For Your Brain
We now have scientific research that confirms what wise yoga gurus have felt for years – yoga actually changes our brains. Using MRI scans, scientists at the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine detected more gray matter – brain cells – in certain brain areas in people who regularly practice yoga. Yogis had larger brain volume in the somatosensory cortex, which contains a mental map of our body, the superior parietal cortex, involved in directing attention, and the visual cortex. The hippocampus, a region critical to dampening stress, was also enlarged in practitioners of yoga.
For Your Body
I could write a lot about the physical benefits of yoga, but the bottom line is that you know how good it feels at the end of a yoga class. Yoga improves flexibility, strength, stamina, bone density, hormone balance, lymphatic system function, cardiovascular health, and metabolic function relating to healthy digestion and weight. Yoga is low-impact, yet highly beneficial.
For Your Life
For me, yoga has been a light in times of darkness. Being on my mat feels like “being home.” So many people are busy – with professional pressure, children, traffic, and household chores – yoga is a pathway to inner peace. When the stress and strain of modern American life feels overwhelming, I choose yoga to feel healthy and serene. Because if I don’t take care of my body, who will?