Answer by Shravan Venkataraman:
This is the theory that few many sages have agreed with.
These are the facts. Research with Google and confirm it for yourself. As far as I know, I am aware of the following.
– Your brain consumes and burns calories every day when you think.
– All the cells in your body will be replaced once every seven years.
– Cells in your body are alive with oxygen. When they don't get enough oxygen, they die.
– Cells have regenerative capacity. Whenever a cell dies, a new cell is regenerated in its place. This is called as the self-healing capacity of our body.
– But, over a period of time, that capacity diminishes because we consume way too much amount of cell energy and give very little input energy for replenishing and regenerating.
– The energy of all the cells combined is called as pranic energy.
– Like human beings, even plants have pranic energy. When you eat food rich in oxygen (like fresh fruits, vegetables, greens, etc.,), you basically taken in all that oxygenated, live food and your body extracts as much pranic energy from what you consume. That in turn enriches your body's cells by supplying it with the necessary energy.
Now that the basic concepts of energy and the premise of aging is setup, let me explain why aging occurs.
As a child,
– We don't think much.
– We can focus on something for a long time.
– We sleep a lot.
– We eat only for our hunger.
– We breathe deeply. (Notice a child's belly).
As an adult, all this changes.
As an adult,
– We have tens of thousands of thoughts every day. Each thought consumes energy.
– We can't focus on something for a long time, hence a lot of distraction.
– We sleep less.
– We eat for taste, emotional reasons. We eat junk food.
– We eat dead food – cooked veggies, dead meat, etc.
– We don't supply the nutrients required for the body to replenish and regenerate the cells.
– We don't breathe deeply. Most people breathe in a shallow manner, doing what's called as chest breathing.
– We live stressful lives. During stress, you breathe very shallow, you also consume more energy to produce the stress hormone (cortisol and epinephrine).
This basically negates the process of replenishment and self-healing capacity of your body starts to diminish.
That is exactly the reason why you are more prone to sickness and staying sick for longer than children or teenagers do, as you age.
That is also why your bones start weakening as you age and you get arthritis, and other bone related pain.
That is also why your immunity reduces over the years.
That is also why your skin starts showing wrinkles. Wrinkles are signs of aging. It basically happens because the cells that were originally present in the skin died and were not eventually replaced by the body because of all those things I mentioned.
Now, the answer for the million dollar question.
How to slow down aging?
1. Breathe Deeply & Slowly:
The slower you breathe and the deeper you breathe, the more oxygen you give your body. The more the oxygen, the fresher you feel.
Have you ever observed this? When you are happy, you breathe deeply and slowly. When you are angry, sad, frustrated, you breathe in a fast and shallow manner.
By manipulating your breathe this way, if you observe and change your breath to slow and deep breaths, your mind will actually become calmer and peaceful.
How does this affect aging? The calmer you are, you have fewer thoughts. You also supply more oxygen to your body's cells. You enrich your body, brain and you increase the supply of pranic energy to your cells. This impacts aging in the way I mentioned before.
Meditation is self-explanatory.
During meditation, you basically induce the alpha state of your mind that you only experience in your sleep. By inducing the alpha state, you induce the sleep-like calming state in you. The only difference is that you consciously do it. That's why it is called as meditating.
What happens in the alpha state? You give your mind (and eventually the body) the kind of state that it experiences when it goes through REM when you are sleeping. You basically give your mind the resting experience, only that it is more powerful.
While you are meditating, you're also breathing deeply which also adds to the pranic energy flow within your body.
While you meditate, you also have fewer and fewer thoughts until you get to a space where you don't have thoughts at all, only silence. Being in that state, even if it is for one hour a day, gives you the effect of an equivalent of 4.5 hours of sleep.
Again, well rested sleep is one of the major factors in slowing down aging. So, meditation directly slows down your body's aging. That is why many sages who are of age 70+ look like they are in their early 40s.
3. Practice Yoga:
Yoga is something that sages used to complement the meditation process. Yoga basically connects them with the core of their body, puts them in control, by manipulating breath and therefore the energy in their body.
When you practice yoga, you are basically regulating your breath. With every pose you do, you clear the energy blocks in your body which eventually leads to fullest possible flow of pranic energy inside your body.
What does this do to you?
When you regulate your energy within your body and allow pranic energy to flow to the fullest possible level, you clear out all the energy blocks and give the cells of your body the fullest chance to absorb all that energy in replenishing its self-healing capacity and in rebuilding dead cells.
Women who swear by yoga:
This is Charlize Theron at 41.
This is Keri Russell at 40:
This is Rachel Weisz at age 45:
You get the point?
Now, don't tell me "But, they are actresses. They don't have any other job but to take care of their body and looks."
Guess what? If you really want to, you'd find a way to do it.
4. Bodybuilding – Weight Lifting, Sprinting, etc:
Look at these people in their late 60s.
Arnold at 67.
Sylvester Stallone at 68:
Here's Tommy Lee Jones at 67:
Here's Bill Murray at 64:
Jason Statham at 48:
This is Keanu Reeves at 50:
This is Russell Crowe at 51:
This is Phillip Seymour Hoffman at 46:
You get the picture right?
Bodybuilding – a mixture of weight lifting, running, martial arts, etc.,
Bodybuilding, especially with respect to weight lifting is very helpful in slowing down your ageing process. Arnold has told in an interview that he works out at least 2 hours every single day with his proper workout ranging anywhere from 4 to 5 hours. He added that going to gym and working out every day has kept him free of sickness for the last 50 years. He has told that he would have gone to hospital due to illness for a maximum of 4 to 5 times in the last 50 years.
When you work out everyday, do weight lifting, you are basically working out body's ability to pump blood into every part of your body. You start feeling the muscles you never knew existed. You also consume a lot of oxygen when you workout – both doing cardio, as well as weightlifting. Bodybuilding is more of a mental thing and less of a physical thing. Once you bring the mental part under control, the physical part automatically comes under control.
Since you consume so much of oxygen in as little as 45 minutes of weight lifting and cardio sessions together, your metabolism increases, you burn calories until hours after you have left the gym.
Same thing as breathing – when you are lifting weights, breathing plays a huge role in expansion & contraction of muscles. Proper breathing contributes to the maximum effect of the exercises that you do. You are basically automatically forced by your body (when you lift weights, run, sprint, etc.,) to take in more oxygen with proper breathing technique.
As I have mentioned in the previous points, this increase in oxygen leads to enriching the cells of the body which when done on a daily basis slows down ageing. How? Doing this keeps your heart healthy and with a lot of vitality. Your veins and body parts receive fresh dose of blood as and when you exercise and because of the pumping of blood with such force, there are no blockages in the path of blood flow.
This contributes to free flow of oxygen to every part of your body through blood, which in turn contributes to the process of replenishment and replacement of cells. That basically slows down ageing.
If you want to be very healthy, do bodybuilding – weight lifting, sprinting, martial arts, etc. Your older self will thank you for deciding to do so.
5. Eat food rich in pranic energy:
This is one of the most crucial things in the process of slowing down ageing.
Have you heard of Robin Sharma?
He wrote a wonderful book
In that book, he describes the life of a very powerful, filthy rich lawyer in the U.S who eventually donates all of his wealth to charity, goes to the Himalayas and lives with the sages (tribe of Shivanas) and when he comes back, he looks 10-20 years younger.
This concept of aging, reverse-aging is very subtly yet truthfully covered in that novel.
Basically, when you eat plant based food, you usually get the vegetable/fruit and eat within two or three days. You consume the food while it is still rich in oxygen. The plant is alive. The food is alive. You get the food (vegetable/fruit) from the plant when it is alive. It brims with oxygen and life. When you eat such food which is very much oxygenated, you basically supply your blood and hence your body's cells with the much needed oxygen.
When you consume such food rich in oxygen (remember – meat, poultry, chicken, fish, etc., are all dead. They are all dead food. They contain no oxygen in them.) on a daily basis, you basically supply your cells the much needed energy to replenish old cells and replace the dead cells. This eventually slows down ageing.
Asians, especially the Chinese and the Japanese have been known for eating plant based diets. They eat non-vegetarian also, but most of their diet is plant based. Of the plant based diets, they eat vegetables, greens, etc., without much cooking. When you cook the vegetables or greens, their nutrients and all the oxygen content goes away. You will have very little amount of nutrients left in the food after cooking them. When you eat them without cooking or in the semi-boiled form, you have a chance of absorbing all possible nutrients from them.
When you get all the nutrients that your body needs from your food, it will have a huge impact on how you feel, how your cells respond, how they replenish, etc.
Eating right is one of the best ways to slow down ageing as you can see from the pictures below.
The following picture shows 60-year-old Liu Xiaoqing.
The following picture shows 40 year old Masi Oka.
You obviously get the point! Right?
6. Do what you love:
This is the most overlooked. If you do what you love, you will be more in tune with yourself. You will be eager to wake up every day. You will sleep and rest well every day.
When you do what you love, you barely notice time pass. You don't notice days becoming weeks, weeks becoming months and months becoming years.
When you do what you love, you are barely ever stressed. You take time to introspect, but you don't stress yourself out. When you do what you love, you are almost always happy, peaceful and calm inside.
All this constitutes to you having a meditative state like being in your every day life.
When you do what you love, your life slows down, your breathe slows down and your time slows down. Eventually, your ageing slows down too.
How? I can't explain this scientifically. But it has something to do with inner happiness, peacefulness, inner freedom, leading you to take better care of yourself by exercising, meditating (already nearly doing that by doing what you love), eating healthy (you love yourself (body, mind, heart and soul) more and you basically don't put in anything junk into your mind, body, heart and soul. All of this leads to slowing down your ageing process. This is one factor that indirectly contributes to slowing down the process of ageing.
I have written the answer from my collective experience of reading and experiencing things first-hand with people I have seen closely. I may be wrong too. If you want to confirm the facts, please do your own research. As all of the things suggested here are harmless to everyone, I guess you can try giving these a shot. 🙂
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