For healthy living, it’s important to be physically, mentally and emotionally fit. Improving and paying attention to our cognitive health is also one way to stay healthy as we age. While we all know just how therapeutic and soothing yoga can be for the mind and body, it’s equally nourishing and helpful to promote good cognitive well-being and emotional balance. In fact, research has now shown that yoga is a good way to exercise the brain, and doing yoga just once or twice a week can actually boost brain performance.

In fact, it benefits the brain in ways just like aerobics does. So, while it’s crucial to keep our brain healthy and delay ageing, here are some helpful yoga asanas and breathing exercises by Namita Piparaiya, Yoga and Ayurveda Lifestyle Specialist, Founder, Yoganama which can be included in your regular practice to boost brain health.

Yoga Asanas to Improve cognitive well being and emotional functioning

These asanas and meditative postures will also calm your chakras and alleviate everyday stress from your life:

Table Top Pose (Bharmanasana)

An effective yoga posture for beginners to try, the Table Top pose is considered a foundational yoga asana that can be tried by both children as well as adults.

While the pose is quite helpful to strengthen core muscles in the body, it also plays a great role in improving balance and posture. As a transitional pose, it also puts you in sync with your body and allows free blood flow to the brain, boosting capacity.

Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Child’s Pose is an essential yoga posture that’s quite healing and stress relieving. The benefits of the yoga posture also extend to good brain health. Practising the Child’s Pose helps calm down the brain, eases pain and increases circulation of blood in the body. The posture brings balance to both the mind and the body through strengthening, stretching, and connection to the inner-self.

Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

This yoga asana is a basic inversion exercise that can be easily mastered by beginners. The posture, which brings your head down to the ground allows for better blood flow to the brain. It’s also quite helpful to bring focus and attract positive, calming energy. Backbends also invigorate the nervous system.

Try and practice this asana first thing in the morning to get a recharged, positive start to the day.

Lunge Pose (Anjaneya Asana)

Also known as the Anjaneyasana, the yoga pose’s crescent-like structure is known to fight the signs of stress and anxiety by calming your mind and improving your circulation towards the brain.

Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana)

The yoga asana, excellent to strengthen the spine and the brain resembles a pigeon when done correctly. While it greatly improves one’s flexibility, it also brings around a lot of balance and openness. Regular practice of this asana helps to alleviate mental stress, anxieties and worries and bring more positive, healing energy around one.

Note- You can also include some basic breathing exercises, or sit in Savasana (Corpse Pose) for a while to maximise benefits. Try to focus on your breath and bring your breathing rhythm to a calm pace.

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