift you are. Namasate.

— Joleen

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