Yoga Benefits: The Brain Benefits of Relaxation

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Yoga Benefits: The Brain Benefits of Relaxation

So many of us have a certain feeling when we go to leave the yoga studio. Trust me (us) it shows on our faces and in our bodies. The time that we dedicate to our practice and to our own relaxation have an impact at so many levels. We have arrived with the intention to release the calves, or the famous (or perhaps infamous) “neck & shoulder”, and have left with that and a ‘feeling.’ Part of that feeling is a relaxation space that we are setting up for ourselves in our own brains!

The beautiful part of the practice of yoga is each aspect of the practice has its own unique benefits that when combined just layers on our abilities to soak up the benefits. Let’s look at a few ways our time together supports relaxing our brains:

  • We all know we LOVE meditation at the Yoga House! Meditation has shown to strengthen the prefrontal cortex’s communication to other parts of the brain. Our prefrontal cortex aids us in concentration, happiness, creativity and our rational thinking. Talk about something worth relaxing for 🙂
  • Regular asana practice aids in the maintenance and increase in GABA, a key neurotransmitter in the brain. Increasing GABA is related to supporting episodes of anxiety and depression. 
  • Pranayama, especially khapalabhati breath has shown in studies to provide restoration to the frontal lobe of the brain. Our frontal lobe is highly involved with higher-levels of functioning, discernment, behavior and abstract thinking. 

As the holiday seasons reaches a fever pitch, let’s remind ourselves that all aspects of our yoga practice, those mentioned and those not, aid in our bodies and brains ability to rest and restore. I always remind myself during this season that one minute counts in providing the body with a space of rest. Let’s find our opportunities every day to relax and feed our brains, and see what other benefits flow forth!