Want to live longer and happier? Try Yoga
Studies show that the ancient practice of meditation helps extend the life of our DNA.
It has been in fashion, celebrities swear by its benefits, it is as ancient as Indian culture itself and now it has been scientifically proven that yoga has a positive impact on our DNA too. Two separate studies conducted by researchers at the University of Calgary, and at Harvard University proved that yoga improves cellular metabolism and also helps extend the life of our DNA cells. In short, yoga helps us live a healthier, longer and happier life. Though science is starting to assert the importance of this meditating form now, yoga has existed much before any other form of fitness practices came into limelight – be it for the body or the mind.
Celebrities all over the world vouch for this ancient Indian practice which helps them maintain their fitness level while working in a stressful industry of glamour and fashion. Be it Kareena Kapoor Khan, Bipasha Basu, Gwyneth Paltrow or Cate Blanchette, stars from every film fraternity swear by the advantages of yoga. Celebrity fitness trainer Deanne Pandey confirms to the benefits of yoga. “I have been practising yoga for 18 years now. It's amazing how yoga helps not only our body but also our mind,” she says. While supporting the study conducted by Harvard University, Deanne says, “Yoga changes everything. You become much calmer, more patient... it makes you a different person altogether. Not only that, I would say yoga helps in reversing the ageing process too.”
The blend of physical postures, breathing exercises and meditation, practised in India for centuries, has been studied in modern settings, showing benefits for the cardiovascular system, stress reduction, improved brain function and more. Dr Parshant Wadhwan from RH Positive explains, “Yoga can improve cellular metabolism by increasing cellular oxygenation levels and clearing out free radicals which are part of oxidative stress. Yoga has profound effect on human physiology and health proved over and over again.”
Earlier considered as a way of life for ascetics in India, this practice is now taught all over the world. Today yoga is practised not just for fitness purposes but also for mental calm. Clinical psychologist and author Seema Hingorrany enumerates the many advantages of yoga. “When one practises yoga, they tune into a state of calmness promoting mindfulness or awareness into a positive direction by transforming ones state of mind. Which also means that people who practise yoga get in touch with their inner core of their being and mind. They have good control over their emotions and are not perturbed by trivial issue,” she says.
Many hospitals and research centres nowadays have included yoga in their quest for mental peace. Dr Hingorrany says that many of her patients have benefited from this practice. “Most of my clients with symptoms of anxiety and depression who practise yoga get cured faster. They report being positive and more logical. Most disorders stem from the discord between mind and body. Yoga brings your body, mind, emotions and spirit into alignment with each other,” says Hingorrany.
Not only that yoga helps you connect with your inner self. Regular practise also systematically unfolds one’s full potentials, heightening inner intellect and developing higher state of consciousness. The yoga asanas relax your mind in such a manner brings your mind and body in consonance with each other. It teaches you to remain calm in most of the ominous situation.