Increase your longevity
by Justine Glenton
An Ashtanga & Zen Yoga Teacher
Yoga was designed in part to give the ancient yogis a healthy body so they could live long enough to advance spiritually as far as they possibly could.
Scientifically, Yoga asanas (postures) have an effect on the individual cells of our body. When our muscles, glands and organs are engaged during a yoga practice and sustained over an extended period of time our cells react. They learn how to function better in these abnormal situations; they modify their structure by absorbing new nutrients not ordinarily required and by modifying their excretory system. These two modifications (improving the supply of nutrients and helping remove toxic cellular waste) enable the cell to hold more energy within it. The cell, now a better cell, ("blissful," if you will), can now devote more energy to the constructive "anabolic" process rather than the destructive, aging "catabolic" process.
A Yoga practice will also include specific types of yoga breathing known as: Pranayama. - Prana is the free supreme source of vital energy power that makes remarkable changes to our health and well-being. Pranayama slows down the heart rate so more oxygen can be pumped into the body with less number of breaths, ratio:1:2 inhalation and exhalations. This reduces wear and tear of internal organs, lowers our blood pressure, relaxes body tensions and quietens the nerves. The blood circulation improves.
The heart is the most industrious organ in the body beating 100,000 beats a day, the health of your heart determines your life expectancy and quality of life in your old age. More oxygen in the blood results in more oxygen to the muscles of the heart. Pranayama strengthens the immune system and leads to better mental health and quality of life. A tortoise only takes 4 - 5 breaths a minute and they live up to 200 years!