Yoga for Well-Being, Longevity and Quality of LifeAug 31, 2022 ● By Megan Mazzocco
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The way we handle daily stressors determines our health outcomes. Health and mood can deteriorate if we don’t have a healthy relationship to stress. Practicing yoga helps establish resilience off the mat. For example, when an asana, or pose, feels uncomfortable, breathing through the discomfort until the brain realizes it’s okay to remain in a state of calm contributes to resilience—our ability to stay calm when encountering real-life stressors.
Staying calm can possibly alleviate premature aging and inflammatory conditions associated with sustained levels of the stress hormone cortisol. A calm “yoga mind” also helps us to make better decisions and precipitates better outcomes.
Yoga is the union of mind, body and nervous system. The International Journal of Yoga says that a consistent yoga practice increases serotonin for elevated mood, happiness and well-being, and lowers the cortisol stress hormone level. A report in Sage Journal confirms that acute stretching improves mood and cognitive performance due to a greater sense of well-being.
Practicing yoga may also alleviate cancer risk. Reported in the journal Scientific Reports, gentle stretching was shown to shrink breast cancer tumors in mice and contribute to the body’s natural abilities to prevent primary and secondary cancers. It says, “Stretching is a gentle, non-pharmacological intervention that could become an important component of cancer treatment and prevention.”Megan Mazzocco, a WELL AP and RYT-200 certified yoga instructor, teaches at The Philosopher’s Stone Apothecary, located at 160 W. Campbell St., in Arlington Heights. For more information, call 224-735-2355 or visit PhilosophersStoneApothecary.com.