We all know that Sudoku and crosswords can help boost our brain power, improving our focus and memory and enhance our concentration. But did you know practising yoga for just 20 minutes a day can do wonders for our brain too? It can be a very comprehensive wellness strategy, helping your mind and body. Here we’ll try to explain the wonderful power that yoga can have on our minds.
Staying in the Moment
Today we move through a busy world that’s full of technology, air pollution, noise and ‘stuff’. You may therefore need to schedule some ‘time-out’ in your diary. Even if there isn’t time to get to class, then this 20 minutes of daily practice will set you on the path to clarity. Yoga focuses on our breathing and staying in the moment. The flow of movement with inner grace and awareness can bring peace. Along with this quietness comes calm and mental awareness. The asanas, Pranayama and the various meditation techniques stimulate the supply of blood to the brain, facilitating the processing of sensory information. They improve concentration and sharpen the static and the dynamic aspects of our memory. So yoga not only strengthens our body, but our minds as well and it keeps our brains healthy.
Sirsasana, or headstand, known as the king of poses, is very beneficial for brain health. Freshly oxygenated blood is sent to the head, reducing anxiety and stress. It brings about clarity of thought and willpower. Sarvagasana, or shoulder-stand, the queen (or mother) of all poses, again sends freshly oxygenated blood to the brain. This helps to sedate the nervous system. Poses such as Uttanasana, the standing forward fold, and Pachimottonasana, the seated forward fold, reduce fatigue, calm the mind and improve concentration.
The Second Brain
The colon, which is known as the second brain, also needs to be healthy. Along with your daily yoga practice, a well-balanced and nourishing diet is an essential part of your wellness strategy. It will boost brain power as well as aid smooth digestion. Eat lots of green leafy vegetables and wholegrains – organic when you can – and foods that contain Omega-3 fatty acids. Sardines and salmon, walnuts and flax seeds help demist any brain fog as well as keeping the colon healthy. Studies of turmeric and coconut oil have even been shown to slow down the debilitating process of Alzeihmer’s! Don’t forget to always keep well-hydrated, and drink lots of water with organic lemons. This will help flush out toxins making you feel fresh and clear, not only in your digestive tract but in your mind too.
About Paul Joseph:
Wellness travel specialist and entrepreneur Paul Joseph is the co-founder of Health and Fitness Travel. It is a global leader in wellness holidays worldwide. He is always ahead of the curve in pioneering new health programmes that revive the soul, boost fitness or address serious health issues. The worldwide wellness tourism industry has now become a multi-billion dollar sector, growing faster than travel in general. Paul has a wealth of PR, Marketing, Sales and Management experience in the health and tourism industry. He frequently consults with leading hotels on their wellness strategy and contributes regularly to broadcast and media interviews.