Can we stop time from moving on? Is it possible for us to stop aging? The concept of ‘anti-aging’ has really become all-powerful and pervasive. This facet of the human need to be young and healthy is everywhere. The idea of forestalling old age with the magical waters from the Fountain of Youth dates back at least to the Greek historian Herodotus in the 5th century BC. The “elixir of life” also appears in ancient Chinese and Indian legends and in alchemical texts from medieval Europe.
Very simply explained, aging involves gradual cell death over the years, which eventually leads to declining organs, malfunctioning systems and whole body slow down. That being said, how do we keep feeling energetic, and looking youthful as we age? Since time is not going to stop, the best we can do is to find means and methods to keep ourselves feeling well and vibrant as the years advance.
Keeping in mind individual genetics, accidents, lifestyle and behavior as the base point, the journey to the destination we call ‘youthful health’ can be accomplished with the inclusion of these 4 things that have sustained results over centuries.
Yoga - Yoga postures for anti-aging are very practical, and can be incorporated into the daily routine, as much, or as little as your schedule allows. These yoga asanas open up blocked channels, move stagnant energy and balance the digestive fire; all this in turn erodes toxins and burns the physical and emotional waste that you are carrying. Once the toxins are cleaned out with the asanas, you will notice how limber and lithe the body feels. When the body feels healthy, the mind begins to change and lighten as well. At this stage we introduce Pranayama or breathing techniques, which are used to increase the pranic (life force) energy that keep the cells oxygenated and thereby prevents them from dying. We essentially nourish our body and mind with our breath. Meditation occurs as a natural spontaneous state once the body and mind are cleaned and in balance. Over time, the healthy happy glow that radiates from the inside with this practice is better than any artificial anti-aging lotions and potions.
Food – You are what you eat. On a physiological level, what we eat has to be processed, digested, and eliminated by our body. So food that is not easily assimilated and eliminated will stay in the system. The food that stays in the system starts to decay and putrefy; which in turn begins to cause symptoms of ill health. And the yogic definition of ‘good health’ means that you are always in a state of clarity and energy. The yoga asanas balance the digestive fire (Agni) and help with food digestion. A very simple way to eat right is to assess the digestion time any food group takes. For example: vegetables and fruits are the easiest, legumes are good, beans are good, red meat is very hard to eliminate, processed grains are awful, and so on. Just think of food as being alive and nourishing; and then how easy it is to metabolize. Keeping the pipes clean should be the mantra.
Water - You lose water through breathing, sweating, and digestion, and you need to drink about 6 to 8 glasses a day to keep looking and feeling hydrated. Your body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues. It quenches your thirst; regulate your body's temperature, keeps the tissues in your body moist. Water helps retain optimum levels of moisture in the blood, bones, and the brain. In addition, water helps protect the spinal cord, and it acts as a lubricant and cushion for your joints. Adequate water intake enables your body to excrete waste through perspiration, urination, and defecation. The kidneys and liver use it to help flush out waste, as do your intestines. And so much more. So drink up. Never get to a stage where you actually feel thirsty.
Sleep – Not enough attention is given to the benefits of adequate sleep. The 'adequate’ time ranges from 6 to 9 hours per night. The beauty is, once you start with yoga and healthy eating, sleep patterns improve automatically. The benefits of regular sleep include lowered stress, better weight management, reduced inflammation, better attention, less anxiety, and increased work productivity.
And truly, at the end of the day it is best to look and feel radiant from inside out, no matter the age.
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