When we think about anti-ageing and looking as good as we can, we tend to focus everything on our face. But our face is just one part of the jigsaw to looking and feeling fabulous. Our face is at the foremost of our appearance, so keeping it looking as good as possible is vital. But if the rest of us is out of sorts and not looking great, then it does not matter how great our face looks. Think how much better we look when we feel really good, and are standing tall, with toned skin.
This is why we love yoga. It’s a relatively easy natural holistic way to awaken our entire system and bodies, so they look and feel as healthy as possible. Yoga is amazing as it can massage our internal organs, detoxify, relax, lengthen and tone our bodies, and allow us to connect with ourselves. The stretching involved in yoga reaches and energises parts of the body, that is just not possible from traditional exercise. It also helps to relax and free the mind, which reduces the youth zapping hormone Cortisol, and in turn helps to keep our Collagen intact, for bouncy elastic skin.
The type and style of yoga you do does not really matter, any type of yoga will have huge benefits. The nice thing is that there is a yoga system for every lifestyle, age and fitness level. All Yoga is about connecting the mind and body. Breathing plays a part in the postures by helping with that connection, as well as relaxing us and assisting moving into postures. There are so many different styles of yoga and one to suit all tastes.
- Hatha Yoga is the most common method, and it encompasses most of the traditional movements, which are worked through in a relaxed arrangement.
- Iyengar Yoga focuses on quite precise movements, and holding them for a period of time.
- Ashtanga is fast moving, it follows the same sequence of movements (Vinyasa’s) in time to the breath.
- Power yoga is a powered physical yoga. It can be similar to Ashtanga, however, there is no need to follow the same sequence and in the same order.
- Bikram is hot yoga in classes, that have a temperature about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. One of the benefits of Bikram Yoga is that the heat allows the body to relax, so poses are reached more easily. The heat is also detoxifying as toxins are sweated out of the body.
- Kundalini works to release Kundaline energy within the body through movement, stimulating postures, chanting and meditation.
- Restorative Yoga aims to heal and look for calm by slowing down and working with just a few poses, sometimes with props.
- Yin Yoga is deeply relaxing and involves staying in poses for some time, so the body sinks deeply into them, to allow gravity to do the work.
- Yang Yoga focuses on strong energising postures that generate heat within the body.
- Sivananda is a relaxing form of yoga, it is about assisting the body to find vitality and reduce the ageing process naturally.
- Self-Awakening Yoga is a beautiful low-impact relaxing practice. It helps to relax, restore and renew - as well as bringing out our inner wisdom.
- Face Yoga is a form of exercise for the face, and it has become increasingly popular in recent times with a celebrity following. Jennifer Aniston and Megan Markle are fans.
Whatever your preferred Yoga style, there are a few classic yoga postures that are simply beautiful for helping to keep us in great shape. There are so many gorgeous poses to choose from, so we have picked a handful of our favourites. We always recommend gently warming up the body with movement and small stretches, before trying the poses. Don’t worry if you cannot get into the pose properly. Never push into the poses, instead try them every day and they will gradually get easier. Move into the postures slowly, allowing your body to ease into them and the muscles to melt into them like butter.
Always seek medical advice before embarking on a new exercise regime. We have listed our favourite five easy anti-ageing yoga poses below. Please seek professional help in achieving them, to make sure that each pose is being practiced correctly. Although it may not seem it, there are very subtle differences between doing a yoga pose correctly and effectively. This is really important as if a pose is not practiced correctly, it could be damaging. The five poses that we have picked are ones found in most yoga classes. If your teacher does not include them, I am sure they will only be too happy to show the correct movement for a pose.
This classic pose may not seem extraordinary, but it is. It can though take some practice to ease into it. A nice movement to begin a yoga practice with, and also to do breathing exercises or meditation in. It’s a lovely one for so many reasons. It helps to keep the back in good alignment for great posture, it gives a beautiful stretch to the knees and ankles, as well as opening up the hips. Other benefits include calming the mind and restoring energy.
Our favourite yoga posture to keep us looking youthful, is the chest opening Camel pose. It’s a special pose, because it stretches the body in the opposite way to the ageing process. It awakens and stretches the face beautifully, especially the jaw and neck. It pulls back the shoulders and it bends the back, and even stretches the thighs. If you are new to the Camel pose then start off by placing hands on the back of the hips, then gradually progress to putting your hands on your heels, but with your heels up, as opposed to being flat on the floor.
Tree Pose is one of the most famous yoga moves, and it is very easy to vary it according to your level. It’s important as balancing gets harder as we age, and the tree pose is also a lovely hip opener. An effective balance requires us to use our minds, clearing it and focussing it. It gives our bodies strength and assists our co-ordination and balance. The result is that we are calmer and our walking and standing improves.
WIDE LEGGED FORWARD BEND
This gorgeous pose needs to be worked on gently. It can improve the back and inner legs and aid digestion. It is stress relieving and thought to calm the brain, reduce fatigue, and even help with depression. The Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies published an analysis of this pose in 2012, which showed that it significantly reduces blood pressure, breathing and heart rates.
TWIST WHILE SITTING
This detoxes and improves digestion, de-stresses and helps to keep the spine flexible. You also get a lovely stretch in to the neck. Flexibility in the neck area really helps to keep us looking and feeling youthful. It’s a nice pose to do towards the end of the practice to slowly wind down.
Following any yoga practice take some time to wind down with gentle stretches, and follow these with Corpse pose to reconnect, relax the body and calm the mind.
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