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Yoga and aging

There are many theories about the effects of exercise and aging, but according to yoga philosophy, it's the flexibility of the spine, not the number of years, that determines a person's age.

How does it work? The theory is that yoga slows down the aging process by giving elasticity to the spine, firming up the skin, removing tension from the body, strengthening the abdominal muscles, eliminating the possibility of a double chin, improving the tone of flabby arm muscles, correcting poor posture and preventing dowager's hump.

Magic? Nah, just dedication and hard work. Besides making you look younger, yoga can also help you feel younger with heightened mental prowess. Longer life often result from following yogic ways of health maintenance.

Yoga can minimize wrinkles and reduce stress. It may also rejuvenate the skin's glow by reducing oxidative stress, which breaks down skin's elasticity. Yoga can also slow weight gain, keeping you fit and trim. Practicing can also help you ease pain as you body recovers more quickly. Yoga has been known to help sleep more comfortably. Levels of the brain's natural nighttime sedative, melatonin, decrease with age, but an Indian study found that when 15 men, ages 25 to 35, practiced yoga daily for 3 months, their melatonin levels increased.

The practice of yoga provides increased resistance to disease, producing a healthy, strong body with increased immunity against disease. This increased resistance extends from the common cold to serious diseases like cancer.

Yoga can also increase your mental sharpness, helping keep the stress hormone cortisol in line. Elevated amounts may contribute to age-related memory problems. Yoga affects all the important determinants of a long life: the brain, glands, spine and internal organs.

Yoga can increase vitality, rejuvenate the glands, improve vision and hearing and result in a positive mental and emotional state. You will feel more confident and enthusiastic and more creative in your everyday life.


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