Yoga For Stress Relief and Anti-Ageing
Updated: Jul 15, 2020
"Yoga is the dance of every cell with the music of every breath that creates inner serenity and harmony." Debasish Mridha
Who would have thought that something which was based on the simple practise of stretching and slowing down one's breath could have such a deep impact on our health, but also our skin?
Yoga originated in India over 5,000 years ago. With a practise rooted in deep breathing and slow, sustained physical movement, yoga still reigns as one of the most popular forms of exercise in our busy modern world. There are many different practises of yoga to suit different needs and tastes.
In this blog post, I wanted to outline 3 simple ways yoga can actually act as one of your anti-ageing weapons, and why you should consider incorporating this practise into your weekly wellness routine.
Production of DHEA hormone
One disconcerting but important fact to note is that cortisol (our stress hormone) actually destroys collagen in the skin. Collagen is the connective tissue which effectively binds our skin together keeping our complexions taut and firm. Through the various postures held in one's yoga practise, combined with deep belly breathing, we produce the anti-ageing hormone DHEA. DHEA helps to lower cortisol in the body, in turn supporting healthy collagen production.
The feeling of youthfulness can be felt in the way our skin looks and feels but also in our joints. Flexibility is key in maintaining a limber and agile body. As we age, we begin to lose muscle elasticity due to the natural shortening of ligaments. Our internal fluids (which help to lubricate cartilage) also lessen and the cartilage itself becomes more brittle. Yoga encourages us to stretch out our full body and lengthen our ligaments, which in turn counter-acts these side effects of ageing and strengthening our bodies overall.
Retain muscle mass
Another consequence of our bodies ageing is the difficulty for our us to retain muscle mass. In holding postures and moving throughout a sequence you begin to engage your core strength, balance, endurance and range of motion. It is in the act of holding postures that we allow our bodies to both develop and maintain lean muscle mass.
There are many different types of yoga which can all bring significant benefits. For my recommendations on the best de-stressing practises at home see below, Boho Beautiful's or Yoga With Adriene's Youtube channels. Both videos focus on helping you to release, focus on the flow of your practise and let go.