Yoga is the science of activating your inner energies to such a vibrant and exuberant state that your body, mind, and emotions function at their highest peaks.
Yoga is less an exercise of the physical body, and more a set of tools to help align your body’s geometry to the cosmic geometry. When ones physical and energetic body is more aligned with the cosmic geometry, a completeness, a wholeness is experienced through harmony and balance. Though the benefits of yoga are well known, the fundamental purpose of yoga is often overlooked by many.
@sadhguru reminds us that beyond merely moving the body, the science of yoga provides the ultimate tool for enhancing human capabilities and optimizing function at the highest peak of body and mind.
Yoga has three main components that can assist your physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. These components are poses (asanas), breath-work (pranayama), and meditation. When it comes to your brain, neurogenesis and the effects of practicing yoga, the meditation aspect plays a large part of the brain’s neuroplasticity.
Yoga for Relaxation
Yoga, helps your brain release all kinds of happy chemicals that help you relax, lower stress and lower anxiety levels. Good chemicals such as dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins.
- Dopamine. Known as the “feel-good” hormone, dopamine is hormone & neurotransmitter that is the big part of your brain’s reward system. Dopamine is associated with pleasurable sensations, along with neurocognition, learning, memory, and motor system function.
- Serotonin. A hormone and neurotransmitter that helps regulate your mood, your sleep, appetite, digestion, learning ability, and memory.
- Oxytocin. Often referred to as the “love hormone,” oxytocin is paramount for parent-child bonding and is released when we feel strong love for another. This hormone helps promote trust, empathy, compassion and bonding in relationships. Oxytocin levels are know to increase with physical affection like kissing, cuddling, and sexual interactions.
- Endorphins. Endorphins are natural pain relievers, your body produces these in response to stress, discomfort and pain. Endorphin levels also can increase when you engage in rewarding activities, such as eating tasty food, hiking, running, or having sex.
Releasing these chemicals can help you relax and feel content.
Yoga, Stress Reduction & Slowing the Brain
One of the reasons you become relaxed is that yoga helps great with your stress response. During yoga, different parts of the brain slow down and allow them to rest and it's this functionality that helps you lower cortisol production. Yoga causes your Parietal lobe to slow down, this section of the brain handles all the information generated by your senses. It takes in the movement, sights, sounds, and everything you observe around you, so it is a highly active area as you can imagine. Another area effected is the Frontal lobe, this area is where most of the thinking, planning, and reasoning is done, as well as it plays a role in self-awareness and emotional regulation. Again, a highly active area that becomes almost nonexistent during the practice of yoga
Reducing Stress and Anxiety
One of the primary benefits of yoga reported is a sense of post-practice relaxation. This associated body-mind connection is a positive change from the hectic pace of life but it doesn’t end there.
“The whole process of yoga and meditation is just this, once you have a clear space between you and your mind it is a completely different dimension of existence.”
To put it simply, yoga is amazing as a tool to assist you in hacking your body and brain. A scared ancient neurocognitive technology.