Yoga and Meditation
You’ve heard people joke how being stressed makes you a decade older. Scientists have now linked the stress of a fast-paced, professional lifestyle and urban air pollution with causing wrinkles and other signs of aging, as well as shortening your life and causing cancer and heart disease. Is being ambitious and striving for a high income mean you’re trading your youth and health? Nope! These researchers also found that doing meditation and yoga everyday preserve your youth and lengthen your life.
Transcendental Meditation Makes You Live Longer
As you probably know, it’s well-founded that meditation can reduce pain, anxiety, and even cholesterol levels.
Transcendental meditation is derived from ancient Vedic techniques. It was introduced in America in 1960. It involves sitting with your eyes closed and repeating a chant to enter an altered state of consciousness. Research by Howard University Medical Center found that doing transcendental meditation makes you live longer by protecting your DNA from aging.
Researchers found that transcendental meditation increases telomerase production. This means setting aside a quiet hour or two for a daily meditation session preserves your DNA from damage, delaying your aging.
They also found that transcendental meditation lowers blood pressure. In the study, hypertension patients who did transcendental meditation had practically the same reduction in blood pressure as the patients who went on a healthier salt-free diet and weight loss exercise regimen. This could mean that transcendental meditation is just as healthy for your heart as working out and dieting!
Being Selflessly Kind to Everyone Heals Your DNA
Have you ever wondered if being generous and kind to others have any benefits beyond religious beliefs? Researchers found that being nice and showing love for others also keeps you looking young and makes you live longer. They found a link between volunteers and caregivers and longevity. To investigate the link further they ran tests on practitioners of Buddhist-derived Loving-Kindness Meditation and found that their average telomere length was longer than non-practitioners. Women practitioners had even longer telomeres than men.
Loving-Kindness Meditation involves intentionally feeling selfless kindness and caring toward yourself first, then people you like (like friends and family). Next, send these unconditional feelings to neutral acquaintances like classmates or coworkers. You’ll ultimately muster up to send unconditional love to people you perceive as enemies (like people you have grudges against). The goal is to remove your personal distinctions of friend and foe and see everyone equally as someone you love. Because of these aspects, Loving-Kindness Meditation can heal past emotional traumas, give you self-confidence, and heal your interpersonal relationships.
Opening your heart to everyone with unconditional love heals your emotional traumas and boosts your self-confidence. The bonus is it also preserves your youthful beauty and helps you reach 100 years old!
Sudarshan Kriya Meditation Boosts Your Body’s Defenses
Researchers found that regular practitioners of Sudarshan Kriya meditation have higher levels of protective compounds in their bodies that fight toxins that cause aging and chronic diseases. Their white blood cells live longer, on average, meaning they have a stronger immune system.
Sudarshan Kriya meditation starts by getting in the yoga Thunderbolt Pose. Breathe relaxed, equal breaths. Then exhale twice as long as you inhale. Switch, and inhale twice as long as you exhale. Repeat the cycle for about an hour, keeping your concentration on your breath.
Doing this simple exercise supports your immune system and combats harmful compounds in your body that can make you older and sick.
Yoga Protects Your Body, Makes You Happy, and Lengthens Your Life
According to researchers, one-third of people over 60 fall each year. In this age group a fall around the house can have dire consequences and even be fatal. But they found that those who routinely practiced yoga had better balance and mobility. While their peers strained to climb stairs or bend over, the yoga practitioners could better freely move around.
Researchers also found that practicing yoga regularly reverses signs of aging and makes you live longer by increasing your telomerase activity. But doing yoga doesn’t just protect your telomeres – its DNA-protecting benefits are so powerful they also protect your DNA from radiation damage. In fact, studies found that yoga protects the DNA of breast cancer patients from damage caused by chemotherapy.
Doing yoga everyday also protects you from chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease and cancer by lowering your levels of inflammation and toxins.
If these aren’t enough to get you on the mat everyday, studies also found that practicing yoga increases your endorphin levels too! Endorphins are the pleasure chemicals in your brain responsible for the “high” caused by recreational drugs.
That’s right! Simply doing the Chair Pose and Downward-Facing Dog everyday awakens your inner fountain of youth, makes you happier, and protects your body when you’re older.