Eight years ago, I was working as a Yoga Instructor and an Esthetician at Corepower Yoga and Spa in Edina, MN.
Along with a few of my fabulous colleagues there, we held a Youthful Living workshop to discuss how Yoga keeps us younger and best skincare practices. We were honored to have Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zones come speak at our workshop about what he learned about Youthful Living!
The Blue Zones are the 5 places on the planet with the most centenarians (people aged 100+)
Dan Buettner traveled to each of these Blue Zones and spent time learning about the people, their cultures and lifestyles, their environment and he wrote his book to share what he learned about the ways of life that we can easily adopt to live longer, feeling more youthful.
As an Esthetician and Yoga and Meditation Instructor, I’ve been a believer in the health & beauty benefits of Meditation, know and unknown, for years, but I am always super excited to read more science-backed confirmation of the link that is elusive and challenging to prove. Sometimes it seems like something you have to believe in, to be willing to try it, in order to see results, so for the skeptics out there who would love to believe that a simple practice of sitting still and silent CAN actually slow down your aging process, I give you this article, and a tiny explanation of the subject for context.
What are Telomeres, what do they have to do with Stress, Premature Aging and your longevity?
Our bodies are made up of 50-70 TRILLION cells.
Inside each cell, there’s a nucleus – this contains our genetic material.
In the nucleus of each cell, there is a DNA molecule packaged in a thread-like structure called a Chromosome.
Each chromosome is made up of DNA tightly coiled around proteins called histones.
At the end of the chromosome thread, there is a protective cap called a Telomere.
Think of the end of a shoelace – you know those plastic ends that keep them from fraying?
That’s like a telomere on your cells’ chromosomes!
The telomere protects the cell as it divides.
However, with each cell division, the telomere becomes shorter, and eventually come to a point where they can no longer protect the chromosomes, which leaves them vulnerable to deterioration.
Studying telomere length is giving a lot of interesting and relevant data when it comes to aging and age-related illnesses like Alzheimer’s, cancer, chronic illness and autoimmune diseases and disorders.
Telomeres that are longer are associated with a longer, healthier life, while shorter telomeres are markers of decreased health and longevity.
It isn’t that shorter telomeres CAUSE a specific disease, it’s that if you are genetically predisposed to particular conditions, shorter telomeres indicate that those diseases are more likely to manifest in your body sooner, earlier, younger.
For more on the science and studies – check this out!