According to yoga philosophy, it’s the flexibility of the spine, not the number of years, that determines a person’s age. Yoga slows down the aging process by giving elasticity to the spine, firming up the skin, removing tension from the body, strengthening the abdominal muscles, eliminating the possibility of a double chin, improving the tone of flabby arm muscles, correcting poor posture, preventing dowager’s hump and so on. Yoga lets you trade in characteristics of old age for characteristics of youth.
Yoga is dynamite to make you feel younger with heightened mental prowness. Longer life often result from following yogic ways of health maintenance. When both external dangers and internal diseases and habits leading to degeneration have been removed, one naturally lives longer
Swami Nikhilananda wrote in ‘Vivekananda: The Yogas and Other Works’, as follows:
“The result of hatha yoga is simply to make men live long. Health is the chief idea, the one goal of hatha yoga. He is determined not to fall sick, and he never does. He lives long. A hundred years is nothing for him; but he is quite young and fresh when he is one hundred and fifty, without one hair turned gray.”
The following are some of the anti-ageing effects of yoga, according to Dr. Paul Galbraith, author of ‘Reversing Ageing’:
Live longer. Yoga affects all the important determinants of a long life: the brain, glands, spine and internal organs.
Increased resistance to disease. Yoga produces a healthy strong body with increased immunity against disease. This increased resistance extends from the common cold to serious diseases like cancer.
Increased vitality due to yoga’s effect on the brain and glands.
Rejuvenation of the glands. Yoga has a marked effect on the pituitary, thyroid, adrenal and sex glands. This produces a feeling of well-being, prevents premature ageing and extends sexual virility well into old age.
Look and feel younger. Yoga reduces facial wrinkles and produces a natural ‘face-lift’. This is mainly due to the inverted postures. By doing the inverted postures for a few minutes each day, we reverse the effect of gravity and use it to our advantage. The result is firmer facial muscles, which cause a reduction in wrinkles, and a natural face-lift.
The inverted yoga postures often convert gray hair back to its natural color and they will certainly delay the onset of gray hair. This is due to the inverted postures causing an increase in blood supply to the hair follicles in the scalp. Also, the increased flexibility of the neck produced by the asanas removes pressure on the blood vessels and nerves in the neck, causing an even greater blood supply to the scalp. The release of pressure on the nerves in the neck also causes the scalp muscles to relax, since the nerves in the neck supply the scalp muscles. This means that the hair follicles are better nourished and thicker healthier hair is the result.
Yoga will take years from your face and add years to your life. As you get older, you will take on an ageless appearance.
Vision and hearing improve. Normal vision and hearing depend to a large extent on the eyes and ears receiving a good nerve and blood supply. The nerves and blood vessels which supply the eyes and ears have to pass through the neck. As we get older, the neck becomes less flexible, like the rest of the spine, and there is a tendency for nerves and blood vessels to be encroached upon as they travel through the neck. This impairs the nerve and blood supply to the eyes and ears, affecting their function. Yoga postures and yoga neck exercises improve the condition of the neck, resulting in better eyesight and improved hearing.
Mental/emotional benefits. Because of yoga’s rejuvenation effects on the glands and nervous system, including the brain, yoga results in a positive mental/emotional state. It will help you to feel more confident, enthusiastic and generally optimistic. You will also become more creative in your everyday life.
As you start to feet and took better and unfold more of your full potential, these positive mental and emotional states occur as a consequence.Within a few weeks you will feel calmer and have better concentration. Within a few months, rejuvenation of the organs will start to occur.You will take years from your face and add years to your life. As you get older, you will take on an ageless appearance.