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Effects of Yoga on Aging

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Regular yoga practice is the foundation of youth. Yoga practice results in creating magic both inside and outside of a person. Read to know more.

Written by

Dr. Dheeksha. R

Medically reviewed by

Shakti Mishra

Published At June 6, 2023
Reviewed AtApril 2, 2024

Introduction

Aging is an inevitable process, and it may be challenging to acknowledge the changes like stiffness, body aches, and loss of stability and flexibility. However, yoga helps significantly reduce these changes no matter when one starts practicing yoga.

Does Yoga Induce Anti-aging Hormones?

Yoga is a combination of postures and meditation. Meditation increases the production of anti-aging hormones like DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) and melatonin. As the aging process takes place, there is a decrease in the production of the DHEA hormone. In addition, regular yoga practices reduce stress-inducing hormones called cortisol. Melatonin is a hormone that improves sleep. With the increase in melatonin, sleep quality is increased, improving activity in the daytime.

What Happens While Aging?

With aging, the body becomes slower, weaker, less flexible, less stable, loses balance, and loses muscle, fascia, and skin elasticity. Doing yoga can slow all these aging processes. In addition, yoga makes people feel better with any physical or mental issues.

What Are the Benefits of Yoga in the Anti-aging Process?

  • Yoga Eases Wrinkles Naturally - The most common effects of aging are the formation of wrinkles, which is of great concern. Meditation tends to relax the wrinkles on the face naturally. Yoga can unclench the jaw and unfurrow the brow by focusing on breathing techniques while meditating. In addition, continuous yoga can retain the skin's glow by lowering oxidative stress.

  • Effects of Yoga on Osteoporosis and Osteopenia - As a person ages, there will be a significant loss of bone density, and some may also experience accelerated bone loss. This increases the vulnerability of bone to fracture. The extent to which a person experiences bone loss depends on genetics and gender, as it depends on the physical activity level. Proper physical activity and weight-bearing exercises increase bone density to a relatively less extent. But performing yoga helps to increase the potential effects on the skeleton and also helps to improve body awareness.

Yoga to Be Performed:

  1. Weight-bearing poses include - Warrior I, warrior II, reverse warrior, and extended side angle posture.
  2. Balance poses include - Warrior III and tree pose.
  • Effects of Yoga on Arthritis: Arthritis is a condition that causes pain in the joints. Arthritis does not have any age limitation. It causes daily pain in the joints of the hands, wrists, and knees. It induces stiffness and causes restrictions on movements. Regular yoga practice with the help of an instructor enhances the flexibility of the joints and helps to improve the movements and reduce inflammation.
    • Yoga to Be Performed: Avoid weight-bearing physical activities.
  • Effects of Yoga on Spinal Stenosis - Spinal stenosis is a condition that compresses the spinal cord and causes radiating pain along the hip and legs. A yoga practice that includes forward and side bending without any extension helps to relieve pain.
    • Yoga to Be Performed: Avoid performing vast movements of the spine. Instead, under the guidance of an instructor, safe yoga can be performed, which improves posture and reduces chronic pain.
  • Effects of Yoga on Disc Issue - Limited movements, spasms, and radiating pain are caused by herniated, bulging, or slipped discs which cause pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. Yoga can enhance core strength and flexibility.
    • Yoga to Be Performed: Any yoga activity that includes a forward bend or rotation of the spine should be avoided, as it can aggravate the pain by compressing the spine even more. Backbends and those which focus on the abdominal muscles can be performed under the guidance of an instructor.
  • Effects of Yoga on Core Strength and Back Pain - Back pain is a widespread complaint in aging. Back pain gets rectified by building the core, that is, developing muscles in the back, trunk, abdominal region, hips, and legs, strengthening the spine. All the yoga poses help to build core strength.
  • Effects of Yoga on Nerve Pain and Neuropathy - Nerve pain or neuropathy occurs when a nerve is injured, compressed, or weak. A combination of illnesses and a side effect of many diseases usually causes it. Yoga postures help to deal with nerve pain by enhancing circulation.
    • Yoga to Be Performed: All those movements that aggravate the pain should be avoided, and prolonged yoga practice helps us get more awareness of our bodies. Should perform careful movements and should note the response of the body.
  • Effects of Yoga on Ligament Tear - Ligament tear is a common effect of aging. It may be caused by stress and overuse of joints like the knee, hip, and ankles. Continuous pressure on these joints may result in a tear of the ligaments. Yoga helps with ligament tears by enhancing the strength of the muscles around the joints. Yoga also helps people from ligament tear injuries.
    • Yoga to Be Performed: During the healing process, should perform gentle yoga; any movements that are uncomfortable or aggravate the pain should not be performed. A person can continue yoga even after replacement; this surely helps with the healing process under a doctor's consultation.
  • Effects of Yoga on Myofascial Tightening and Stiffness - As we age, reduced collagen production leads to loss of flexibility of the muscles and connective tissues and causes stiffness and imbalance. Regular yoga practice reverses some sort of fitness and increases the flexibility of the fluids.
  • Effects of Yoga on Hormonal Changes - Women undergo many changes compared to men. For example, in women, menopause causes various hormonal changes, which may cause temperature changes and hot flashes. A therapeutic form of yoga can help to deal with these hormonal changes.
  • Effects of Yoga on Blood Pressure - Blood pressure is a common condition most people experience as they age. Rapid movements from one position to another may cause dizziness, a common symptom of low blood pressure, or a side effect of the medication for high blood pressure. Yoga is known to improve blood pressure conditions in the long run.
    • Yoga to Be Performed: Avoid poses where the head is put down the chest level and those movements that require a sudden transition.
  • Effects of Yoga on Asthma and Breathing Issues - Breathing issues such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder) and chronic bronchitis cause breathing difficulties, and in the case of asthma, as the person ages the occurrence of asthma increases. In the case of asthma, exercise may increase the chance of asthma, whereas yoga might not because of its low impact. In the case of yoga, breathing exercises are performed by inhaling and exhaling processes that improve breathing problems. This strengthens the muscles involved in breathing.
  • Effects of Yoga on Sleep Issues - Sleeplessness is a common complaint of aging people due to disturbed sleep. Intentional slow breathing results in relaxation. A person can perform mild yoga and stretches before bed to enhance good sleep. Any type of exercise leads to exhaustion and results in sound sleep.

Conclusion

Aging is a standard process all people go through at some point. Aging results in many issues like losing the flexibility of the skin, sleepless nights, joint pains, arthritis, hormonal changes, and many more. One standard solution for all these problems is to practice yoga. Yoga can be performed by everyone irrespective of age and health condition. Yoga helps to reduce the prevalence of aging. It helps to improve physical as well as mental health.

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Shakti Mishra
Shakti Mishra

Nutritionist

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