Ancient yogic texts describe how theregular practice of yoga can delay or even reverse the ageing process. Some recent research studies have corroborated this claim and the results suggest that performing yoga regularly can slow the physical ageing process and reduce the damage caused by stress at the cellular and DNA level.

How does yoga reverse or delay ageing?

Various studies have examined the effect of yoga on different aspects of ageing and its associated damage:

  • Yoga slows down cellular ageing

Accelerated cellular ageing is associated with lifestyle diseases like infertility, cardiovascular disease, depression, and diabetes. Prominent indicators of cellular ageing are DNA damage, oxidative stress, and shortening of telomere length. Accelerated ageing is also characterized by a low-grade, chronic form of inflammation called “inflammaging.”

A 2017 study published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity described a 12-week exploratory study of the impact of yoga and meditation on cellular aging in healthy individuals. After the end of the intervention, participants showed significant improvement in the markers of cellular ageing. Thus, the study scientists concluded that a yoga-and-meditation-based lifestyle intervention reduced the rate of cellular ageing.

Even Yoga Cleansing Practices such as Enemas are believed to have a retarding effect on Ageing

  • Yoga reduces inflammation and stress-related damage

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience published a study conducted on participants in a yoga and a meditation retreat in 2017. After three months of practice, participants displayed significant reduction in anxiety, somatic complaints, and depression and an increase in mindfulness. The BMI of the participants also decreased by a small but a significant amount.

Increases in brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), cortisol awakening response (CAR), and anti-inflammatory cytokines like Interleukin-10 as well as decrease in pro-inflammatory cytokines like Interleukin-12 were observed.

This meant that yoga practice was linked to better brain health, increased dynamic physiological arousal, alertness, and preparedness and a decrease in inflammation in the body. Inflammation causes conditions like obesity, depression, and infertility.

Increased CAR is also associated with increased stress resilience and morning wakefulness.

  • Yoga increases levels of Growth Hormone and Dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate

Texts of yoga claim that regular practice helps restore and maintain general endocrinological properties in the human body. The secretion of growth hormone (GH) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) decrease with the increase in age and this decline is thought to cause the signs of ageing. Thus, these hormones are called anti-ageing hormones. DHEAS is also known as the “youth hormone.”

Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine published a research article in 2014 that followed participants during a 12-week period during which they performed combined yogic practices each morning. After the study period, these participants were found to have significant increases in levels of GH and DHEAS for both males and females.

The study authors suggest that a non-pharmacological replacement of GH and DHEAS in the form of yoga may help slow down ageing or delay the onset of ageing.


Yoga has become quite popular as a practical way to bring about discipline of the mind and body and promote holistic wellness. This resurgence of interest in the ancient practice of yoga and its benefits in delaying ageing is bound to help the greater population.

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