Brain Buzz

Taking a break from rushing around, being connected electronically and “on-task” will positively serve you in the long run…. you can actually increase the gray matter in your brain and enjoy a brain-buzz (that is not induced by coffee!) by making sure your day includes meditating and/or doing yoga.

Meditation and yoga buzz is not just a feeling; it’s the positive chemical reactions in the brain that are triggered by yoga and breathwork, and there is scientific research to back it up. As yoga has been increasingly popular in Western culture, more attention has been centered on the science behind these peaceful practices.

At the 2015 annual meeting from the American Pain Association, Dr. M. Catherine Bushnell of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) discussed her findings on how yoga can increase the amount of gray matter (tissues that process information) in the brain, which is the opposite effect that chronic pain has on the brain’s gray matter. More gray matter in the brain can lead to better decision-making, memory, and muscle control. “Some gray matter increases in yogis correspond to duration of yoga practice, which suggests there is a causative link between yoga and gray matter increases,” Dr. Bushnell said.

Another brilliant researcher, Sara Lazar, also found that mindfulness meditation can actually change the structure of the brain to improve learning, assist with memory processes, and maintains a balanced emotional state. Furthermore, existing studies have shown that yoga can alleviate depression, emotional instability, and cognitive functions.

In her marvelous article, 7 Ways Meditation Can Change the Brain, Alice Walton discusses the neurological benefits of yoga and meditation and how it “decreases brain cell volume in the amygdala, which is responsible for fear, anxiety, and stress.” Who needs stress and anxiety? Replace negative emotions with a happy, natural high. Yoga makes us feel good physically and emotionally by its power to “boost levels of the feel-good brain chemicals like GABA, serotonin, and dopamine.” Happy yogis!

This yoga buzz is accessible to everyone and it’s available at any moment. Maintaining a deep awareness of the breath, devoting time to physical movement, and learning to slow down can have lasting effects on the brain. Remember to nurture your most valuable and complex organ, the brain. With patience and practice your yoga buzz can last long after class is over. It’s as easy as that. Do yoga and get high on life. Buzz on!

Sourced from Behind the Yoga Buzz from Yoganonymous ZuZu Perkal, see full article