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5 yoga moves may be key to fountain of youth

April 4, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Yoga is said to relax and stretch the body, but can it do more? Seasoned yogi Chris Kilham says five ancient techniques are fountain-of-youth material.

"They enhance flexibility, they enhance circulation to the brain to improve metabolism. They seem to work on most of the major organ systems of the body," Kilham said.

Author of "The Five Tibetans," Kilham describes moves that have been around for hundreds of years. They slow the aging process and can be performed in about 10 minutes each day.

In one pose, you bring legs up and down again, tucking chin into the chest, which applies pressure on the thyroid gland to boost metabolism while strengthening lower back and abdominals. If your abs are not strong enough at first, try it with bent knees, then straighten and lower down again.

One of the more unusual moves is spinning. With arms open wide, turn clockwise with not too many repetitions because, no surprise, you'll get dizzy.

"It addresses one of the most important aspects of aging, people lose balance. It's very common to hear somebody say they lost their balance, they fell down, they broke their hip," Kilham said.

Spin a few times slowly in plenty of room to help keep the vestibular crystals in your ear aligned.

"This is like doing push-ups for your inner ear balance mechanism," Kilham said.

To stimulate the spine, kneel while on the balls of your feet, stretching back and again, tucking the chin into the chest.

"The spinal nerves enervate every part of the body. So it's important for the nervous system," Kilham said.

A table-like pose strengthens arms, back, legs and hips.

And strengthening major muscle groups, metabolism and your heart, try a pike on hands and balls of feet, then reversing down to the opposite direction.

Kilham cautions going slow, working up to doing each a maximum of 21 times daily.

Check out photos of the yoga moves.


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