Did you see the BBC story about the 104-year-old yogi? Her name is Eileen Nash and she “enjoys regular yoga sessions” and is a former Test cricketer.
Yoga has a rare ability to keep us young. Other exercises can boost some aspects of health and fitness at the expense of others but yoga (remember, it means “unity”) connects our mind and body in a way that improves our overall well-being.
It does this in many ways, but let’s consider a few:
Circulation: As we get older our circulation can stagnate. Our veins and arteries aren’t as flexible, our heart isn’t as strong, our muscles get sluggish. But yoga increases and invigorates our circulation and safely strengthens the cardiovascular system.
Energy: We may never be able to stay up all night like we could at 20, but yoga gives a natural, long-lasting energy lift that helps us act and feel younger. Breathing exercises expel stale air to refresh us with oxygen, balancing poses charge our muscles, helping us feel strong and agile.
Stress: The older we get the more responsibilities we have. We get stressed, lose sleep, and find ourselves caught in bad lifestyle habits. Yoga releases tension, it connects us to our body, it soothes our mind and helps us regain perspective on what really matters.
Sleep: It can get harder to sleep as we get older, which has a knock-on effect of causing exhaustion and stress. Yoga is a great cure for insomnia. It is a challenging exercise that will help your body feel naturally tired, for one thing. There are also specific poses, like half-tortoise, that soothe the body and prepare it for restful sleep.
Metabolism: Our metabolism slows as we age, meaning we can catch ourselves with the dreaded “middle-aged spread”. Yoga reverses this pattern by keeping our metabolism running clean, strong and healthy. It also builds and preserves muscle mass, which speeds up our metabolism and helps us stay lean and strong even in older age.
What is your favourite anti-aging tip? Share in the comments.