Yoga for the Brain – Amazing Way to Improve Mental Health, Rewire the Mind

Yoga is a great practice to incorporate if you want to improve mobility, flexibility, and muscle strength, but can it really change the brain and offer mental health benefits?

person practicing yoga for the brain
Yoga can be mental and physical – source

Long-time yogi practitioners have preached about the mental health benefits associated with yoga, with many stating it brings peace of mind and improves mood, having the added bonus of bringing joy into their lives. Is there any science to back these claims though?

Let’s find out.

Keep reading to learn if yoga affects the mind, changes the brain, and provides mental health benefits today!

Yoga for the Brain

Many claim yoga is not just a physical experience, but a mental one as well. Just like lifting weights for the muscles of the body, yoga is said to be a way to strengthen the brain and rewire the mind.

There’s no doubt yoga can make you feel good. Any form of exercise provides a rush of chemicals that improve mood and mental state.

The biggest question is, can yoga change the brain? Let’s check the facts.

Science Behind Yoga

The best way to find something out is through a meta-analysis or systematic review. 

Ok, stay with me. These are published articles that look at many studies to find an overall effect. Basically, it’s a summary of science over the years. Sweet.

The findings of this review analyzed a lot of current literature available for yoga, and the results were promising. With the increased use of brain scanning technology like MRI, fMRI, and SPECT, they were able to observe what goes on in the mind before, during, and after yoga. The review determined that yoga increases parts of the brain related to memory, higher thinking, and emotional control.

In fact, people who do yoga regularly have a thicker cerebral cortex, the part of the brain responsible for processing information. The hippocampus of the brain, responsible for memory, is also increased. These areas of the brain shrink as you age, but people who practiced yoga consistently showed less decrease. This means yoga can potentially combat age-related mental issues.

Furthermore, a review in the journal Aging and Mental Health, found that yoga worked well when incorporated into treatment, improving mental much more when compared to groups that didn’t practice yoga. It can even help in cases of PTSD when done with treatment. The best part is yoga seemed to have a long-lasting effect that stayed with you long after you stopped doing yoga.

The Mental Benefits of Yoga

Overall, the mental benefits that you can experience from yoga are as followed

  • Increased higher thinking
  • Increased memory
  • Increases learning
  • Increases emotional regulation
  • Better reaction time
  • Improved accuracy
  • Reduced risk of age-related mental decline
  • Reduced negativity
  • Increased self-awareness
  • Reduced stress
  • Reduced pain 

How to Practice Yoga for the Brain Effectively

Yoga can seem like an intimidating practice to incorporate into daily life, but nothing is further from the truth. Yoga can be incredibly easy to incorporate into your life. All you need is a mat and yourself to show up.

Here are 10 magic yoga moves guaranteed to make your day better. Try them out and see how you glow for the rest of the day. Once you learn your favorite moves and positions, it’ll be easier and easier to make yoga your own, easier to make it personal, and move in a way that makes you feel good. 

Plus, with the explosion of at-home yoga practices, you don’t need to find an in-person location. There are many yoga dedicated youtube channels that provide a variety of sessions for a variety of reasons! Need a quick 10-minute morning yoga routine? Here. Oh, you have back pain? There’s one for that too. Feeling lonely? Yeah, there’s a yoga video out there and waiting. Whatever your needs, whatever your time constraints, whether you want yoga to reduce stress or only have 5 minutes, you can find a video and do yoga.

The Takeaway

The science behind yoga holds up. Yoga is amazing for the brain. It can cause changes in the brain that can improve overall wellness and quality of life. This practice was found to increase the mental capacity for learning, remembering, thinking, and controlling emotions. 

Yoga can also improve mood and mental health by reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and symptoms of PTSD, especially when coupled with other forms of treatment.

A yoga session does not have to be long and complex. You can easily learn a couple of moves and go off on your own, or you can find any type of yoga you need with a quick youtube search.

No matter the time, no matter the need, and no matter your flexibility or mobility, you can find and practice yoga to get those life-changing benefits today! Remember that health starts from within. Take steps to improve mental wellbeing daily and watch how wellness flourishes. Treat yourself with respect and kindness, practicing self-care, and giving yourself time to bloom.

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