Yoga is a combination of physical, mental, and spiritual practices that first originated in ancient India.
It is one of the world’s oldest traditions, with a history that can be traced back thousands of years.
Yoga has become a popular activity in the West because it strengthens the body and calms the mind.
Thanks to the work of hundreds of researchers around the world, we now know that yoga also offers many additional health benefits.
In this post, I’ll take a closer look at these research findings.
1) Lower risk of cognitive impairment
It’s normal for adults to experience mild cognitive impairment (MCI) as they age.
It is the reason why older people sometimes forget names, find it harder to solve mental problems, and are more likely to lose things.
MCI is the reason why older people begin to struggle with day-to-day tasks and eventually lose their independence.
Its symptoms worsen over time and increase the risk of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.
A recent study found that yoga may hold the answer to dealing with MCI.
The study involved 25 participants who were 55 or older.
14 of the participants performed a one hour Kundalini yoga class each week and a 20 minute Kirtan Kriya meditation each day.
The other 11 participants took part in one hour of memory training each week and 20 minutes of memory exercises each day.
After 12 weeks, the researchers used MRI scans and memory tests to assess the cognitive performance of study participants.
They found that the participants who had performed yoga had greater visual-spatial memory improvements.
This is the ability to remember locations and navigate.
The yoga group had also developed better coping skills and stress resilience, plus they had lower levels of anxiety and stress.
2) Reduced symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful inflammatory condition that causes the joints in the hands and feet to swell up.
It is very common in older people, restricting their mobility and sometimes preventing them from enjoying their favourite activities.
A recent study published in the Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience found that an intense 8-week yoga regime eased the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
The researchers also found that toga reduced the psychological distress of rheumatoid sufferers.
The research team found that yoga resulted in improvements in markers of neuroplasticity, inflammation, cellular health, and cellular ageing.
Essentially, it slowed the ageing process, improved the participant’s mental health, and reduced the inflammation that causes rheumatoid arthritis.
In other words, it helped to keep the participants young!
3) Yoga will improve your physical condition
Yoga has been proven to deliver a huge number of health benefits including:
- Better flexibility
- More strength
- Better cartilage health
- Better posture
- Better bone health (less risk of Osteoporosis, Osteopenia, and Arthritis)
- Better blood flow
- A stronger immune system
- Strong cardiovascular system and lower blood pressure (less risk of heart disease)
- Lower blood sugar (less risk of diabetes)
- Better balance and much more.
All of these incredible health benefits combine to make you feel fitter and healthier.
They can keep you feeling young by allowing you to participate in a wide range of physical activities including your favourite sports.
Because yoga helps you stay in peak physical condition, you can enjoy a more active and interesting life.
4) Better mental health
Depression is one of the most common forms of mental illness in the UK.
It is particularly prevalent in older people, as they are more likely to experience trauma, social isolation, and medical problems.
Depression takes the joy out of life, making it difficult for a person to enjoy their favourite activities.
Researchers have found that yoga may be very useful for reducing feelings of depression.
One study looked at how yoga could help depressed war veterans.
It found that 8 weeks of yoga significantly reduced their depression symptoms.
Yoga also reduced anxiety, stress, and rumination.
Yoga also provides an excellent boost to your mood.
You will feel happier, younger, and more active.
Your stress will melt away and you can get the most out of life.
Thanks for reading How Yoga Can Keep The Mind And Body Young.
Stay tuned for more yoga articles!