Yoga Practice in Your Golden Age
I might have told you during my classes, that Dean Ornish, M.D. made headlines, when he claimed more than 35 years ago that yoga and meditation, if combined with improvements in diet and general exercise habits, could actually reverse heart disease.
Since then research into the health benefits of yoga has exploded. Today we know much more about how beneficial yoga can be and that it is in fact never too late, to start. Quite the opposite is the case and whether you’re in your 50s, 60s, 70s or beyond, there is always a chance to help your health.
Yoga is ideal to improve your balance, as it tones your muscles and works on your proprioception – which is your sense of position in space. Practicing asanas, which focus on standing and balance build strength and create confidence.
Yoga also clears and sharpens your mind as you engage in breathing exercises, which are synchronized with movement. And in fact the alternate-nostril breathing exercise you might have experienced in my classes helps to harmonize the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which correlate to the logical and emotional sides of your personality.
Yoga represents also an alternative to tackle hypertension.
According to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension, participants who practiced yoga six hours a week for 11 weeks reduced their systolic blood pressure — the top number — by an impressive 33 points, compared with 4 points for a control group. Researchers speculate that the slow, controlled breathing inherent in yoga practice decreases nervous system activity, which helps manage blood pressure levels.
Another welcome side effect of yoga is – it keeps excess pounds at bay if practiced every day, as it then…” will improve your willpower and shifts your focus toward wellness rather than instant gratification” as one of my teachers, Larry Payne PH.D, yoga director at Loyola Marymount University, states.
I wish you a pleasant weekend.