There are studies that are now proving yoga makes you smarter. Doing yoga daily has shown to generate more of a neuromodulator in the brain that is responsible for a variety of intelligence traits.
People that go to yoga retreats will attest to a change in mental clarity after being immersed in the practice. It is something you can do at home or you can take part in yoga classes.
What exactly is the definition of being smarter? There are a variety of factors but the ability to learn and remember what you’ve learned is at the top of the list. The neuromodulator that yoga helps generate is
responsible for your learning, your memory, your mood, and stress response. It has also been found that even quick sessions of Hatha that incorporate mindfulness meditation can improve your brain function.
It also helps with energy levels.
Reduction of Unnecessary Mind Processing
Often, you’ll find that your mind spins around with needless chatter. Things you haven’t done or things you could have done differently become a topic in your mind. This is needless processing that the mind will do. It can often prevent conscious and clear thinking. Through yoga practice, you will do physical postures, breathing exercises and meditation. This helps you to gain clarity and you practice focusing only on what’s important. Through mindfulness meditation, you notice what you’re thinking about, how
you’re feeling and any physical sensations. You learn to do this through the eyes of calm. Through this process, you reduce the unimportant information that causes the mind to become unclear.
Through concentration, you can focus more easily on what you choose to focus on. You don’t allow the unnecessary chatter to infiltrate your important thoughts. Just 25 minutes of yoga practice along with
meditation can improve many of your mind’s functions. You’ll be able to focus better, learn more effectively, process information and retain it. You also control emotional responses that might otherwise put you under stress.
Speed and Accuracy Improvement
If you do yoga for just 20 minutes a day, you help the mind function better. A study involving brain functioning tests after 20 minutes of Hatha found that the brain functioned more quickly and accurately.
This was a comparative study that included another group doing aerobic exercise. Yoga had a greater effect on the brain. The researchers state that yoga seemed to allow participants to focus better mentally. Once the unimportant information was no longer getting in the way, there was a cognitive
improvement. They could process information faster and more accurately. They could also learn, keep, and update pieces of information better.
Being self-aware is a cognitive effect. When you do yoga, you have a greater sense of awareness. As you go through the poses, you breathe in a certain way. When you’re focusing on the breath and your movement, it’s hard to think about other things. In a way, you give your brain a break and teach it how
to focus on just one thing. This is especially true when you incorporate the mindfulness meditation into it.
Through awareness, you can prevent the onset of stress and anxiety which has shown to cause unclear thinking. Keeping the nervous system balanced is equally as important to how the mind works as the direct benefits of better mental function. The mental clarity that yoga offers opens up other thoughts that are more relevant to surviving and thriving.
Yoga Improves Memory
It has been found that yoga can prevent Alzheimer’s. Many of the studies about yoga mimic the way a yoga retreat is running that people do it daily. Doing yoga a little every day is all it takes to gain the benefits to the mind, body,and soul. For the study conducted on those with Alzheimer’s, they did Kundalini yoga which involves breathing, movements,and chants. Scientists believe that Kundalini could improve memory as it involves chanting and visualizing. It is possible that this positively impacts verbal and visual skills. Awareness and attention were considered to be the biggest factor. It’s believed that practicing any type of yoga can increase a protein the brain that stimulates better connections between neurons. The group of people with Alzheimer’s did experience improvement and it’s believed that yoga can help people develop a better memory when done regularly.
While many researchers can’t quite explain the positive impact of yoga on the brain, they can attest to the results. Many have concluded that the quieting of the mind and the relaxation offers improved clarity of the mind. The busyness of the mind stops but you’ll likely still experience benefits after. You will notice the difference in how easy it is to compute information if you commit to a daily practice. One might even suggest that if you have a test coming up, you might want to attend a yoga retreat beforehand.
This post is contributed by Meera Watts.
Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, CureJoy, FunTimesGuide, OMtimes,and others. She’s also the founder and owner of Siddhi Yoga.