Plain and simple, yoga is filled with so much goodness when it comes to longevity. Not only is the practice healthy for your mind and body, but it’s also really such an enjoyable way to exercise. Yoga movements are convenient to perform right in the comfort of your own home, or you can easily grab a mat and find outdoor classes in towns and cities all over the country to join in on the fun. So we’re here to namaste and share exactly what science says about the yoga habits that slow aging. Grab your mat, and listen up!
The fact that some claim the ancient practice originated 5,000 years ago—or even longer than that—and is still going strong says everything (via livescience). Yoga is so popular, in fact, that the industry reflects earnings of $11.56 billion just in 2020, extra reports. There is also an International Day of Yoga celebrated on June 21 every year!
If you haven’t tried yoga yet, consider checking out this nurturing form of exercise, and embrace the multitude of scientific health benefits we’re here with today. Whether your goal is to stay in shape, address or prevent a chronic illness, or get back on track after having surgery, any amount of yoga can improve how your entire body feels and extend your life. So keep reading for the yoga habits that slow aging, according to science.
Originating from the Sanskrit word “yuj,” yoga means to unite, or “join,” as the movements create a balance between your mind and body, according to Yogi Times. “Lifestyle choices, such as practicing yoga and meditation, can impact wellness, immune function, and longevity,” says Sat Bir S. Khalsa, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health Research Director.
Yoga is also an amazing way to boost your immune system, and eliminate toxins from your body. The relaxing techniques of yoga are so beneficial to your circulation, which is extraordinary in preventing strokes, heart attacks, and blood clots (via Whole U).
What’s more, research published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity indicates that performing 12 weeks of yoga actually slows down the aging of your cells. The yoga regimen in the study included 1 ½ hours of breathing, meditation, and physical postures for five days weekly over a 12-week span.
Related: The Best Fitness Habits That Slow Aging, Trainer Reveals
Yoga is described by the International Journal of Yoga as a form of medicine for the mind and body that brings together one’s mental, physical, and spiritual elements to better their overall health, most especially where stress is concerned. Why is treating stress so impactful? Well, it can cause cancer, heart disease, stroke, and many other health conditions that can bring on mortality. Yoga manages stress holistically by generating a series of goodness that reduces it.
If you haven’t noticed thus far, yoga is pretty magical in helping your body look and feel younger. Getting into a routine can up your energy levels and decrease negativity. Science reveals that yoga is also amazing for maintaining a healthy diet and losing weight (via Johns Hopkins Medicine). If you choose to attend a class with other individuals, you’ll be benefiting from the social aspect, which is an amazing contributor to slowing down the aging process.
Related: The Best Yoga Moves To Lead an Incredibly Fit Lifestyle, Says Expert
Do you have trouble sleeping? If so, an evening yoga routine before you hit the sheets can relax your mind and generate a more restful night.
Lower back pain is another chronic condition that greatly benefits from yoga stretches. As a matter of fact, yoga is recommended as a first-line way to treat chronic pain in the lower back by The American College of Physicians (via Johns Hopkins Medicine). Try the cat-cow pose to help soothe the discomfort. And if you suffer from arthritis, guess what? Yoga just may be your very best friend.
An extraordinary way to get in shape, stay fit, avoid illness, and as a result, live a longer life is with a consistent yoga routine. Holding poses will help strengthen your muscles, boost bone density, and enhance your flexibility and balance (via Johns Hopkins Medicine). The weight-bearing positions are helpful in preventing osteoporosis, and your joints will work through a complete range of motion, thereby protecting your bones and cartilage, according to Whole U.
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa