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7 Ways - How Yoga Helps To Keep Your Brain HealthyBy Liza George Posted 15-Sep-2016

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Do you know that women are regarded as better multitaskers when compared to men? They are also bestowed with responsibilities from work, home and elsewhere. But, it is possible that all these multitasking can take a toll on one’s mental health primarily due to stress and anxiety. So what is the antidote? How about something that is more than 5000 years old? Yoga is one of the practices that has been passed on for generations and is great in improving your physical and mental health.

Here we take a look at how yoga can better your brain and mental health.

#1 Combats Brain Aging

(Yoga can help in combating problems associated with aging)

Women often complain about the wrinkles and dark spots that occur with age. But, do you know that your brain also ages in the process? Well, beauty brands have come up with products that may or may not fight aging. But, yoga can surely help in combating brain aging.

Evidence suggest that yoga can protect the brain from shrinking. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) was used by researchers, who found out that there was a correlation between increased brain volume and yoga.

Older people who have been practicing yoga for years had larger brain volumes. It was very similar to the brain volume of young people as well. It was preserved in areas of the relaxation response and positive emotions.

#2 Stress-buster

The benefits of yoga are universal and can drastically improve your mood and combat stress. When we are stressed, the body loses its ability to maintain inflammatory responses. This can lead to a lot of health problems including depression. According to a study by the University of California, practicing yoga for just 12 minutes daily can help you keep your inflammatory response in control. This way, by practicing yoga we can reduce stress levels and minimize the risk of depression.

#3 Combats Depression

Numerous studies have shown yoga to be of benefit for those with depression. Research on a group of adults suffering from mild depression indicates that yoga twice a week can curb fatigue and anxiety and improve your mood as well.

Yoga fared better than other techniques for mind and body as well. People who did yoga was more alert, energetic and active than the people who did just breathing and visualization exercises. Yoga also improves the level of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) which is a protein that stimulates the formation of brain cells. It has antidepressant effects as well.

#4 Yoga Helps To Calm Yourself

(Yoga relieves the mind of frustration and anxiety)

Techniques like Bhramari pranayama can calm your mind almost instantly. It can relieve the mind of anxiety, frustration, agitation and anger. It can help in improving your concentration, memory and can also assist in building confidence.

Irrespective of whether you are women sandwiched between your office work and home chores or a college student preparing for your finals, Bhramari Pranayama or the bee breath is sure to help.

#5 Boosts Brain Power

Many yoga poses and asanas like down dog de-stress and relax. It may help in improving the total functioning of your brain. The University of Illinois states that short sessions of Hatha yoga has the capability to enhance your focus and power to retain information. So, you know what to do when you are feeling a bit foggy. Switch the yoga mat instead of your supplements or energy drinks.

#6 Yoga Can Keep You Happy

(Doing yoga on a daily basis can boost your mood)

Yoga can make you feel happy and centered. According to studies, living the moment can help in boosting our mood. We spend most of our day thinking about the past or planning about the future. But, yoga helps you to focus what is happening in the present by giving you physical and mental exercises. This could be one of the reasons why your yoga instructor(if you have attended a yoga session) asks you not to run through the poses, instead live the moment. This way it can make you feel happy.

#7 Anxiety Relief

By increasing heart rate variability, reducing high blood pressure and by slowing rapid breathing, yoga can combat stress. Yoga increase GABA which is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter. It enables you to relax by keeping your brain’s from hyperactivity or overthinking.

If GABA levels are low, you might be feeling overwhelmed or anxious. But, a single yoga session is said to increase GABA levels by 27%. The best yoga poses for women to combat anxiety are log pose, cat pose, lotus pose, upward salute, cow pose, and salutation seal.

Yoga’s benefits are not limited to the ones listed above. Women all around the world are making use of yoga in improving flexibility and strength, weight loss, managing menstrual pain, fighting chronic illness, and most importantly during pregnancy. The Fat to fit infographic will be of great help if you want to know more about yoga and other ways for being fit. So, wait no more and start yoga today, for better health and to facilitate all the multitasking.

 



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Julia Kruz commented on 20-Jul-2017 06:15 PM5 out of 5 stars
As for me yoga is improving flexibility and strength, weight loss, managing menstrual pain and kills depression. I can't even imagine a day without yoga and fitness! Thanks for sharing, Liza!
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