Yoga is one of the world's oldest forms of exercise. People in Northern India developed and practiced yoga more than 5,000 years ago. And just like everything else, while many things have remained constant in yoga practice, innovative new techniques allow you to take your training to the next level.
One of these exciting techniques is super-brain yoga. The word "yoga" means "union," which can refer to the union between the mind, body and spirit practitioners can achieve. Super-brain yoga focuses on moving the energy, or chi, in the body to the brain for a significant concentration and productivity boost. Here's how you can incorporate super-brain yoga into your life so you can supercharge your mental energy!
Super-brain yoga works by using the body's natural acupuncture meridians to bring balance to the left and right hemispheres of the brain and to draw energy from the lower parts of the body up toward the brain.
Researchers have scientifically tested the process of super-brain yoga. When subjects took an EEG scan immediately following practicing super-brain yoga, the results showed both hemispheres of the brain synchronized.
Many yoga poses can help stimulate brain function. Practicing Ujjayi breathing, taking a deep inhale through the nose and exhaling with a HAAAH sound in the back of the throat, can help restore focus in stressful times. Other poses, such as Halasana, or plow pose, and Sarvangasana, or shoulder stand, increase overall blood flow to the brain.
Combining Ujjayi breathing with stimulating the body's natural acupuncture points brings your brain's natural synaptic patterns back into balance. It's impossible to overstate the importance of this to brain health and overall feelings of balance. The brain is a relatively small organ, making up only 3 percent of our total body weight. However, our brains use 20 percent of our daily energy intake.
When the brain's synapses fire in chaotic patterns, this results in stress, lack of focus and lack of mental energy. We may flit from task to task, or find it impossible to concentrate on brain-intensive tasks for more than a few seconds at a time. Practicing super-brain yoga calms the chaos and restores the brain to a static state where we feel relaxed and focused. Super-brain yoga is so powerful, it has even helped patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis restore and maintain brain function.
Getting started with super-brain yoga takes only moments out of your day and is super easy to perform. To get started, stand up straight, facing north. Remove all jewelry if it is practical to do so. Cross your left arm over your body and gently hold your right earlobe with your left hand. Your thumb should be on the front of your earlobe. Then, cross your right arm over your left, and gently hold your left earlobe with your right hand.
While holding your earlobes, inhale deeply as you slowly bend your knees into a squat. You do not have to squat very low, so if you have issues with your knees, only squat down as far as is comfortable for you. Then, as you exhale, pushing the air out and making the gentle hummingbird sound of Ujjayi breathing, return to a standing position. Repeat this as often as necessary until you feel your mind begin to calm.
To get the best results from super-brain yoga, incorporate it into your daily routine! Try doing 10 to 15 repetitions each morning before school or work. You can also add in a quick practice after work or during the 3 p.m. doldrums to perk up a tired, stressed brain. Of course, if you begin to feel frazzled at any point during your day, take a few moments for your practice. It doesn't take long, only two to three minutes, and it's quiet enough that you can easily sneak off to the office restroom to grab a quick yoga break when necessary.
Researchers are still exploring all the possibilities of super-brain yoga, but are hopeful it may have applications for helping people cope with mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. Because super-brain yoga is simple for almost anyone to do, it's an accessible way for those with mental disorders or anyone with a lot of stress in their lives to find relief quickly.
Try incorporating super-brain yoga into your life today. Your brain will thank you!