Well, here I go again all about yoga. Yep, I can’t help but to share with you some of my yoga thoughts, but today I am excited to share something beyond my passion: science says what yogis claim and demonstrate long ago: practicing yoga regularly rejuvenates!
A medical paper* published on the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research evaluated telomere biology and oxidative stress in a group of regular yogis compared to a sedentary control group.
Telomeres are an essential part of human cells that effect how our cells age, they are the “caps” at the end of each DNA that protect our chromosomes. Without the telomeres protection, our cells are exposed to damage, they age and die. A good analogy that I’ve read recently compared our DNA and telomeres to shoelaces: without the coating, shoelaces become frayed until they can no longer do their job, just as without telomeres, DNA strands become damaged and our cells can’t do their job.
One of the main causes for telomere shortening is oxidative stress, which is essentially an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects through neutralization by antioxidants. Aging in addition to a long list of diseases are related to free radicals, such as cancer, heart disease and autoimmune conditions.
On the referred study results, telomere length was longer on the yogi group compared to the control group, and the oxidative stress was higher on the control group compared to the yogi group. In other words, regular practice of yoga promoted longer telomeres that are associated with cellular protection against damage, thus an anti-aging effect, while the control group showed higher levels of oxidative stress, which shortens telomeres, cause cellular damage, aging and promotes disease.
In addition to millennial knowledge, science shows that lifestyle as a whole is the key to a good health and longevity. New Year is just around the corner and it brings inspiration to a fresh start. Have you already made your resolutions for the year to come?
Krishna BH, Keerthi GS, Kumar CK Reddy NM. J Clin Diagn Res. 2015 Mar;9(3):CC01-3.