New Delhi: Every year on July 22, World Brain Day is observed to raise awareness about neurological illnesses and promote brain health. Various groups and communities band together to campaign for better knowledge, prevention, and treatment of brain-related disorders, building a healthier and more supportive world for people suffering from neurological issues. Talking about Yoga, it may help improve brain functions such as executive functions, memory, and attention/concentration. Movement, meditation, and breathing techniques, which are a part of yoga, are used to promote mental and physical well-being.
In this regard, ABP Live sought the opinion of experts who explained how yoga and yogic sleep can help to improve brain health.
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How Yoga Calms The Brain And Nervous System:
Yoga as the word suggests is all about coming together of things, integration of faculties, and senses. Integration of mind, body, soul, and spirit. It is the Integration of emotions, psychology, movement, and awareness of being here-now always in the present.
In this regard, Dr Mickey Mehta, Global Leading Holistic Health Guru and Corporate life Coach said, "Yoga postures aid in nourishing your neurological system, enabling you to tune into the condition of your body and build resistance while also having tools that can help generate an internal sense of safety & serenity. It helps you achieve the equilibrium between the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous systems, where you can be relaxed and can accomplish daily tasks with clarity and focus."
According to research, yoga and meditation have a good impact on the brain and help in the release of Gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, a neurochemical in charge of controlling nerve activity. Elevated GABA levels result in mood improvements.
"Yoga is naturally the antithesis of tension, so it can help you calm down. In every posture, there is stillness, calmness, coming together, holding your body and mind in the present moment awareness, and a feeling of letting go. With asanas like, Sukhasana, Balasana, Paschimottanasana, Setu Bandhasana, Ustrasana, or leg raises, stress simply disappears," he further added.
Yoga Poses To Boost Memory And Focus:
To accomplish important daily tasks and life objectives, it is essential to have clear thinking, a sharp memory, and laser-like concentration. Yoga is one such practice that helps to enhance brain function and promote overall cognitive well-being. By practising asanas, you can stimulate the brain, strengthen neural connections, and improve concentration.
Here are some Yoga poses suggested by Dr Hansaji Yogendra, Director, The Yoga Institute, that specifically target brain function:
1) Padmasana (Lotus Pose): This pose calms the mind and enhances mental clarity. It stimulates the brain and balances its hemispheres, fostering a harmonious connection between the left and right brain functions.
2) Sirsasana (Headstand): It increases blood flow to the brain, and boosts memory, and cognitive function. Practising this pose also helps to reduce stress and anxiety, promoting a clear and focused mind.
3) Matsyasana (Fish Pose): This backbend pose stretches the neck and throat area, enhancing blood flow to the brain and stimulating the parathyroid gland, which plays a crucial role in cognitive function.
4) Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand): This inversion pose increases blood supply to the brain, refreshes the mind, and enhances focus and memory.
Regular practice of these Yoga poses not only stimulates brain function but also reduces stress. Also remember, combining Yoga with a healthy lifestyle, proper nutrition, and adequate rest can further optimize brain health.
The Power Of Yogic Sleep For Brain Restoration:
Sleep is the cornerstone of good health, promoting physical, mental and emotional restoration. During sleep, our bodies repair, regenerate and rejuvenate, waking us up refreshed, energised, and ready to face the challenges of a new day!
According to Mansi Gulati, An International Yogi, Author and Thought Leader, "Yog Nidra is a technique of visualisation as well as profound relaxation, quite similar to light sleep. So you do not know whether you are sleeping lightly, or just relaxing in deep meditation."
Additionally, she also unveiled the potential of sleep and discussed 2 restorative poses that are enough for better sleep.
1. Savasana is performed on the back with the legs spread as wide as the yoga mat and arms relaxed to both sides of the body, and the eyes closed. The whole body is relaxed on the floor with an awareness of the chest and abdomen rising and falling with each breath.
Benefits: reduce stress and promote better sleep
2. Simple Kriya increases the speed of your breath while inhaling and exhaling.
Benefits: balancing of emotions, enhancing concentration level, wisdom, increased level of energy, mental calm, peace, inspiration, and self-realisation.