5 Ways Yoga Makes Your Mind Sharper

Some people are born with an internal compass. And then there’s me. I used to joke that if you spun me around, I could get lost in my driveway. I spent my first few weeks of high school hanging out with the wayward crowd and getting sent to the in-school suspension room for skipping classes. The truth was, I just couldn’t find them — at least not before the bell rang. Ah, well, I did get to paint my nails while the other kids had to crack books in class. So getting lost is not all bad, and after many years of wrong turns, wasted gas and chronic tardiness, I learned to do a few things before traveling:

  1. Allow extra time for any “mishaps.”
  2. Take a friend whenever possible, preferably someone with an actual sense of direction.
  3. Always trust my instincts …they’re dead wrong, so I do the opposite (turn right when I think left, and vice versa).

Enter yoga… Oh how I love my asanas. They make me graceful, flexible, fierce, and give me an excuse to wear yoga pants every day of the week. But yoga also makes me mindful, more focused, and able to find my way home — most of the time. Here’s what science has to say about that…

5 Ways Yoga Makes Your Mind Sharper

  1. Yoga stimulates brain function and is shown to help in areas of memory and inhibitory control; it helps practitioners focus and retain and use new information. A study following 30 subjects who took working memory tests showed that those who practiced yoga for just 20 minutes were significantly faster and more accurate on their tests than those who did other aerobic activity for the same amount of time. More in-depth research findings appear in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.
  2. Yoga keeps distracting thoughts away while you focus on your body, posture or breath,”  said lead researcher Neha Gothe.“Maybe these processes translate beyond yoga practice when you try to perform mental tasks or day-to-day activities”
  3. Yoga helps you relax and think more clearly. Let’s face it, having too much clutter in the brain can make us forgetful and anxious.
  4. Yoga improves sleep. Better sleep means more brain power, energy, and beauty too (goodbye, dark under-eye circles!).
  5. Yoga improves blood flow to the brain. Yoga aides the circulatory system, and certain poses are particulalry helpful for bringing fresh blood and oxygen to the brain. Inversions such as the basic downward dog and forward fold are some examples.

While it’s nice to see that science agrees, I didn’t need clinical documentation to tell me that yoga makes my mind sharper. It helps me find my way in life and in my city, too.  

Mantra: Yoga nourishes my spirit and mind.

 

16 Comments
  • Nicole Underwood Gonzalez
    September 28, 2015

    Great post! Having just recently started getting into yoga on a regular basis, I wholeheartedly agree with this post. I always feel so amazing after a yoga class and ready to take on my day. It is an amazing thing. and I love it!

    • Rica Lewis
      September 28, 2015

      Awesome, Nicole! The benefits are amazing.

  • Katie
    March 31, 2016

    Yes, yes, yes!! I love yoga and everything that it does for my mind, body and spirit!

    • Rica Lewis
      March 31, 2016

      That’s great, Katie! Thanks for stopping in and reading. 🙂

  • Shann Eva
    March 31, 2016

    I totally agree. It completely helps me just focus on the task at hand, including just breathing. It also strengthens muscles I didn’t even know I had! Love Yoga, and so nice to know it’s doing great things for my mind and body.

    • Rica Lewis
      March 31, 2016

      It absolutely is, Shann Eva. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • Michelle Anneliese
    March 31, 2016

    I need to try yoga more often. I’ve only done it a couple of times but it seems very beneficial.

    • Rica Lewis
      March 31, 2016

      It sure is, Michelle. It’s a definite stress buster. And who couldn’t use that? Thanks for stopping in.

  • Olivia McGarvey
    March 31, 2016

    I always feel so refreshed when I do yoga; now I have even more reason to do it!

  • Mia Sutton
    March 31, 2016

    I tried one yoga class when I was in college and it wasn’t for me. But I’m beginning to think it was just that particular instructor/class because yoga sounds so amazing and beneficial. I really need to give it another try! 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

    • Rica Lewis
      March 31, 2016

      Give it another shot, Mia. There are tons of styles/types of yoga, and Im sure you’ll find one that suites you.

  • Karin Rambo
    April 1, 2016

    This is super interesting to me! I pretty much gave up weight training awhile ago because I like how yoga affects the body and mind. This post was good proof that I’m on the right track. 😉

    • Rica Lewis
      April 1, 2016

      Wow! Glad you enjoyed the post, Karin! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • adriana
    April 8, 2016

    Doing some yoga is on my bucket list for this year! It seems so relaxing and I definitely need that!

    • Rica Lewis
      April 8, 2016

      Yes! Glad you see the benefit, Adriana. Give it shot!

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