While yoga is often associated with flexibility, mobility, and strength, there’s way more benefits to it than just the physical.
Sure, it allows you to get a good stretch in, soothe aches and pains, improve stability and flexibility, and promote mindfulness in mind and body, but it also directly affects brain function and structure. Check out some of the benefits you can get from yoga below:
Yoga increases gray matter density.
Gray matter consists of brain cells and are responsible for functions like learning and memory. The constant practice of control in posture, breathing, and mental activity through Yoga improves gray matter density and activation in one’s hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of the brain. This results in better focus, emotional and impulse control, self-awareness, decision making, and risk-reward evaluation.
Yoga increases folds in your brain.
These folds contain brain cells—so simply put, more folds equals more brain cells. Yoga plays a part in this through breathwork, which serves as a simple introduction to meditation. Research shows that the meditation aspect of yoga is directly related to the increase of brain folds, which results in better reasoning, perception, language, information processing, memory, and voluntary movement.
Yoga gives your brain a much-needed break.
During yoga, certain parts of the brain rest and slow down, which is why we feel relaxed and less stressed. Yoga lets your frontal lobe (which is responsible for thinking, planning, reasoning, self-awareness, and emotional regulation) take a break, as it decreases activity in this area. It also lets the parietal lobe, which takes charge of processing information from the senses, slow down too. Additionally, Yoga lowers the body’s cortisol and adrenaline levels, letting one feel less stressed during and after.
Given the numerous benefits yoga brings, plus the added stress brought about by working from home, it’s no surprise that there has been an increase in people trying yoga out.
Try it for yourself via the REBEL app. It includes over 50 Yoga sessions from some of the countries best Yoga instructors, plus REBEL Realign, a 30-day Yoga program to help you recenter, refocus, and recharge.
Photos courtesy of REBEL