Want to build a better brain? Then it’s time to get down, Dawg. Or you can make like a tree and leave. Whether you’re downward dogging or striking a tree pose, doing yoga can help you think more clearly.
It has long been known that practicing yoga can lead to a significant reduction in anxiety and depression. Multiple studies have found that the more often people attend yoga class (or practice at home), the lower their depressive symptoms.
Can yoga make you smarter? Well, possibly. Doing yoga has been shown to generate higher levels of a neuromodulator in the brain that plays a vital role in learning, memory, mood regulation, and stress response.
Are you ready to hit the mat yet? Hang on for a moment, there’s more.
A new study has found that practicing brief sessions of Hatha yoga and mindfulness meditation can significantly improve both brain function and energy levels. Who among us wouldn’t want a better brain and more energy?
Ok, NOW you can hit the mat and get ready to strike that tree pose.
Hatha yoga involves a combination of physical postures and breathing exercises, along with meditation. Mindfulness mediation is all about taking notice of our thoughts, emotions, and physical body sensations with awareness and calm. By concentrating intently only on breathing and posing, we become able to reduce the mind’s processing of nonessential information that can otherwise cloud the brain. And with lives as busy as ours, it’s highly unlikely to find someone who isn’t having multiple thoughts at once.
It is believed that the practice of intense concentration carries beyond the yoga mat, and can help people to focus more easily on what they choose to, while eliminating the unnecessary.
It was found that just 25 minutes of Hatha yoga or mindfulness meditation per day can improve one’s ability to focus, learn, process, and retain information – boosting the brain’s executive functions while helping to control emotional responses and create new thinking patterns.
Not a believer yet? Then let me share one more bit of information with you. It has been shown that people who practice yoga and meditation long term can learn to control a computer with their minds faster and more accurately than those with little or no yoga or meditation experience. Now techies who have their heads buried in a computer program all day can benefit from a yoga break too.
The breathing and meditative exercises settle the mind so it can keep distracting thoughts away while you focus on your body. Even one brief session of Hatha yoga can improve one’s ability to maintain focus and take in, retain and use new information.
So if you are feeling like you can’t focus like you used to, or need a mental break, try some downward dog, Dawg. Let Hatha yoga help you think more clearly.
This is your brain. (Bleh!) This is your brain on yoga. (Rock star.) Any questions?
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