Yoga is an ancient practice that brings together mind, body, and spirit with deep breathing, mindfulness, and poses that align and strengthen the body. Yoga’s healing effects have been proven to naturally reverse signs of aging on both a mental and physical level, building strength and reversing signs of memory loss.
A 2019 research study shows that yoga-based interventions help older adults maintain their heart rate and breathing, decrease hypertension levels, and lower stress-inducing hormones, including cortisol. Additionally, yoga naturally increases blood flow promoting stronger heart health. Another study reports that a simple combination of yoga and meditation may reduce the rate of cellular aging, which can decrease the intensity of lifestyle diseases like cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, infertility, and even cancer.
Although yoga is beneficial for people of all ages, it is a great anti-aging tool to relieve aging symptoms. Yoga strengthens your muscles and bones, preventing conditions like osteoporosis, and reduces inflammation to decrease the likelihood of arthritis, spinal stenosis, back pain, neuropathic issues. Yoga also increases blood flow to the body, reducing symptoms of asthma, slow metabolism, chronic bronchitis, insomnia, hormonal changes in women, depression, stress, and anxiety.
Yoga offers a gentle exercise for seniors that isn’t high intensity but still challenges the mind and body. Considered a natural medicine by many, why not try yoga to live a healthier and happier lifestyle? Below are just some of the benefits for seniors.
Benefit #1: Increases Anti-Aging Hormones
Yoga offers various asanas (physical postures), meditation techniques, and mindfulness methods to affect the production of several hormones associated with aging like DHEA, melatonin and cortisol. As you get older, your body produces less of these anti-aging hormones and makes you more prone to stress, anxiety, and depression.
When you practice meditation and yoga, your body begins to produce more DHEA and controls cortisol production. Increased melatonin and more DHEA, mixed with a decreased level of cortisol mean a soothed body, calm mind, and slower aging.
Benefit #2: Improves Strength
Yoga strengthens your muscles and leads to a more limber and flexible body. As you get older, your body stiffens, causing a negative domino effect that leads to fatigue, injury, aches, and pains. People who have a sedentary lifestyle suffer from aging-related problems that significantly affect their muscles, joints, and bones.
The negative domino effect on your body increases when you stop physical activities. Consequently, it causes significant pressure on your joints, spinal muscles, and nerves. That’s why most middle-aged people have problems like spinal stenosis, arthritis, and degenerative disc disease that mostly affect their lumbar spine.
The good news is that you can avoid all these problems by performing regular yoga. Some yoga poses, such as Warrior Pose I, Tree Pose, Downward Facing Dog and Head-to-Knee Forward Bend Pose can strengthen the muscles, joints, and bones in your back.
Yoga improves your body balance by focusing on your body and mind. When you practice yoga, you don’t lose balance and coordination, and at the same time, it increases your agility to avoid falls and prevent any fractures, muscle soreness, and broken bones.
Benefit #3: Increases Lung Capacity
Many people underestimate the significance of breathing. In yoga, your practice is led by the breath. Deep breathing exercises and meditation supplies more oxygen to your cells and allow your mitochondria to produce more adenosine triphosphate (ATP) that provides energy to your body. Experts recommend Easy Pose, Cobra Pose, Fish Pose, and Lotus Shoulder Stand to increase your lung capacity, which translates into an elevated supply of oxygen to all parts of the body, including organs, tissues, and cells.
When you become more aware of your breathing, you create a connection between your body and mind. As a result, you reverse many of the symptoms of respiratory problems, digestive issues, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and more.
Yoga helps you become more aware of your body by improving your posture and heightening your mental focus, allowing you to control your mind and body more. In simple terms, yoga is beneficial for anti-aging, and will help maintain a strong and healthy body.
If you are new to yoga, please be sure to share your journey with us by tagging @WeAreYogaPose on Instagram!