Starting at the age of 40, many of us begin to see signs of aging. In some lucky individuals, these changes become visible in their 50s, whereas in some they are seen much earlier… People who work at desk jobs, those with a lot of stress, smokers, people who lead inactive lifestyles and people who live in big cities get older faster.
Along with age comes:
• Loss of elasticity and thinning of collagen tissue of the skin and under the skin
• Loss of brain volume
• Decrease in growth hormone levels
• Loss of flexibility
• Loss of muscle mass
• Arthritis/degeneration of joints and the vertebrae/spine
• Gradual weight gain; increase in visceral fat
• Balance and gait problems
• Bad posture, kyphosis
• Weakness of core muscle strength
• Decrease in lung capacity
• Decrease in the amount and quality of sleep
Yoga reduces or stops the progression of most of the aforementioned changes:
Do not think, “I’ve never done yoga and I won’t even start at this point.” It is known that yoga can be beneficial even if one starts at the age of 85. Every class you take will cause you to change; sometime this change will be imperceptible. Even if yoga does not make you younger it will add vitality and flexibility to your life. Yoga also helps tone the upper arm muscles, which have a tendency to sag with aging.
Yoga’s benefits are not just limited to these. Growth hormone secretion helps you get a tighter and fresh looking face, skin and body.
But whats the use of a young looking body with an old brain? Yoga not only increases your BDNF levels, which ensures the development of brain cells and keeps your brain young, it also slows aging by reducing the destructive effects of stress. Moreover, it also allows us to take advantage of the benefits of sleep by increasing sleep quality and fulfillment.
Patients who have not done yoga before, who have problems with their joints, knee and wrist problems, backbone disorders, and difficulties in moving due to being overweight, should start yoga by taking yoga therapy classes. In yoga therapy (vini yoga) classes, classes are held at a gentle speed, reducing the risk of injury.
Whether you are newbie or a pro, the most important factor you should keep in mind is to listen to your body and to proceed without forcing or injuring your body. Without comparing and criticizing; by accepting yourself as is.