Every day after you wake up, the health of your body sets the tone for the day. Any ailment in the body can put a damper on your enthusiasm and become a hindrance in performing daily tasks. Many yoga asanas can help you stay physically healthy, but that’s not the only prerequisite for holistic well-being. Your mental health is equally crucial.
Your brain plays a phenomenal role in carrying out daily tasks. Your ability to respond, comprehend, perceive and function well is related to the health of your brain.
Most of us do not realize that like every other organ in the body, the brain needs nourishment and energy every day. Just as exercising keeps the body in good shape, brain exercises do the same for the intelligence powerhouse. Yoga asanas, in particular, aid in the better functioning of the human body.
Yoga asanas and pranayama for brain
Yoga is a science that harnesses the innate capability of the body to improve its powers and functioning. It can act as an instant cognitive boost. It helps relieve stress, which enhances the operation of the brain. Also, breathing through the left nostril activates the right brain and vice versa. Super brain yoga is a series of simple yoga poses that are becoming increasingly popular among professionals and educators.
Here are some pranayamas and yoga asanas for a more effecient brain:
Bhramari Pranayama (Bee Breathing)
- It is an instant way to relieve tension as well as anger and anxiety.
- It is quite an effective breathing technique for all those people who are suffering from hypertension since this technique calms down the agitated mind.
- It provides relief to a person in case he is feeling hot or have a mild headache.
- It also improves the concentration and memory of the person.
- It is effective in building confidence.
- It makes the mind calm as well as peaceful. It is beneficial in agitation, heart disease, high blood pressure etc.
- If this pranayama is practiced by a pregnant woman on a regular basis, it could facilitate in easy as well as trouble-free childbirth.
- This pranayama is quite helpful in paralysis.
- The humming sound facilitates the concentration of the mind. It has a positive effect on the entire body and mind, especially on the nervous system.
- It helps in balancing blood sugar.
- It is quite beneficial for people suffering from Alzheimer.
- This pranayama is extremely beneficial for heart patients since it helps in maintaining the overall working of the cardiovascular system.
- The humming vibrations of this pranayama activate the pituitary gland which is among the major glands in the body.
- It can cure insomnia.
Precautions to take to perform Bhramari Pranayama
- Make sure that you do not put the finger or thumb in the interior of the ear, just on the cartilage.
- Don’t press too hard on the cartilage of the ear. Just press the cartilage gently, and then release the finger or thumb.
- When you make humming sound, make sure that your mouth is closed.
- Always perform this pranayama in a seated position and never do it while lying down.
- In case you have an ear infection, then you shouldn’t perform this pranayama until the infection is gone.
- People with heart problems shouldn’t hold their breath when they are practising this pranayama.
- You should never force the breathing.
Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
- This asana calms the mind and also relieves mild depression and stress.
- The shoulders, spine, and hamstrings get a good stretch.
- The kidneys, liver, uterus, and ovaries are activated.
- Practicing this asana regularly helps improve digestion
- Menopause and menstrual discomfort can be combatted with this asana.
- Anxiety, headaches, and fatigue are reduced.
- High blood pressure, insomnia, infertility, and sinusitis can be cured with this asana.
- Paschimottanasana is said to cure diseases, increase appetite, and reduce obesity.
- This asana works particularly well for women after they have delivered a child.
Precautions: Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
- Avoid this asana if you have asthma or diarrhea.
- In case you have a back injury, you must make sure to practice this asana only under the guidance of a certified yoga instructor.
- Pregnant women must avoid practicing this asana.
Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)
- This asana helps to strengthen the muscles of the back. The stretch also helps to relieve the stress trapped in the back.
- This asana stretches and tones the neck, spine, and chest.
- Practicing this asana reduces depression, stress, and anxiety and calms the brain.
- The lungs are opened up, and thyroid problems are reduced.
- This asana also massages the digestive organs, thereby helping to improve digestion.
- This asana greatly benefits pregnant women and also helps alleviate menstrual pain and symptoms of menopause.
- It also aids high blood pressure, sinusitis, asthma, insomnia, and osteoporosis.
- With regular practice of this asana, blood circulation is improved
Precautions: Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)
- People who are suffering from a neck injury must either completely avoid this asana, or do it with a doctor’s permission under a certified yoga instructor.
- Pregnant women may do this asana, but not to the full capacity. They must do it under the guidance of a yoga expert. If they are in their third trimester, they must do this asana with a doctor’s consent.
- If you have back problems, you must avoid this asana.
Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
- It helps calm the brain, cures mild depression, and relieves stress.
- It helps stimulate the prostate glands, the thyroid glands, and the abdominal organs.
- The neck and shoulders get a good stretch.
- The buttocks and legs get toned.
- Digestion is improved, and metabolism is regulated.
- This asana relieves the symptoms of menopause.
- Fatigue and insomnia are reduced.
- This asana helps cure sinusitis, asthma, and infertility.
Precautions: Avoid practicing this asana if you have the following conditions.
- High blood pressure
- Neck injury
Halasana (Plow Pose)
- This asana massages the digestive organs, and therefore, improves digestion and regulates appetite.
- It regulates metabolism and helps in weight loss.
- It is an excellent asana for diabetic patients because it normalizes the blood sugar levels.
- It flexes the spinal cord and releases the strain in the back, thereby enhancing posture and reducing any pain.
- It helps relieve the symptoms of menopause and stimulates the reproductive system.
- It helps reduce stressand fatigue.
- This asana also helps to calm the brain.
- It gives the spine and shoulders a good stretch.
- It works on the thyroid gland as well.
- It helps cure backaches, infertility, sinusitis, insomnia, and headaches.
Precautions: Avoid practicing this asana if you have the following conditions.
- Neck injury
- If you are suffering from high blood pressureand asthma, support your legs with props while you practice this asana.
- If you are pregnant, do this asana only if you have been practicing it for a long time. Do not begin practicing when you get pregnant.
- When you touch your feet to the ground, this asana becomes and advanced yoga pose. You must do this asana under the guidance of an experienced yoga teacher.
How to do Super Mind Yoga
- Stand tall and straight with your arms by your side.
- Lift your left arm and hold your right earlobe with your thumb and index finger. Your thumb should be in front.
- Lift your right arm and hold your left earlobe. Your right arm should be over your left arm.
- Inhale deeply and squat down slowly to a sitting position.
- Stay in this position for 2-3 seconds.
- Gently exhale as you rise again. This completes one cycle.
- You may repeat this cycle about 15 times every day.
Benefits of Super Mind Yoga
Super Brain Yoga activates acupuncture points on the earlobe that stimulate your gray matter. This exercise helps your brain by:
- Synchronizing left and right side of the brain.
- Distributing energy levels and inducing calmness.
- Stimulating thinking capacity.
- Increasing mental energy.
- Making you more creative.
- Developing cognitive powers.
- Improving focus, concentration and memory power.
- Boosting decision-making skills.
- Relieving stress or behavioral problems.
- Making you more psychologically balanced.
This brain exercise is known to help patients with Alzheimer’s, mild depression, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Down’s syndrome, autism, and dyslexia among others. You could also follow-up this exercise with a session of guided meditation.
Increase brain power with meditation
According to a 2011 study led by a team of Harvard-affiliated researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, participating in an eight-week meditation program makes measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress.
Meditation is associated with the thicker cerebral cortex and more gray matter. These are the parts of the brain linked to memory, attention span, decision-making, and learning. Thus, meditation is a means to increase brain power.
So, yoga asanas, super brain yoga, breathing, and meditation can all stimulate your brain power. Spare some time every day and lead a smarter life.