Intelligently plan your own yoga practice, including Asanas, Pranayama and Meditation
Today’s fast-paced lifestyle for you may be about work. You have to start work at 6:00 or 8:00 a.m. and finish at 5:00 or 6:00 p.m. You may want to totally relax and rest, leaving no energy left for other exercises.
For some people, is family, getting the kids up in the morning, picking up from school, after-school physical activity, and homework supervision in the evening. Even when you have a short period of time for yourself, your mind is racing and you may not know what to do.
The fast-paced lifestyle of a student, chased by exams and writing projects throughout the day, may make you want to stretch out on the weekends when you have time.
As we all know, there are plenty of benefits to practicing yoga. This blog will let you know the specific benefits and how to plan your own yoga practice.
First, let's look at three experimental studies.
（１） In an exploratory study published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, researchers found that 12 weeks of yoga slowed cellular aging. The program consisted of 90 minutes of yoga that included physical postures, breathing, and meditation five days a week over 12 weeks. This was followed by an interactive lecture (only during the first two weeks) on lifestyle, lifestyle diseases, and importance of their prevention for 30 minutes.
Researchers found indications of lower levels of inflammation and significantly decreased levels of cortisol. The study also found higher levels of BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor *1) after the yoga program, suggesting that yoga could have potential protective effects for the brain as well.
[ Article: Impact of Yoga and Meditation on Cellular Aging in Apparently Healthy Individuals: A Prospective, Open-Label Single-Arm Exploratory Study ]
This study was designed to explore the impact of Yoga and Meditation based lifestyle intervention (YMLI) on cellular aging in apparently healthy individuals.
In the last decade there has been a significant increase in complex lifestyle diseases like depression, diabetes mellitus (DM), cardiovascular diseases (CVD), cancer, and infertility. These diseases are strongly associated with accelerated cellular aging and have become the bane of modern society.
The cardinal biomarkers of cellular aging include DNA damage, which causes genomic instability which is responsible for cellular dysfunctions in the pathogenesis of lifestyle diseases.
Sustained stress response due to chronic stress stimuli causes constantly increased cortisol (*2) levels, which lead to systemic tissue abnormalities like increased adiposity and neurodegeneration. The level of stress responsiveness (cortisol levels) can be a biomarker for predicting susceptibility to lifestyle diseases. Accelerated aging is characterized by a chronic, low-grade inflammation (“inflammaging”).
The results of this study highlight the positive impact of YMLI (Yoga and Meditation based lifestyle intervention) on biomarkers of cellular aging and in promoting cellular longevity through changes in both cardinal and metabotrophic biomarkers. The findings suggest that the impact is mediated through improvement in genomic stability, telomere metabolism, and balance of cellular oxidative stress, well-regulated stress and inflammatory responses, and increase in neuroplasticity and nutrition sensing.
Genomic stability is central to cellular longevity and disease-free youthful healthy life and findings from our study suggest the reduction of genomic instability by YMLI (Yoga and Meditation based lifestyle intervention). Unhealthy social habits (smoking, excess alcohol intake, etc.), sedentary lifestyle, exposure to environmental pollutants, and intake of processed and nutritionally depleted food have taken a toll on human health with onset of lifestyle diseases at a much younger age. These environmental and lifestyle factors are responsible for genomic instability.
Lifestyle is an integrated entity, and an intervention, like YMLI (Yoga and Meditation based lifestyle intervention), that has overall positive influence on our health appears most useful versus changing only one aspect at a time, as is seen by action of certain drugs. Yoga is holistic and a mind-body medicine and is more beneficial and advantageous than individual interventions like physical exercise, caloric restriction, and antioxidants. The practice of Yoga and physical exercise are different entities, the former results in energy conservation with economy of energy expenditure for mental and physical benefits, and the later results in energy expenditure more for physical exertions and metabolic needs.
Though we cannot change our biology or chronological age we can definitely reverse/slow down the pace at which we age by adopting YMLI (Yoga and Meditation based lifestyle intervention). This is the first study to demonstrate improvement in both cardinal and metabotrophic biomarkers of cellular aging and longevity in apparently healthy population after Yoga and Meditation based lifestyle intervention. So our health and the rate at which we age entirely depends on our choices. Making Yoga and Meditation an integral part of our lifestyle may hold the key to delay aging or aging gracefully, prevent onset of multifactorial complex lifestyle diseases, promote mental, physical, and reproductive health, and prolong youthful healthy life.