Your Brain on Yoga.

121130_Smiling+Dog_240-2252297854-OOn rainy days like this one, I can’t help but try to incorporate reading in my day in some way. Recently, I’ve picked up a new release from Britain, How to Stay Sane by Philippa Perry. This wonderful book has changed my perspective on yoga and meditation and how it relates to our brain development. Have you ever wondered what your brain is like on yoga??

Here is a quote from the book, (page 35, on my ipad edition)

“Studies have shown that the brains of those who regularly meditate or practise similar behaviours show permanent, beneficial changes. New neural pathways and connections proliferate. The pre-frontal cortex, which is the part of the brain associated with concentration, measurably thickens. The insula, the part of the brain that tracks the interior state of the body, as well as the emotional states of other people, also grows…”

121130_Smiling+Dog_130-2252268232-OCan you believe this? Our brain actually thickens and grows! This area of the brain they are speaking of has all kinds of benefits if utilized.

“…Thus the practice of focusing attention for the purpose of self-observation literally strengthens and grows the brain. That in turn makes us more self-aware and thus better able to soothe ourselves, and it also means that we are able to empathize better with others. Practising self-observation helps to keep our brains flexible. Using it, we can become more aware of mental processes, without repressing or denying our feelings.”

I am sure all of us who have practiced yoga even for a day have experienced at least one benefit it has had on your life, but to see how neurologically speaking it actually increases your ability to empathize with others and soother ourselves amazes me. To read more about this there is a wonderful article about the book and its relationship to yoga. Click here for more.

If you are really feeling this brain stuff, and into the amazing world of neural pathways and growing insulas, then try out this beautiful brain smoothie recipe. It will help that noggin get all of its delicious nutrients to or from your yoga practice.

brain boosting smoothie_1The Brain-Beautiful Smoothie
  • 1 + 1/2 cup mixed berries (I used blueberry, blackberry and raspberry)
  • 1/2 banana
  • 2 cups kale leaves, hand torn into pieces
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp honey or agave nectar
This recipe will make two large smoothies with refills.

For the full recipe click here.

(Reposted from Inspired Edibles)

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