Improving Memory with Yoga
Yoga for Memory
Just last week I had published recent research which showed that Meditation was excellent for improving those areas of the brain associated with Memory and Learning. You can read that article here – How to Improve Your Memory and Mind. And then, just this week I have come across some more interesting research on memory improvement, which I think is worth discussing and sharing with you all as well. It looked at the benefits of walking for improving memory, as compared to other low impact aerobic exercises such as yoga.
The findings from this research showed that regular walking increased the size of the hippocmapus more than the control group. It also showed that spatial memory improved in the walkers group, more than it increased in the control groups. The brain study used a group of walkers who walked around a track for 40 minutes, 3 times a week, for 1 year, and compared them with other groups who did less aerobic exercises, such a yoga or resistance training with bands.
Details of the study can be found here – Exercise Improves Memory.
I think the study is quite interesting and that there are several important things we can learn from it. Below are these points.
1. Blood Flow Important for Brain Heath and Memory Improvement:
If we put the 2 studies together, the one on Meditation and this one on exercise, we start to see the broader picture with regard to improving your memory and brain in general – you need to nourish the brain with healthy blood.
Studies have shown that meditation increases blood supply to the brain and it has also shown that exercise does the same. This is the underlying biochemical reason for the improvements been seen. So what does this mean with regard to Yoga and memory improvement. There are 4 points worth making in that regard.
2. Certain Yoga Poses Help Brain and Memory:
Master yogis will tell you that all yoga is not appropriate for all conditions. You should do yoga according to the condition and goals you are trying to achieve. That is why with yoga poses and exercises, the benefits section and cautions section is so important. Doing Crow Pose and hoping to cut up your abs is not going to work. So you should pick yoga poses and exercises as per your individual needs, and from that point of view, certain yoga techniques are indicated for improving the brain and memory. Which are those? Of course, the ones that increase blood flow to this region. Such as….
3. Power Yoga and Aerobic Yoga:
Also, with yoga it is important to understand that there are types and variations of yoga which are quite aerobic in nature and equivalent to other more aerobic exercise systems. Kundalini Yoga, which involves quite a bit of dynamic movement and Power Yoga are examples of such types of yoga. So it is not entirely the case that yoga is a non-aerobic activity.
If you want an example of how dynamic yoga can be and how much it can increase your heart rate and circulation, just try the following set or even just the following exercise. These types of exercises will certainly get the blood flowing to the brain region, and will be a big boost to the improvements in memory as seen with other forms of aerobic exercise.
4. Yogic Breathing Great for Brain Health and Memory:
Yoga is not just physical exercises, but also includes the sciences of mudras (body locks), mudras (hand positions) and pranayama (breathing techniques). These breathing techniques are also excellent for brain health and nourishing your entire system with oxygen rich blood. If there is such a set worth trying I would suggest the following:
5. Ok to Mix Yoga with Other Forms of Exercise:
I get this question from time to time, and although yoga has an incredible range of benefits and dimensions, if you need to supplement your fitness routine with other forms of exercise that is perfectly fine to do.
If you are a long distance runner or need to drastically increase your calorie burn rate, it makes sense to supplement your yoga routine with running, and in that way if you are a body builder, then resistance training is a must. You may not be in those categories, but from time to time you may have fitness needs that are better addressed by other forms of exercise and it is perfectly fine to include those into your regiment.
Yoga for Memory Improvement Lessons Learned:
So from the above study, we have learned that exercise, even walking regularly in great for improving your memory. We have also learned that to address different health issues, it is important to choose different yoga techniques. And finally, it is also fine to supplement your yoga routine with other forms of exercise when necessary. I hope you can remember all these important points and, if not, it’s time to practice shoulder stand .