Most of us know this ancient practice can help to keep stress at bay but did you know it could also help to keep you younger for longer?
Yoga is a 5,000-year-old Indian practice combining physical posing sequences with breathing techniques and meditation. Yoga is one form of exercise that can be enjoyed at any age – everyone from babies to the elderly can benefit from a restorative yoga session.
This ancient form of exercise can quiet the mind, improve flexibility and even relieve aches and pains, depending on the intensity of the poses. It can also help to keep the body looking and feeling younger for longer. Scientific research has shown that those who practice yoga regularly tend to have longer telomeres. Telomeres are found at the end of each chromosome and protect it from deterioration. Over time, their length decreases which causes us to age. Yoga can also lower blood pressure and curb cortisol levels. Too much of this stress hormone in the body can weaken the immune system.
Try to practice yoga for just 20 minutes at least three times a week. Hold each pose for around 30 seconds and repeat the cycle four or five times. Here are our favourite yoga poses to help keep you younger for longer:
The Child Pose is perfect for relieving tension in the body and ideal to start and end with. Begin on your hands and knees on the yoga matt, sit up straight and then bow forward and touch your torso to your thighs. Stretch your arms out in front of you and keep your head down.
Stand with your feet as wide apart as is comfortable. Turn your right foot out and stretch your arms out for balance. Slowly bend your right knee and sink down. Don’t let your knee come over your toe. This anti-aging yoga pose helps strengthen your glutes and improve balance.
This position helps to improve your posture and balance. Stand up straight with your feet together. Shift your weight to your left leg and bring your hands together over your head. Raise up on your left toe and bring your right foot up to the knee. Your right leg should be at an angle to your body. Hold this position.
Keep your knees and feet together while you squat as if you were going to sit in a chair. Sink into the pose as deeply as you feel comfortable with and don’t let your knees go over your toes. Stretch your arms out in front of you for balance.
The Downward Dog is perfect for stretching out your spine. Start on your hands and knees with your feet hip-width apart. Push up to straighten your knees and plant your heels on the floor. You should be able to feel the stretch in the back of your legs. Be sure to balance your weight evenly throughout your body.