The impacts of Yoga on your brain.
Struggling with fatigue and low energy? Want to sleep better and get rid of stress? Before popping pills, try a natural therapy, such as yoga, acupuncture, or massage. Yoga has been used for thousands of years due to its healing effects. It not only shapes your body, but also lifts your mood, boosts mental focus, and improves brain function. When used along with meditation, its benefits are even greater.
Yoga at a Glance
Yoga has evolved from an ancient spiritual practice to a growing industry. Nowadays, wellness centers, gyms, and private clinics from all over the world offer yoga classes. In 2015, more than 300 million people worldwide were practising yoga. This discipline has proven health benefits, from weight loss and stress relief to increased self-esteem.
Different people practise yoga for different reasons. Some do it to maintain their health. About 48 percent take yoga classes to keep fit. Approximately 73 percent of yogis use it as stress management tool. Over 28 percent practise yoga for spiritual purposes. Studies indicate that yogis have a 55 percent lower risk of cancer compared to their peers. They are also 87 percent less likely to develop heart disease. Health care professionals worldwide recommend yoga for injuries, mental disorders, and certain conditions.
From children and pregnant women to seniors, anyone can reap the benefits of yoga. Currently, there are yoga styles for people with back pain and injuries, as well as for beginners and moms-to-be. Vinyasa, Ashtanga, and Iyengar are among the most popular types of yoga in the U.S. This discipline offers both instant gratification and lasting results. After just one session, you’ll feel more relaxed, think clearer, and have greater energy. In the long run, yoga may help ward off depression, relieve anxiety, and boost cardiovascular health.
How Yoga Benefits Your Brain
This ancient practise will change how you look and feel. According to the latest studies latest studies, yoga can naturally prevent and treat psychosomatic diseases. It’s an excellent treatment for anxiety, depression, and stress-related conditions as well as IBS, heart disease, high blood pressure and other disorders that can be worsened by stress.
When you’re practising yoga, GABA levels in your brain increase. This neurotransmitter calms your mind by superseding neural activity. Evidence shows that just one hour of yoga can boost GABA levels by a whopping 27 percent. This makes ideal for those struggling with anxiety and chronic stress. Actually, it’s just as effective as most killers, but without the side effects.
Other studies have found that yoga may reduce the perception of pain better than morphine. It also supports healthy gray matter in the brain, leading to improved memory and increased feelings of happiness. Over time, it can boost your self control and decision-making skills. Deep breathing, meditation, muscle relaxation, mindfulness, and other practices used in yoga are responsible for these amazing benefits.
This discipline can rewire your brain and improve its chemical composition. Due to its calming effect, it relieves muscle tension, decreases heart rate, and lowers the stress hormone cortisol levels. When practised regularly, yoga can stabilize blood pressure and ease depression symptoms. Your immune system will become stronger too, so you’ll get sick less often.
A weekly yoga routine can boost your health on every level. It may prevent age-related cognitive decline, improve your thinking skills, and slow the progression of dementia in older adults. A growing body of research indicates that yoga can help keep your mind sharp until late in life and optimize cognitive function. Studies have found that 20 minutes of hatha yoga can improve brain function to a greater extent than 20 minutes of jogging and other aerobic exercises. In clinical trials, subjects who practiced yoga for 20 minutes a day were able to focus better at work, retain information more easily, and process data quickly.
“This form of therapy is particularly beneficial for teens. During adolescence, the brain is more malleable and easier to train. This explains why teenagers who practise yoga have greater self-control and emotional resilience. Some experts claim that yoga is even better than antidepressants for the young brain.”
Since many disorders are rooted in the brain, yoga can help with prevention and treatment. For this reason, it’s often recommended to those with post traumatic stress disorder, chromic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, impaired immune function, insomnia, migraines, infertility, and hypertension. Though it’s not fully understood how it works, its benefits are proven by science. Health experts believe that yoga and other meditative practices alter genetic expression and cause positive changes in the brain structure. This form of exercise also increases dopamine and serotonin levels, which may explain its benefits.
The Healing Power of Yoga
Without doubt, yoga is one of the best ways to keep your brain sharp and reduce stress. Its beneficial effects on mood and anxiety are well-documented. This practise can ward off negative thoughts and create an overall sense of calmness. Think of it as a natural stress relief remedy.
Yoga has been shown beneficial for those with bipolar disorder, phobias, memory decline, and schizophrenia. Most people report results after just one session. Additionally, this discipline protects your brain from shrinking and increases its volume, especially in the areas responsible for positive emotions.
Whether you’re stressed, anxious, or feeling sluggish, yoga can help. A few weeks from now on, you’ll have greater energy, move around more easily, and enjoy better sleep. On a physical level, this discipline helps improve your balance, strength and flexibility, corrects muscle imbalances, and aid in weight loss.
Certain poses may relieve back pain, migraines, poor digestion, or PMS. The Bound Angle Pose can enhance sexual performance in both men and women. The Corpse Pose improves quality of sleep and reduces fatigue. To slim down, include power yoga in your routine.
This form of exercise requires no special gear, so you can do it anytime, anywhere. All you need is a mat and some free time. Practise yoga at home, at the office, or in your hotel room. Combine it with meditation and slow breathing for a more relaxing effect.