Improving the Cognitive and Emotional Benefits of Yoga


yoga poses

When many people think of the benefits of yoga, they immediately envision a healthier, more flexible body. It is also common for people to turn to yoga as a method for becoming more in tune with their spirituality. Although all of these points are very valid, they are far from the only perks that are associated with doing yoga on a regular basis. In fact, research indicates that yoga can be used to provide people with an emotional and cognitive boost. If you combine this with other proven cognitive and mood enhancers, you can end up with much better overall results.

The Science behind Yoga

Choosing yoga as your regular workout routine is likely to help you lose weight and gain flexibility, especially if you are willing to continuously challenge yourself. Numerous scientific studies have also focused closely on the connection between yoga and mental health. In one intriguing example, women who had self-reported a high level of depression and anxiety were able to reduce the symptoms of these conditions by up to 50 percent. There is also some evidence to suggest that yoga might be a viable complementary treatment option for individuals suffering from PTSD.

People who experience issues with their ability to concentrate and recall facts might receive a boost from doing yoga. In fact, it is believed that yoga can prevent memory lapses, which makes this a great technique for improving your cognitive performance.

Boosting the Effects of Yoga

One of the most common issues that can most negatively impact an individual’s emotional and cognitive functionality is an overabundance of stress. Therefore, you may wish to add other stress and anxiety busters into your daily routine. Meditation can reportedly offer a reduction in stress, and it can be used to improve your memory and concentration skills.

Other forms of exercise are also a great way to complement yoga. For example, taking a daily 20 minute walk will boost your endorphins, and it can also increase your attention span and memory retention by as much as 20 percent. Additionally, you will need to make sure that you get a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night to help your brain achieve its full potential.

The Benefits of Taking a Supplemental Approach

Yoga on its own is virtually certain to help you feel better physical and mentally, but you may also wish to harness the power of supplements to further increase your positive results. The type of supplements that will work best for you may vary depending on your specific needs, but the following list is definitely a good start.

  • Nootropics –If you are looking for enhanced cognitive improvements, then nootropics are a great place to start. For example, Piracetam has been linked to increased cognitive functionality, and Aniracetam has been shown to reverse learning and memory deficits. As an added bonus, nootropics such as Noopept can offer a cognitive boost while also potentially reducing anxiety.
  • Omega-3 – Individuals who are concerned about their long-term brain health can take advantage of the medically proven benefits of Omega-3. This vital nutrient is available in a supplement form, and there’s good news for vegetarians and vegans: it is not necessary to get your daily dose of Omega-3 from fish oil. Instead, you can turn to flaxseed oil to provide your brain with this important building block.
  • B Vitamins – A lack of vitamin B6, folate and vitamin B12 have all been linked to the potential for neurological problems. In one study, participants who were given a supplemental version of these three B vitamins experienced improvements in the blood-brain barrier. These vitamins are available as a supplement, in fortified items such as cereal and soy milk and in the vegan-friendly Braggs Nutritional Yeast.

Ultimately, the type of results that you receive from your yoga routine will be heavily based around the frequency and duration of each session, along with the difficulty of each pose. Additionally, you can give your brain an added boost by incorporating nootropics, Omega-3, B vitamins and mediation into your daily schedule. Taking this approach may also be able to help you feel more comfortable doing yoga in a social environment, and you will be more likely to easily retain and recall the necessary information to easily transition throughout every pose in each workout.

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