Couldn’t we all use a little boost in brainpower? The prefrontal lobes of our brains – the area in front behind the forehead – is often referred to as the seat of our Executive Function. Think of this part of the brain as the executive that helps us to make good decisions quickly and accurately. It’s responsible for good judgment and our higher thinking skills as well.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a way to think faster, be more accurate and boost our working memory? Well we do and you don’t need a prescription, an operation or a tutor. All you need is Yoga!
A recent study published in J Phys Act Health, July 2012* showed that after just one yoga session participants had superior gains in mental performance compared to aerobic exercise participation.
Yoga practice and in particular meditation practices have been shown in previous studies to increase the size of the prefrontal lobes and other areas of the brain. This new study is one of the first to measure actual brain performance.
The good news is that it only took one session to see positive effects! In other words you don’t need to invest in months or years of training to get benefits. All you need to do is start now. Here are a few ideas from “The 2 Minute Yoga Solution”** book to get you launched toward increased brain performance:
Move – Breathe – Focus
- Sitting in a chair “tall and relaxed” place your hands on your legs near your knees. Round your spine and gently pull your stomach back toward your spine as you exhale. Then release and lengthen your spine and arch it into a backbend as you gently look up toward the ceiling as you inhale. Flex the spine back and forth moving with your breath a few more times.
- “Sitting tall and relaxed” take a slow deep relaxed breath in as you feel your belly expand. Keep the rest of your body relaxed. Then exhale and feel your belly relax back down. You can place your hands on your belly to help you feel this movement. Repeat several times more.
- Now watch your breath with your eyes closed as it enters and exits your nostrils. Don’t control the breath. Just watch it. When your mind wanders – that ‘s ok – just bring it back to watching your breath. – no matter how many times this happens. Just watch and feel it. The more you practice watching your breath, the more you will need to concentrate to be able to feel the breath. See if you can practice for about half a minute to start with. Gradually increase the time as it feels comfortable.
2 Minute Yoga Club Members: Now available is a “Meow-Moo Chair Version” video practice session from which the above tips are taken. Log into 2 Minute Yoga Club and enjoy!
**“The 2 Minute Yoga Solution Fast and Easy Stress and Back Pain Relief for Anyone at Anytime” is available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and in bookstores. You may also click here to order it from Inner Path now.