What are the effects of Yoga on aging?

Stress=aging   Stress=disease    Stress… stress… stress………

The average 30-something has a dozen things on the to-do list, with hardly any time to check them off. Combine that with the knowledge we have had for a decade now that aging can actually begin in your 40s (1)… well, who has the time to worry about it – till the body starts to ache and pain, and brain cells start to give up on remembering things, and organs and systems get exhausted from neglect and punishing lifestyles. But with modern medicine, we dodge many a hurdle and halt some disasters.. keep our body going and going and going…. Whew… Once the 40s and 50s are over, life starts to give us a chance to kick back a little again and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Healthy aging into the 60s, 70s and beyond differs drastically from country to country (2). Lifestyle, genes and environment all play a role in our getting far in years, and making it with minimal incident and worry. Relaxation in the form of yoga, prayer, meditation, or time spent with nature are often suggested based on ancient wisdom as avenues for long term health and wellness. Science has supported this wisdom as evidenced from studies on relaxation methods and their effects on adults (3). An interesting report recently in the journal PlosOne described changes in genetic products (RNA transcripts) in individuals who underwent relaxation vs those that did not (4). Interestingly, the genes that responded to relaxation were key players in mitochondrial energy production, stress and insulin production. I will leave it to your imagination what that might mean… as any good scientific question begets more questions.

  1. http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/2004/06.17/03-brainaging.html
  2. Stats and data on life expectancy at birth: WHO | World Health Organization
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4437657/
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3641112/

6 comments

  1. […] Sometimes mother was right…. And in this case great grandmother. If we think back to how they lived their lives… From what they ate, to how they moved from place to place, we can understand what we are doing wrong. Yoga, meditation and saatvik diets feel today like extreme measures which we need to find time for. In a previous blog, I suggested that Yoga is beneficial when it comes to better health and longevity due to it’s role in stress relief… […]

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