Research has shown that the regular practice of yoga and meditation, along with a healthy lifestyle, and clean diet can significantly increase our longevity. According to a study by the American Board of Anti-aging Medicine, "Regular deep meditation dramatically affects production of three important hormones related to increased longevity, stress, and enhanced well-being: cortisol, DHEA, and melatonin."
YOGA AND MEDITATION INCREASE ANTI-AGING HORMONES
As we age, our DHEA levels decrease. DHEA or dehydroepiandrosterone is produced in the adrenal glands, the brain, and gonads. DHEA helps to produce other hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone. It is also popularly known as an "anti-aging hormone". Many people take this as a supplement, though there isn't enough research to support the benefits when taken in supplement form. But when we practice yoga and meditation, our bodies naturally produce this hormone.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone responsible for regulating the metabolism; immune response, and the way the body responds to stress. It's important to keep your cortisol levels in check. Studies show that yoga and meditation are linked to lower cortisol levels.
Melatonin is an essential hormone that aids in improving sleep quality. Yoga and meditation help the body to produce melatonin. When our melatonin levels are increased, it improves our general well-being and promotes peaceful sleep.
OTHER BENEFITS OF YOGA AND MEDITATION
Menopause: Menopause can cause hot flashes and temperature fluctuations in the body. Yoga practice can help decrease hot flashes associated with hormonal changes.
Tones Muscles/ Retention in Muscle Mass: As we get older, with time we lose muscle mass. Practicing yoga on a consistent basis can encourage the body to retain muscle mass. Yoga is excellent at helping keep muscles toned.
Stiffness/ Muscle tightening: With the passage of time, we lose flexibility in our muscles and connective tissue due to collagen loss. This can manifest itself as stiffness and imbalance in the body. practicing yoga can help reverse some of those symptoms. Gentle, regular stretching helps keep the body fluid and flexible. If you are not yet in the forty plus category, yoga can help greatly if you are experiencing stiffness of any kind.
FOR MORE ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF YOGA AND THE 7 BEST YOGA POSES FOR WOMEN, READ: YOGA FOR HEALING