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Aging causes physical as well as mental changes in the body. Some signs of aging are external and can be seen by anyone you interact with. Others are internal and are hard to recognize, such as your decreasing energy.
Aging is reflected in the external body in the form of skin wrinkles, and is one of people's main concerns as they grow older. By now, everybody knows that even the best anti-wrinkle creams cannot single-handedly help your skin resist the manifestation of wrinkles, sagging skin, age spots and other visible signs of aging.
Facial wrinkles can affect some people's confidence, and prevention is always better than cure in this case. We need to understand that wrinkles are part of the aging process and don't need to affect our personality and confidence.
While these changes are inevitable, there are ways to slow down the aging process and achieve a younger looking skin and body for an extended period of time.
Yoga is one of the active ways to reverse the effects of aging and slow it down. The many benefits of yoga include:
Keeping your bones and muscles healthy
Promoting the smooth functioning of internal processes
Reducing mental stress
Having younger looking glowing skin
Let’s review some of the anti-aging benefits of yoga:
1. combats back pain
As people age, they experience frequent back pain and weakness. While this can also happen to the younger population, older people experience it more frequently.
With age, the discs and bones in the spine start to degenerate at a rapid pace. This causes bone stiffness and soreness. The space around the spinal cord narrows as one gets old, causing back pain. Yoga strengthens these bones and the spinal cord in general.
Some of the poses such as Bharadvaja's Twist, Big Toe Pose, Boat Pose, Bow Pose, Bridge Pose, Camel Pose, Cat Pose and Chair Pose can effectively slow down any wear and tear, by providing enough flexibility to the spinal cord and muscles.
The earlier you start practicing these asanas in life, the longer it takes for lower back pain to catch up with you.
Credit Evita Ochel
2. improves balance and coordination
Most people struggle with balancing their body when they get old. Simple acts like walking, sitting, or reaching out to something can seem complicated and cause body imbalance. Body balance is something that everyone struggles with as they reach the age of 60.
Yoga is an excellent counter weapon for this problem. Practicing yoga and various poses like Tree, High Lunge, Standing Extended Big Toe, Chair, Extended Triangle, Half-Moon and Lord of the Dance can improve the balance and flexibility of your body even at a relatively older age.
Practicing yoga can help you keep up with your daily routines and activities without much strain or struggle, even in your 60's or 70's.
3. regulates menopausal symptoms
Menopause is a stage that every woman has to go through in her life. It happens when you are in your 50's or 60's. Some of the menopausal symptoms are hot flashes, osteoporosis, fatigue, night sweats, insomnia, dry skin and facial wrinkles.
Practicing yoga poses such as Warrior Pose, Chair Pose, Hero Pose, Cobbler Pose and Spine Twist have been proven to eliminate or reduce the symptoms of menopause and its effects.
4. reduces anxiety and depression
Asanas like Balasana (Child's Pose), Bhujangasana (Modified Cobra Pose), Marjayasana (Cat's Pose), Viparita Karani (Legs-up-the-Wall), and Shirshasana (Headstand) are considered effective poses to deal with anxiety and depression in older age.
A Harvard mental health study reveals that physical and mental health are not two different aspects but substantially the same. Therefore, whatever affects the body; whether positively or negatively, will also affect the mind and vice versa.
This explains how the practice of yoga can contribute to better a mental health and fight anxiety and depression. Practicing yoga is a therapeutic way to alter our response to stress making it easier to deal with.
5. reduce the probability of kyphosis
Kyphosis is a common problem that happens as a person gets into their 60's. It is a condition where an abnormal curvature occurs in the cervical, thoracic and sacral regions. It results in loss of spinal height and also affects one's posture and flexibility.
Some of the yoga poses recommended for people with kyphosis are Mountain Pose, Shoulder Rolls, Scapular Retraction, Chest and Shoulder Stretch, and Chin Tucks.
6. maintains younger looking skin
Now this one is the icing on the cake. Apart from all the above benefits, practicing yoga daily can do wonders for your skin. Yoga is considered as the best way to have a healthier, younger looking skin that glows even at old age.
Many studies have proven that yoga, especially face yoga, can reduce signs of aging and make your skin look much younger, especially for middle-aged women. Performing regular face yoga detoxes the skin, which will keep your skin glowing and natural.
It will also decelerate wrinkles and maintain the skin structure by reducing skin sagging and keeping your skin stretchy and healthy.
Yoga offers many benefits to the body; both physically and mentally. There are still many benefits that are unknown to humankind. It is safe to say that practicing yoga right from a very young age can guarantee myriads of miraculous benefits that will keep your body, mind, and soul healthy and happy.
It will also considerably increase your lifespan with a reduced number of diseases and increase the number of active years in your life.