3 Practices For Body Mind Balancing And Longevity
Exercise is one of our basic needs that help you maintain good health and a younger look. Along with a sound and clear mind exercising will ensure a happier lifestyle with fewer diseases. Today I will describe 3 practices that are beneficial to body mind balancing and longevity, that are popular around the world.
In the East, Mind-Body welfare is addressed as one, whilst in the West, the body was always treated as a separate being. Luckily, this is nowadays changing, and in the future, science is more likely to recognise the benefits of caring for the mind and body in the same way as a holistic ONE.
If you are the kind of person who, like me, does NOT fancy going to work out at a gym, or prefer a lower impact exercise, then here are three practices you will love for body mind balancing and longevity.
3 Body Techniques That You May Want To Know About
Below I will describe the methods and benefits of YOGA, PILATES & TAO YIN.
A Brief Introduction on The 3 Body Practices
Pilates focuses on physical exercise whilst Yoga and Tao Yin are more of a holistic method that unites body and mind.
Pilates is more dynamic, yet in Yoga and Tao Yin, frequent pauses for relaxation and breathing are common and of utmost importance during the session.
The core area targeted during Pilates or Tao Yin is the lumbar-pelvic region. It is believed that once this area (also referred to as our second brain in Chinese medicine) is strengthened, then you achieve a far better digestive and elimination system and will feel more energetic.
During a session, each exercise or set of exercises aims at one area of the body or an organ at a time, and there is no or little sweating involved.
YOGA And Its Benefits
In ancient times people lived more in harmony and in contact with nature. In Indian Ayurveda it is believed that we need all five natural elements to be able to live in balance;
- water to drink,
- fire to keep warm (heat of the sun),
- earth is our home and provides the food we consume,
- space is to move around and the
- air to breathe.
Yogis believe and relate that men start getting diseases when he loses connection to earth and nature.
In the East, Yoga is considered a discipline and also a lifestyle whereby practitioners, yogis and the people in general practice yoga to clear the mind and aspire for higher conscious levels, especially through meditation.
Yoga is a process to unite body and mind. In the West, it is normal to practice Hatha Yoga, which covers only the physical aspect of Yoga. This gives you the flexibility that your body requires to let the energy flow and balance your system.
ASANAS, which are different postures mainly imitating those of animals, are practised during Yoga to obtain good health. The postures are usually comfortable and you will achieve stability by repetition. There is no need to force yourself into a difficult position. You stretch as far as you can, or you can use yoga accessories. With time you improve your elasticity and will be able to stretch further.
In fact, when your body starts responding to postures and becomes more flexible, it is easy and enjoyable.
Breathing techniques included in the yoga method, called Pranayam, help to purify the mind and revitalise energies.
Some yoga classes also incorporate a few minutes of meditation to calm the mind.
Here are a couple of yoga postures.
Yoga helps in;
- clearing the mind
- body relaxation
- developing flexibility
- better breathing
- elongation of muscles
PILATES And Its Benefits
I invite you to watch this cool video about the history of Pilates
PILATES was created by Joseph Pilates, who was constantly ill during his childhood. He was determined to find a natural solution to resolve and improve his health.
Pilates was convinced that with the help of the human brain one can invigorate the body to heal itself, without the need to take any drugs.
He was inspired by various other techniques and sports and he came up with his own exercises to establish what we today know as PIlates.
With the invention of the PIlates method, Joseph Pilates has helped his companions to recover during the war.
In the past, this technique was more famous with the Elite, dancers and athletes. Today, Pilates is well-known and practised worldwide.
Pilates will help to strengthen the lumbar area considered as the core in our body, and with frequent practice, you can maintain a healthy body and mind.
Pilates is ideal for everybody and can be practised on a mat on the floor or using props like a Pilates ball, latex band, foam roller or blocks or even machinery.
Pilates helps in;
- better posture
- joints and muscle flexibility
- muscle strength
- aids with back pain
- gives stability and balancing
TAO YIN And Its Benefits
Only recently I discovered Tao Yin, after attending a weekend-long workshop. I had been to classes of Qigong and Tai Chi before but had never heard of Tao Yin. A friend who goes to classes and is quite impressed with the results convinced me to join them.
Tao Yin, Qigong and Tai Chi are all coming from Taoism. These three practices complement each other, but they are usually taught separately.
In a session of Tao Yin, you visualise and guide your energy through concentration and awareness, and you are trying to balance the YIN and YANG forces in your body. These forces are the opposite of each other, however, they cohabit and the power to find the balance is within you.
The main exercises are carried out on the floor, either lying on your back or sitting down.
When lying down on your back, you should bend your knees and bring your feet flat to the ground. Root the lumbar area to the floor just like a tree earthed to the ground through its roots. Then do rocking like movements with the pelvis until you feel that the lumbar area has settled on the ground.
When you breathe in you are meant to relax – this is the YIN state. When you breathe out it is when the active movement takes place – this is the YANG state. The force you apply can be as subtle or strong as you want, depending on how you feel at that particular moment.
The exercise strengthens the tendons and the muscles.
The postures are easy and are to be enjoyed. In the end, the concept of Tao Yin is ´less is more, and to achieve the maximum by doing less.
Tao Yin helps in;
- tendon strength and flexibility
- easiness to relax
- better posture
- Yin & Yang balancing
- strengthen the core lumbar area
- emotional balance
- muscle strength
For further reading, here is a book about Tao Yin by the Great Taoist Master Mantak Chia.
Prevention And Wellness
The three above techniques, namely Yoga, Pilates and Tao Yin are practical activities to integrate into your daily or weekly routine. They help you keep grounded and balanced throughout the different stages of life.
You can go for classes 2-3 times a week or if you are disciplined enough, you can do a 5-10 minute habitual daily exercise on your own. All three methods offer a contemporary preventive and well-being approach.
Have you any experience with any of the above methods, and what would be your preference? I´d love to hear your views.
22 thoughts on “3 Practices For Body Mind Balancing And Longevity”
Thank you for this great post. I know your site is mainly focused on anti-aging for women but I think this one applies to men as well and I plan to share it with a few friends.
That said, I have heard of Yoga and Pilates before but not Tao Yin. In the end, it seems to be all about balance and harmony really.
I’m not sure if I’m disciplined enough to take the at-home approach, yet. That, and I probably should get some professional training before I say, “I can do this at home.”
Hi Scott, thanks for writing and sharing. Exercise and well-being is there for everyone, theres no gender or age restriction. I also prefer to join a class, its more fun. Tao Yin is the base exercise for any practice in Taoism, being Tai Chi, Qiqong etc.. Take care
I really enjoyed your site. I’m getting a little older and like most older women, I’m not ready but it appears that I’ll have no choice but to take that journey. I try to exercise but I’ve never attempted to do Yoga. I was checking out the moves trying out on my body but I didn’t have any success. How long does it take your body to adjust to the movement? I can do the meditation with no problem so I’m ready for this. I was thrilled to know that Pilates will help to strengthen the lumbar area of my body. Anything that will slow down the aging process is wonderful. I’ve learned so much from your site and I want to get information on the body essentials. I’d like to follow your site because I have a lot of questions and I’d appreciate it if you could assist me if I have questions. I’m new at this so I’d appreciate any advice or motivation you could share with me.
Thank you so much.
Hi Peggy, glad you found this interesting. I’m curious and love to discover new things. I’ve been going for yoga, pilates etc for years and I do recommend to start slowly. Join a class when you can and give it a go, see what works best for you. Dont try to push yourself much. The secret is to relax and enjoy the exercise. With practice the muscles will loosen up and it will be easier in the long run. Contact me with any questions whenever you wish. I’d be happy to share what know. Cheers
Although you are providing these information for women, I was attracted by Tao Yin and was curious and wanted to know more. It looks like it has very similar principles to Qi Gong and Tai Chi with emphasis on floor movements in sitting or lying down positions. Learn something new today. I see some similarity to Pilates of course the methods are different and the focus includes movement and meditation. You have provided useful information to learn about these holistic approaches to wellness.
Hi Stanley, Yes, Tao Yin was a discovery for me as well. These methods have many things in common, and Tao Yin differs as you do the action exercise when you breathe out while in others you relax. I do recommend it though. Good day.
From these 3, I practice only Yoga for now. It really helps with restoring my energy and the fact that you have to learn how to clean your head and focus on your breathing gives you some basics of how meditation should look like. I practice Yoga everyday for at least 15 minutes. That is my goal everyday. And it really gives great results when it comes to my mood.
Hi, that is great discipline to practice yoga on a daily basis. Well done and thanks for the input. Marisa
It’s really nice reading your article and I’ve really gained a lot from it. I’ve been practicing yoga for a while now but I’ve not been so consistent that’s why I’ve not been seeing more of its effect and you know as it is, these practices requires consistency and dedication to make them work. Maybe I’ll try to get the training with a profession maybe that’ll help me focus more. Thanks for sharing.
Hi, Ideally you join a group to be more consistent. I also find it difficult to manage by myself at home and the muscles tend to stiffen up if you dont practice at least 2-3 times a week and it feels like you are starting all over. Thanks for sharing your experience.
Hello Marisa, I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. Exercise and healthy nutrition are definitely one of the crucial things that lead to longevity and a healthy life. I am glad you discussed this, I need to take care of my nutrition as because of a job I can’t eat healthy, only fast food which I know is bad. Thank you for sharing, this will benefit many folks.
Oh my! Please do make an effort and try change the fast food habit. It is okay to eat it once in a while but eating junk for a long time it will take its toll on your health in the long run. We don’t realise when young, but we can avoid so many diseases when older. It’s already a good thing that you are aware of it. Now you have to work on it and change things. Thank you for writing.
Yoga movement definitely helps with streching before and after strenuous exercise. I us it for my javelin athletes my the starting to complain of back pain. It really helps with rehab on back injuries just be careful if your posture is not correct you can make it worse. Breathing is always important and it calms you down when necessary.
Hi Hanlie, Yoga is great as you don’t have to go over your limits and keep building up your stretch gradually as your body becomes more flexible. Thank you for sharing your experience with the technique and take care of your back.
First I want to congratulate you for the very valuable information you provide on how to keep us in optimal physical and mental conditions. I work a long time sitting with my computer. My body began to send me signals that something was not working well.
I started exercising regularly, jogging and then stretching my muscles. I also try to consume many fruits and vegetables.
Years ago with my wife we attended a yoga class. It was a very good experience, especially my lady at the end of classes there was no way to wake her up. We relaxed incredibly it was a very nice experience.
Like everything in life to serve, we must do it on a regular basis. I will keep your place in my heart.
Thank you! Claudio
Hi Claudio, thank you for the nice words and I´m glad you appreciate. It is very important to listen to our body and you did well in starting to exercise and changing your diet. Maybe you should look into Ayurveda and the natural way to a healthy lifestyle.
Thank you for sharing your experience with yoga. It does feel good when you try something that works well on your health, and our body will thank us for it. Keep well.
This is a very informative article. I have always been a jogger and a weight lifter. I had heard of the these disciplines but never gave them much thought. I have been pushing my stile of exercise and well being on my wife and daughters and they have fought me at every turn.
I will now encourage them to read this article. What books do you recommend we read for instructions on procedure and lifestyle changes? I may even change my own style of exercise because I have gotten older and my way is becoming more difficult for me to maintain.
Hi Robert, if you are after a change to a healthier lifestyle I can’t recommend anything better than starting to become familiar with Ayurveda. It is the holistic method of India that includes body caring through proper diet, exercise and balancing of the mind. Yoga is the physical part in Ayurveda and meditation aids on the spiritual side and proper breathing.
I have posts on Ayurveda that you can check (see link below) and perhaps start by reading the basics in Ayurveda, see how you like it. You can learn and practice with your family as you go along, work on wrong diet or exercise habits. It is all natural and whatever you learn is going to be beneficial for your health in general.
There´s a book linked at the end of the following post. It is a good starter and not expensive.
Good luck and do let me know if you need any more information. Thank you for writing.
I love yoga and I used to practice daily. Now I practice occasionally due to a car accident I was in, slowly building up again. I am now more comfortable with standing poses due to issues with my knees.
Every morning I do sun salutations until I feel grounded.
I used to do pilates as well and I’m well familiar with its benefits for the body. I’ve also practiced Tai Chi and Qigong
This article is the first time I am hearing about Toa Yin and it sounds like my type of exercise. Good for the body and the mind.
I’m interested in trying out Toa Yin.
Thanks for sharing.
Hi Margarette, thank you for writing. Sun salutation is a very complete exercise but arduous when you do it fast. I used to attend yoga classes with this guru and he used to make us do sun salutation for nearly 10 minutes and we had to plead for mercy so we can stop haha!
You seem to be familiar with most body mind techniques. I think you should give Tao Yin a try. It is new to me too, and during the recent workshop the instructor told us the majority of his students are like patients as they all come because of some injury or immune deficiency. It is easy exercise but very powerful as you work a loon your breathing from the lumbar and gut region.
Take care of yourself. Marisa
Balance is one of the most important things that is needed in one’s life to sustain living and longevity of life, everything needs balance, what we eat, what we wear, what we drink and what we do. This is why it’s so essential to get balance between the two major parts of life, the physical and the Psychological, I think that’s what this article is about and its really nice to read about it. I’m very familiar with the practice of yoga and I’m used to it already, it helps me clear my mind, focus, and most importantly it helps me relax. I’ll share this with my wife, so she’ll know of the benefit these things. I appreciate you for sharing this, its very helpful.
Hi and thank you for sharing your experience about the benefits of practising yoga. I agree with you about balancing that gives us stability and good health.