By Staff of Forum Health Rochester Hills
Just the thought of exercise can be tiring. Common workouts like running and weightlifting leave us sore and exhausted, even if the feeling is satisfying. The “no pain, no gain” mentality is widespread at the gym, suggesting that it’s impossible to build your fitness without putting your body through the wringer.
But what if you could use exercise to work with your body rather than against it? What if every movement helped you grow stronger not by challenging your muscles, but nurturing them?
This is the essence of yoga, an ancient activity that revitalizes and invigorates the whole body with poses, gentle movements and breathing techniques. For many people, yoga isn’t just a workout—it’s a way to feel and look younger for life. If you’ve never tried it, your anti-aging program may be the perfect time to start.
Yoga = Youth
According to studies, yoga is capable of slowing the aging process by stimulating the endocrine system, helping us retain a hormonal equilibrium that keeps our bodies running smoothly. Yoga can reduce stress hormones like cortisol and gently build better balance, flexibility, circulation, metabolism and peace of mind. Because it can both calm the mind and strengthen the muscles, a yoga routine can be a highly effective tool in improving the health of your entire body.
Yoga comes in many different forms and can be easily adapted to any level of fitness or ability. During the typical yoga session, you’ll flow through a series of different stretches, balances, flexes and calm movements, focusing on drawing deep, healing breaths throughout the process.
If you hope to make the most of yoga during your anti-aging program, your best bet is to:
- Get a good teacher. Yoga can be done by just about anyone, but it can be intimidating for beginners. Finding an introductory class with a patient, talented instructor can help you get off on the right foot.
- Practice, practice, practice. Though yoga can provide many benefits, you’ll need to stay dedicated to take advantage of them. Even if you only have time for a single pose or a few breathing exercises, try to do a little bit every day. Use books and online videos at home to supplement what you learn in classes.
- Try some anti-aging poses. Once you have a handle on the basics, you can start learning a few poses that are especially useful for staying youthful. Ask your teacher to show you poses like Seated Cow and Seated Cat, Humble Warrior, Sleeping Pigeon and Supported Shoulder stand.
Yoga is more than just a workout—it’s a natural way to relax, restore and protect your body.