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.
- Neurotransmitters – They serve as the brain’s chemical messengers, relaying information between nerve cells. Neurological disorders are often the result of a neurotransmitter – for instance, low levels of a neurotransmitter known as GABA are linked to depression and anxiety. Recent studies show an association between regular asana practice and increased GABA levels.
- Brain Stem – The brain stem, which connects the brain and the spinal cord, plays a crucial role in digestion, heart rate, and diaphragmatic breathing. Neurons found in the brain stem send a nerve impulse to the diaphragm, which causes it to contract, thereby initiating inhalation.
- Cerebellum – The cerebellum controls balance, muscle coordination, reflexes and movement. Asana would be impossible without it.
- Occipital lobe and Temporal lobe – As the primary visual processing centre of the brain, the occipital lobe helps you follow along visually in yoga class. And you can thank the temporal lobe for your ability to process verbal asana cues, it’s responsible for auditory perception.
- Limbic System – The limbic system is comprised of structures related to memory and emotion, such as the hippocampus, amygdala, thalamus, and hypothalamus. A 2010 study found that subjects who meditated 30 minutes a day for eight weeks had a reduction of Gary better in the amygdala which is linked to fear and anxiety and an increase of gray matter in the hippocampus, which plays a vital role in memory formation.
For more information on benefits of yoga on brain, tap here > https://empress2inspire.blog/2021/03/23/what-yoga-does-to-brain-part-2/