Have you ever seen those incredible yogis who look and feel ageless? Timeless? They might be 45 they might be 65? The wisdom of their years is reflected in their soulful gaze, and their smile lines actually make them look more attractive? Our “cover woman” for this post, Tao-Porchon-Lynch, is one such example – she’s 97 years young and still teaches yoga four days a week.
Put simply: In the quest for youth and longevity – Yoga Works!
In addition to all the things we do internally (such as eating properly and taking supplements) and all the things we do externally (like sunscreen!, creams and body treatments), Yoga offers some activities and principals to help us stay youthful, energetic and radiant!
Here is an easy sequence to support “Aging Gracefully”
Shaking Qi Gong – 5 minutes
Begin with this standing movement to get the circulation going, the prana flowing and the skin glowing!
~ This practice supports bone health (in the far east the rates of osteoporosis are negligible, and this movement is practiced by many for 15 minutes a day!).
~ This gentle vibration also supports lymph function and removal of waste and toxins from the body, which helps keep the skin clear and glowing.
** Check out our recent post on Bone Health for a Shaking Qi Gong video demonstration
Chair Pose (Utkatasana) x 3
Incorporate strength building by taking chair pose three times. Start with 30 seconds each time with a short rest in between, and try to build your endurance. Eventually perhaps you can hold the pose for 30, then 60, then 90 seconds.
~ Holding this strengthening pose builds the large muscles of the thighs, not only protecting knees from injury, deterioration and pain, but maintaining a shapely derrière!
Tree Pose (Vrikshasana) x 2
Next up: Standing Balancing for a nimble mind and nimble body. Take Tree Pose in whatever variation(s) feel interesting and slightly challenging.
~ By practicing balance we maintain our equilibrium as we age, a key factor in preventing falls and broken bones (like hips) which have challenging recovery periods. To challenge yourself, get into the pose and then imagine a wind blowing – allow your body to flow and blow in the wind to build your stability.
~ Balancing on one foot takes focus! Cultivating our attention and focus in this posture helps keep the mind sharp and agile.
Standing Forward Bend x 3
Choose either Uttanasana and keep your legs together (with bent or straight legs) or open the legs into a wide straddle and bend forward in Prasarita Padottanasana. Or mix and match!
~ When the head is below the waist, as in these postures, blood flows to the head delivering oxygen and nutrients, boosting collagen production and cellular regeneration – great for youthful skin!
** If you’d like to get fancy – you can collate the three standing postures – instead of taking each one three times, go from Chair –< Tree –< Forward Bend and repeat!
Legs up the Wall (Viparita Karani) – 5-10 minutes
Finish up with this sweet restorative posture that delivers a host of rejuvenating effects
~ Inversions like this improve circulation, and “reverse gravity/reverse the flow of time”
~ This posture also helps the lymph system detoxify the body – keeping organs healthy and skin glowing
~ Legs up the wall helps reduce excessive cortisol in the system, which can lead to a host of chronic issues.
So there you have it – a quick and easy sequence specifically designed for anti-aging and vibrant longevity. The practice may be age-old, but the results are timeless!