Yoga helps to boost almost every part of your body, including the functions of your brain. The following are four ways it does this, from stress relief, to preventing the onset of some serious brain diseases.
1. Stress relief
Yoga is a great stress reliever. It releases endorphins, serotonin and many other chemicals that help to calm and soothe stress signals. Cortisol the hormone released, when your stress can kill brain cells, according to a research that involved injecting cortisol into rats and artificially growing brain cells outside the body. Anxiety and depression has also been shown according to another research conducted by Harvard, to be reduced by yoga.
2. Improves blood flow
The brain is one of the largest organs in the body. For all that mass to function properly, it needs a massive amount of resources that is oxygen, sugar and nutrients to function properly. Even a slight dip in any of these resources will cause a massive change in its function. These resources are brought to the brain by the blood, so an increase in blood flow that yoga causes by its sometimes upside down poses, causes more of these resources to be brought to the brain, hence increasing its function.
3. Prevents brain diseases
In a recent study, the brains of elderly people who practiced yoga were measured and compared to the brains of those of the same age group that did not practice yoga. The results were that yoga practitioners had bigger brains than those who did not practice. This is surprising, as the older most people grow, the more their brain shrinks and hence the more likely they are to suffer from age related brain diseases.
Yoga is also known to improve blood flow and reduce blood pressure. This helps to prevent strokes as high blood pressure increases the likelihood of a vessel bursting, thereby cutting off blood flow to certain areas of the brain and hence killing off some regions.
4. Improves concentration and memory
In a study conducted by the University of Illinois, those who practiced Hatha yoga for at least 20 minutes had a significant boost in memory function and concentration.
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