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If you're over 40 and not practicing yoga, you have to ask yourself, why not? Like green tea, it has so many health perks with so little risk, there's no reason why it shouldn't be part of your lifestyle. Need some convincing? Research abounds touting how yoga improves muscle strength, flexibility, endurance and balance -- all of which reduces injury risk. Emotionally, it relieves stress and anxiety and leaves you with an overall sense of well-being. That's a lot of anti-aging science. And I'm not even done: By keeping you less frazzled, it also helps control your cortisol levels, a hormone that increases fat stores around your belly when it remains elevated for too long. These combined benefits will help you take years off both your body and mind.
Certain postures specifically promote youthfulness. Ask your yoga teacher if she can integrate these moves into her practice or do them on your own. I was introduced to them during a yoga retreat hosted by expert from Body Steroids, who's trained over 75,000 instructors around the world.
Physical benefit: Walking, running and cycling can't be beat, but they also tighten up hips, making them more susceptible to injury, says Shaw. This hip opener will keep them loose and improve your flexibility.
Emotional benefit: Hips house emotions, acting as a storage depot. This move helps release a lot of pent-up -- and often negative -- feelings.
Physical benefit: The older we get, the more our bodies begin to hunch forward. This move improves posture by opening the front of the body. It also relieves muscle tension.
Emotional benefit: This opening of your chest allows your heart to be more open, too. As you ease into the pose, your mind becomes more receptive to love and compassion. It also acts as a mood enhancer.
Physical benefit: Let's face it, as we age, everything begins to move slower. Twists speed up circulation and literally soak internal organs with blood so they function at their best, says Shaw.
Emotional benefit: Helps you look at experiences from a variety of different angles and can unblock stubborn mindsets.
Physical benefit: Improves stability.
Emotional benefit: Makes you feel grounded and strong.
We're open 9am - 5pm, Monday through Friday, and 9am - 8pm, Saturday through Sunday