How Yoga Affects The Brain

Yoga is a very powerful form of exercise, as not only does it allow you to focus on strengthening and increasing the range of movement within your muscles and joints, but it also has the power to transform your mind and thoughts. Often used as a treatment for anxiety, depression, eating disorders, insomnia and chronic stress to name a few, yoga has a strong power over how your mind operates and ticks over. Yoga strongly incorporates elements of mediation which allows you to be present within the moment and focus on calming your thoughts and breathing. It has the power to bring your mind into a calmed and relaxed state, therefore your muscles and movements too will reflect this.

Our thoughts are able to change the chemical composition of the brain. When you focus on your breathing, relax your muscles and train your brain to focus on the positives rather than the negatives, you are re-training your brain. When you are stressed, you have an increased heart rate, breathing rate, muscles tension and higher levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. When you are in this state, you are not able to process thoughts or complete activities the same as when you are in a relaxed state. A stressed mind will result in tense, tight muscles, which will result in negative thoughts. Whereas, a calm mind equates to relaxed muscles and positive, motivating thoughts which will give you the right tools to tackle whatever may come at you throughout the day.

The hardest challenge you may find is learning how to train your thoughts and calm your mind during your yoga sessions. It is easy for your mind to run wild which will distract you from focusing on your movements and the breathing, mindful aspect of yoga. If you find this particularly hard, perhaps booking into a mediation retreat may be beneficial for you. It will allow you to surround yourself with people who will be able to assist you consistently until you have developed your own routine.

If you’re feeling inspired, visit The Palm Tree House, a Women’s Retreat Bali. With its Bali Yoga Retreat, you will be able to understand the core beliefs behind yoga and learn how vital it is to train your mind and support healthy brain activity.