Stop looking for an anti-aging drug – and starting saying ‘om.'
Maintaining a yoga practice throughout your life can help keep your mind sharp and your body nimble.
THERE IS NO AVOIDING aging – it’s one thing that’s certain. Yet, out of fear of the inevitable, we often neglect to take logical steps to prepare for the future.
Yoga is a safe and fun way to stay physically healthy, and to keep our minds sharp and positive. Committing to a yoga practice helps us accept the life cycle and prevent becoming a burden to our loved ones as we age. Yoga is a practice we can grow old with, and allows us to flourish and receive ourselves and our lives as a gift.
Here are the ways it can improve your health and well-being now and in the future:
As you grow older, yoga practice gets sweeter in so many ways. For one, it helps you become stronger and more flexible in ways you may not have known were possible. With a regular yoga practice, you can avoid the aches and pains that many think are a part of life. Yoga also creates a sense of radical self-care. With it, your overall physical appearance is more vibrant – from the health of your skin and hair to the mobility in your body.
Yoga opens your mind and helps you listen and think for yourself. Following the teacher’s instructions and moving your body accordingly keeps you alert. The practice demands your complete focus and critical thinking because every word and nuance matters. Once teachers build trust with their students, the students might share how a certain pose feels, if the alignment is working or whether the instructor’s adjustments are helpful. This allows students of all ages to express themselves clearly – a crucial trait throughout life.
Over time, it’s easy to get stuck in our patterns and tendencies. Yoga helps keep life fresh and new by challenging you to continuously try new things. In one class, you might do a lunge with your back leg straight. In the next, you might do the same lunge with the back knee on the floor, focusing on a completely different alignment principle. You can also try the many different varieties of the practice. Yoga encourages you to explore and express yourself creatively.
Yoga teaches you to take care of yourself first. Before you can help others, you have to be grounded and self-sufficient. When you feel good and stress-free, it shows in your mannerisms and how you receive the world around you. With a positive perspective, you can change your outlook from judgment to empathy.
Yoga communities bring together young and old, and all age groups benefit from each other’s company. When you're with other yogis, you feed off of each other’s positivity. For some, the yoga studio may be one of the few places to talk with and enjoy the company of a wide range of supportive people.
Yoga helps you accept who you are – no matter where you are in the aging process. The practice challenges you physically and mentally, often bringing up a range of emotions. You become comfortable knowing your limits. When you fall out of a balancing pose in class, you learn to laugh it off and to not take yourself too seriously. Yoga helps you see the good first so that when life throws you a curveball, you can accept it with an open mind. Yoga helps you gracefully receive yourself for who you are.
With a regular yoga practice, you reap benefits that help keep you thriving and energized throughout your life. The practice helps clear back and joint pain, promotes better sleep, and encourages you to make health-conscious decisions about your diet. Moving and exercising your body and mind maintains your overall health and wellness.