Does Yoga Prolong Life?
Yes, yoga practice can add years to your life. Yoga teaches you to breathe, and most importantly, slays free-radicals, the enemy within.
What exactly is a free radical? Perhaps you recall pictures of atoms from high school or college. Atoms have pairs of electrons encircling them, reminiscent of the planet Saturn. These electrons are only happy when they travel in pairs. When one becomes separated, it becomes a free radical.
These free radicals, anxiously searching for its soulmate, damage healthy cells, particularly the genetic code or DNA. Unfortunately, there is no Tinder or Match.com to pair these unhappy electrons and prevent them from damaging your cells.
However, diet and exercise can help. Yoga teaches relaxation and proper breathing techniques. Your cells are more prone to damage when your breathing deprives them of oxygen. Anxious hyperventilating during stressful situations causes cellular oxygenation, which in turn helps the aging process.
Very important info Ladies and Gentlemen: Free radicals age skin! Just say no and breath!
Remember when your mother insisted that you eat your carrots and broccoli? She was a scientist, but it is doubtful that she considered herself one. A variety of colorful foods, especially fruits, vegetables and whole grains reverse damaging oxygenation caused by free radicals.
According to the National Cancer Institute, a division of the National Institute of Health, the best way to get antioxidants, are not with supplements, but are found in unprocessed foods. Healthy eating, preferably without a load of pesticides, keeps those dancing electrons happy and paired. Do you think that Fred and Ginger could have danced as well alone? Of course not, and electrons, tiny as they are, can’t perform well in your body either.
Any aerobic exercise, like swimming or cycling also infuse your body with oxygen, but yoga is the best candidate for reducing stress…and breathing in that glorious oxygen. Try this breathing exercise to reduce your work-related stress. Go somewhere that you won’t be interrupted, place your hands on your belly, and breathe expanding your abdomen. If you can feel and see your abdomen rising, you are doing a yoga breath.
In our country, too many of us breathe in a military manner, filling just the upper chest with air. Other cultures breathe expanding their abdominal muscles. Yoga helps you to put your breathing on autopilot, so you just do it naturally. As natural as a heartbeat.