3. Prevention of Arthritis
People often get arthritis because of uneven wear and tear on their cartilage, due to poor structural alignment and lack of use. When you do yoga, you can put your muscles and joints through their full range of motion, which bathes these tissues with blood, oxygen and nutrients. You can also loosen your tendon and ligament attachments, which creates additional space for your joints to go through even further range of motion.
More: 10 Yoga Poses and Stretches for Frequent Travelers
4. Helping to Build and Maintain Bone
Some yoga poses are weight-bearing, which means they stress your muscles in ways that stimulate your bone cells to lay down new bone. This can help you prevent osteoporosis, or porous bones, in your senior years. Because yoga also reduces stress, it could have additional positive impacts on bones by decreasing the stress hormone cortisol, which in excess can reduce bone density.
5. Increased Sense of Peace and Happiness
When you practice yoga consistently, you can affect many brain chemicals that promote sensations of well-being. Yoga has been shown to not only decrease cortisol, but also increase serotonin (your "feel-good" neurotransmitter) and boost dopamine (a brain chemical that can induce feelings of happiness and hopefulness).
Yoga is delightfully accessible; it doesn't require lots of fancy equipment. You can go far with just a yoga mat, some yoga straps and a few yoga blocks. You can do it at any age, and do it anywhere that allows you enough space to move.
To get started, you can purchase a yoga DVD, follow a book's guidelines, or take a class. Remember that yoga can be more than just a form of exercise. It can be a time you set aside to check in with yourself—and ultimately it can become a way of life.
More: What People Really Think About During Yoga Class
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