We’ve all heard that yoga is good for us. Right? And we don’t need to read the research to know that there are specific things about the practice that contribute to a better life. Things like:
- Pain relief
- Nixing negative self-talk
- Body awareness
- Learning to be full— grateful, mindful, and thankful
We even know that yoga is amazing at actively reducing stress. But what you may not know, is that it’s scientifically proven to do so; that there is a huge correlation between those who do yoga, and those who live longer. Here’s why:
Breath = Improved Mental Health
In an American research study conducted in 2009, researchers concluded that conscious “breath work can affect longevity mechanisms.”[i] They also provide clinical evidence that links yoga breathing to the positive treatment of “depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and for victims of mass disasters.”[ii]
Poor mental health is associated with a decreased life expectancy, but the opposite is also true. If you can improve your state of mind by practicing yoga, then you’re making conscious and mindful strides towards a longer, healthier life.
Meditation = Stress Relief + Clarity
Another research study conducted in 2009 found that meditation can ultimately be linked to slower cellular aging. The idea is this: how slow or fast one ages is determined primarily by one’s telomere length. The telomeres in a person who experience consistent stress are significantly shorter than those who perceive themselves to be “stress-free.”[iii]
“We can actively change the length of our telomeres by changing our lifestyle habits.”
Meditation is an effective way to reverse the aging process by helping to assist us in dealing with our stress, and enabling us to think more clearly about what we prioritize.
Exercise = Decreased Body Mass + Medication
Yoga lowers your body mass index (BMI). In 2011, the International Journal of Yoga published a research study that concluded that regular and consistent yoga practice was a predictor of “lower body mass index and reduced medication use in women over 45 years.”[iv]
Since both higher body mass indexes and regular commercial medication use has been linked to a shorter lifespan, this means that yoga helps you to live longer.
So there you have it! Three scientifically-proven ways that yoga helps us increase our longevity.