We all know that yoga does wonders for the mind. Even novices of asana, pranayama, and meditation report feeling increased mental stability and clarity during the after practice. Now, thanks to sophisticated brain imaging technologies, neuroscience is proving what teachers and practitioners have known for ages – that yoga and meditation can literally change your brain. But what exactly is going on up there? Take a peek inside – a basic understanding of brain anatomy and function can search as a handy road map for your inner journey – Kathryn Heagberg.
- Prefrontal Cortex – The anterior part of the frontal lobe, the prefrontal cortex, is the most evolved part of thr brain and is responsible for positive capacities like concentration, happiness, creativity, and rational thinking. Studies using EEG have shown that meditation strengths communication between the prefrontal cortex and other areas of the brain.
- Parietal Lobe – The parietal lobe is associated with limb movement, understanding speech, and sensing pain. According to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience in April 2011, brain scans of this region demonstrated that mindfulness meditation can dramatically reduce sensitivity to pain, even more so than morphine.
- Pituitary Gland – Roughly the size of a pea, the pituitary gland is the endocrine system’s master gland, producing and releasing hormones that control growth, metabolism, and the function of other hormones. On a more subtle level, the pituitary gland is related to thee sixth, or ajna, chakra. Ajna literally means “command centre.”
Come back tomorrow to know more about how your brain changes with yoga.