- Hatha yoga, Kundalini yoga or Kripalu yoga are the yoga styles most studied by scientists.
- According to the National Union of Yoga Teachers in France, the number of yoga practitioners has more than tripled over the past decade.
It’s not for nothing that yoga is a popular mind-body activity. We knew its benefits on the body and in particular in the fight against various pathologies but that’s not all, researchers have revealed that yoga also has a major impact on our brain.
Yoga, a practice that stimulates the brain
Thereby, based on meta-analysis of 15 cohortswhere scientists had used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to observe the effects of yoga on the brain, it appears that this activity increases the size of certain regions of the brain as well as their activity.
“Our analysis revealed that mind-body exercises like yoga modulated brain structure, brain neural activity, and functional connectivity, primarily in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus/median temporal lobe, lateral temporal lobe, insula, and the cingulate cortex, as well as the cognitive control and default mode networks, which could underlie the beneficial effects of these exercises on health”, say the authors.
Yoga: brain changes cause “psychological well-being”
Indeed, these brain structures and networks are involved in emotional regulation, memory, knowledge and self-control. “In the brain, the “default mode” network is the one that activates when you give free rein to your thoughts. The brain regions that activate synchronously to form this network play an essential role in the proper functioning of memory, emotions and introspection. explain it CNRS.
In addition, these changes on the brain lead to “psychological well-being that translates into life satisfaction (emotional well-being), social relationships (social well-being) and mindfulness”, indicate the authors ofanother meta-analysis.
Several researches have also proven that yoga improved symptoms of anxiety and depression, helps to fight against stress by decreasing the amount of cortisolthe stress hormone, and had a beneficial impact on cognitive performance.
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Yoga improves brain activity
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