Cropped image of people meditating in lotus position

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

Yoga benefits the brain in many ways, just like aerobics. While it’s crucial to keep our brain healthy and delay aging, 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.

These asanas and meditative postures will also help 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 and 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 posture that’s quite healing and stress relieving. The benefits of the yoga posture also extend to good brain health. Practicing Child’s Pose helps calm 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 a 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 to 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). This yoga asana, which is excellent for strengthening the spine and 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 brings more positive, healing energy.

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

Source: Times of India

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