From less range of motion to magnified wrinkles, it can be easy to feel like the best is behind us, as we get older. Things don’t seem to run as . . . smoothly as they used to. But what if I told you there’s a way to slow the aging process and stay looking and feeling young into your senior years and beyond? The answer lies in yoga. This ancient practice helps keep the body strong and flexible while cultivating a sense of inner peace and calm for handling life’s ups and downs.
In this blog post, I’ll share 9 ways yoga can help you age gracefully and maintain youthful vitality for years to come. So, grab your mat, take a deep breath, and let’s dive in!
1) Increases Muscle Tone and Flexibility
Flexibility is one of the first things to go as we get older. Our body’s production of collagen begin to decline around age 25, making muscles and tendons more brittle and less flexible. You don’t need any stats to know that “pliable” feels better than stiff!
By stretching our muscles from head to toe, yoga increases range of motion, improves joint function, and reduces stiffness and pain.
2) Boosts Bone Density
Yoga is a gold standard in weight-bearing as it helps stimulate the growth of new bone cells without excess strain on the joints. In addition, studies show that deep breathing boosts bone density by stimulating osteoblasts, cells that play a role in bone formation, and increasing the amount of oxygen that reaches our bones.
Check out this 2021 study published in the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses that found yoga can prevent and even REVERSE bone loss in older adults.
3) Reduces Wrinkles
Practising yoga postures and deep breathing improves blood flow and circulation to the face, which encourages collagen production, which increases skin elasticity and reduces fine lines and wrinkles.
4) Prevents Greying Hair
Similar to the third reason yoga slows aging, the ancient poses and breathing techniques can also boost the production of melanin (the pigment that gives hair its colour) by improving circulation to the scalp and providing hair follicles with essential nutrients.
5) Improves Circulation
Circulation refers to the flow of blood throughout the body as directed by the heart. When you stretch a muscle, the body responds by increasing blood flow, oxygen, and nutrients to that area while carrying out toxins and metabolic waste. The result is a reduced risk of heart attack and stroke.
6) Reduces Stress
The body produces a hormone called cortisol in response to a perceived threat (what we would call “stress”). Cortisol has a negative physiological effect in that it leads to collagen breakdown and, thus, premature aging. Yoga helps reduce stress and keep cortisol levels in check, which improves restorative sleep and endorses a positive outlook on life.
7) Improves Balance and Coordination
A 2019 study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity provided robust evidence for yoga’s ability to improve balance, flexibility, strength, and proprioception (our ability to sense where our body is in space; for e.g., knowing where our foot is relative to the curb before we take a step).
8) Sharpens the Mind
Yoga reduces stress levels, increases feelings of calm and relaxation, and promotes positivity—necessary conditions for cultivating a sharp mind, staving off mental decline, and maintaining a high quality of life.
9) Unites Mind, Body, and Breath
Yoga provides an opportunity for stillness and self-reflection that align us with the inner wisdom and intuition that comprise our authentic Self. The emphasis on present-moment awareness encourages the cultivation of compassion towards ourselves and others—making yoga a powerful tool for accepting the inevitability of change and enjoying each passing year with grace.
Yoga has so much to offer, especially when it comes to enjoying youthful vitality. From reducing stress to improving balance and flexibility, seeking a boost in energy or alignment with intuition, yoga is the gold standard. So why not get started today? Join me on the mat and see how easy it is to stay looking and feeling young with yoga!