Six ways in which yoga combats signs of ageing

It is a known fact that yoga imparts more energy, strength and flexibility. Several people turn to yoga for stress reduction, and then decide to adhere to it, as it makes them, feel, look, and remain young, agrees Larry Payne, Ph.D, a yoga Director at Loyola Marymount University, and co-author of Yoga Rx.

Unlike in traditional exercises, yoga blends moves that enhance circulation, flexibility, balance and strength, along with meditative techniques, including deep breathing.

In fact, yoga serves as a natural face-lift. It cleanses, relaxes and restores, he adds.

Yoga reduces signs of ageing considerably in the following ways.

Minimizes wrinkles: Yoga has the ability to reduce stress, relaxing clenched jaws and furrowed brows, apart from easing away the wrinkles naturally. Further, it helps in enhancing and maintaining the glow of skin by reducing oxidative stress that reduces skins elasticity. According to a study conducted on a group of 104 people in India, their oxidative stress levels dropped by 9 percent, within 10 days of yoga practice.

Weight control: In a 10-year study conducted in Washington on 15,500 men and women, over 45 years of age, participants who did not do yoga, gained up to 35 pounds, while those who practiced regularly, lost nearly 5 pounds.

Easing pain: Yoga yields promising results in relieving back pain, particularly the lower-back. A study on 101 people with low back pain, by the University of Washington, revealed that people who do yoga or stretching exercises atleast once a week for three months, had great improvement over their condition.

Cures insomnia: The amount of sleep lowers with age. This is because the levels of brains night-time sedative, melatonin, decreases with age. An Indian study on 15 men aged 25 to 35, practicing yoga daily for three months, revealed that the melatonin levels of these men increased.

Brain sharpness: The researchers at the Jefferson Medical College revealed that just a single yoga class checks the release of stress hormone Cortisol, as high amounts could lead to age-related memory problems.

Shedding flab: Although regular weight loss programs and exercises help in shedding those extra pounds, they do little to cut down on the flab, often associated with ageing. Our skin is attached to something call ‘facia’. Yoga helps in gently stretching and rejuvenating the underlying fascia, making it more springy and flexible. Although, the improvement will not happen overnight, when practiced regularly for months, you can see a real difference.

Facial toning: Facial exercises, also called yoga exercises for the face, help in toning and bringing harmony to your facial features. Light facial exercises, apart from toning facial muscles, also helps sculpt and define the face, helping to achieve chiseled jaw-line, enhanced cheekbones, and minimizing wrinkles.

Immunity booster: Another wonderful benefit of regular yoga practice is that it helps detoxify on a daily basis, while also boosting immunity levels. It can no-doubt improve hearing and eyesight, while reducing stiff neck, and improving blood circulation to these organs.