This is the month of International yoga Day and so this is the right time to bring to your notice the amazing benefit of yoga. Apart from helping in reducing pain, improving sleep and energy yoga can help in increasing life span. There is research published where yoga helped recover from medical conditions like cancer, arthritis, pcod etc. If you have ever tried yoga practice you would know it deals with breathing techniques and yoga postures however yoga practice is much beyond body and breathing. It brings calmness to mind and connects spirit (soul) to oneself.
How yoga helps for longevity
There is mind body and soul connection which is famous for yoga practice. But I am going to give practical reasons how yoga improves longevity.
Joints and pain reduction – yoga postures are mostly weight-bearing activities which strengthen bones and reduce chances of osteoporosis as yoga improves bone density. Yoga prevents arthritis and degenerating bone disorders through regular practice, this is because it involves a wide range if motion that gives better nutrients and blood flow to muscles and bones.
Breathing improves prana energy – Yoga promotes better breathing techniques which improves capacity of lungs in older age, when chances of infection increase in elderly because of less strength of lungs, regular breathing activity of yoga-like Pranayam increases exhalation time. This means more inhalation will be shorter than exhalation so more oxygen foe body cells, more oxygen means more prana (life-force). This inturn improves immunity and strength of lungs.
Reduces stress – In old age cortisol hormones remains High due to higher stress – reasons can be many like loneliness, inability to perform tasks easily, health issues or finances, yoga can balance the positive and negative emotions through alternate nostril breathing. Anulom vilom helps in activating para sympathetic nervous system which gives relaxation and reduces stress.
Better sleep – Yoga nidra has shown improving the sleep quality and quantity. The technique of deep breathing and meditation brings downtime foe nervous system and effectively brings calmness in mind. The meditation also brings inner connect and better breathing to promote sound sleep. Better sleep means better wear and tear of cells, better recovery and rejuvenation.
Detoxification – Yoga postures promotes easy digestion and helps in better movement of bowel which reduces chances of colon cancer. Better excretory system and less bowel issues in old age. Yoga also lowers blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity. Yoga reduces bad cholesterol and improves good cholesterol that reduces heart problems in yogis. Moreover yoga improves detoxification through improves lymphatic drainage system via all stretching postures.
Improves balance – Out of many old age issues disbalance and falling comes in few top. Yoga brings better balance called proprioception. Yoga reduces chances of mental problems like alziemer’s Parkinson’s those are common in old age. Face yoga reduces the ageing of skin to some extend. Better oxygen and blood flow gives better skin.
Conclusion- yoga can help in graceful ageing and improve longevity. So why to wait and lets start yoga.
Author- Ms.Tripti Khanna
M.Sc. - Food and Nutrition, Post Graduate In Food Science And Nutrition