Slow Down Aging with Yoga
Yoga: The Fountain of Youth
BY: DR CHARMAINE YOUNG 16th February 2018
Have you ever woken up one day, had a look in the mirror and thought: ”Wow - when did I become so skew!?”
Most of us take our backs for granted, because we don’t look at them every day. One of the causes of back pain is poor circulation and lack of flexibility. This leads to stiffening of the muscles, which doesn’t allow your joints to move freely, and can cause arthritis and changes in your posture.
Yoga is recommended often as a therapy for those struggling with chronic back pain. So what is Yoga and how can it help you?
Yoga is an ancient Indian philosophy, which combines physical postures, breathing techniques and relaxing meditation. It helps to balance the body and mind and enhances well being. There are many benefits of Yoga exercises.
1) Building Strength:
Yoga increases strength in very specific muscles in the back and abdominal area. These muscles help the body maintain an upright posture and promotes proper movement.
During Yoga, holding the back and body in these particular positions requires concentration and, when these muscles are well conditioned, it can greatly reduce back pain and arthritis.
2) Enhance Blood Flow Through the Body:
Certain Yoga poses incorporate stretching and relaxation. This improves flexibility as certain muscles are held in a stretch position for up to 60 seconds. This will increase blood flow and allows nutrients to travel to the muscles and flushes toxins out. This nourishment will make the muscles stronger and enhances their performance.
3) Create Rhythmic Breathing:
During Yoga, the intention is to have deep and free rhythmic breaths, both on inhaling and exhaling through the nose as you move into a particular position. The proper breathing technique will help with blood circulation and overall relaxation of the body. This also helps to lower your stress levels, blood pressure and heart rate.
4) Improves Posture:
When the curves of the spine is in alignment, it reduces the risk of developing arthritis and getting lower back pains. Yoga assists in the practice of maintaining a good posture, thereby reducing the stress placed on the back. You will also conserve energy with good posture, as it allows the correct muscles to activate and allow the other muscles to relax.
Consistent practice of Yoga keeps the head, shoulders and pelvis in proper alignment and helps keep the body in balance. Over time, it helps one to be more aware of what kinds of movements or positions cause discomfort and should therefore be avoided.
As much as we believe that we are indestructible and we can do anything, the practice of Yoga teaches you the limitations of your body. This awareness not only prevents injuries in the future, but will ensure a youthful body in the long term.