Yoga and Staying Young
Written by Viki Ackland.
I speak from experience when I say that yoga has helped many people who were diagnosed with a back ailment or joint infliction that doctors referred to as untreatable. I wonder sometimes if the medical profession is more about accepting some inevitable end as apposed to finding the exercise that benefits your individual body. My sister has a rigid spine and was basically told there was little to help when I suggested she buy a few beginners DVD's and practice some yoga. That was fifteen years ago and she is going strong.
We age because our joints and limbs become rigid and stiff from lack of use and atrophy. Some people enjoy a more vigorous workout that you can find at the gym, pumping iron and pushing the body to extremes. I was definitely a gym bunny for years until one day my body felt like it was ready for an injury I may likely not recover from, so I took it down a notch to a more low impact workout, exploring the world of yoga.
As the body ages, the bones, muscles and joints can become weak and often it becomes increasingly difficult to move with the agility you once had. However, yoga challenges you to use your body weight to heighten your bodies strength. Yoga also requires a heightened awareness of your own body as you move through the various poses. As the bones and muscles strengthen and the sense of body awareness improves, most people develop better stability, flexibility and balance. As a result, the risk of falls significantly decreases.
I believe it is never too late in life to practice yoga. When it comes to looking and feeling young nothing beats yoga! More and more research is finding that people who practice a vigorous form of yoga just three hours a week are investing in maintaining a youthful glow by switching on the anti-aging hormones that slow down the process from the inside out. When combined with healthy living and a healthy view of life, I say you can be young for as long as you wish.
With yoga practice comes a balance of the mind as well. An awareness, acceptance and attitude that is both beneficial and conducive to healthy living. The acceptance is an overall acceptance of your body which translates to your mind. We tend to become judgemental and critical of ourselves or of others, especially as we age and feel we are less of a productive member of society. Let me tell you there are plenty of sexy, vibrant woman in the fifties and older who have energy and flexible to spare, once they have become reacquainted and accepting of their bodies at this age.
There are many types of yoga, many degrees of difficulty and something for everyone whether a teenager or a grandmother. Let's stay young, and it all starts with a healthy body, which leads to a healthy mind.
So go get a mat, and get your yoga on!!!
- See more of Viki Ackland.
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