Whether you want to admit it or not, there is probably something you would like to improve about yourself.And the best place to start is with—surprise!—some yoga. Yoga will not only improve your physique but will also improve your brainpower, giving the start of your new year with the holistic kick in the butt it needs to be your best year yet.
Yoga will make you happier, fitter, and more youthful—as we all know—but on top of all that, the practice will also sharpen your mind. Recent research shows that exercising keeps your brain youthful as it does your other muscles.
The New York Times tells us:
“For more than a decade, neuroscientists and physiologists have been gathering evidence of the beneficial relationship between exercise and brainpower. But the newest findings make it clear that this isn’t just a relationship; it is the relationship... Exercise, the latest neuroscience suggests, does more to bolster thinking than thinking does.”
Wow! That’s awesome—exercising not only makes you happier and more confident, but also a lot smarter. This means that doing yoga frequently can make you better at your job, too. Talk about a good investment.
That’s not all, either. Previous research primarily stressed the relationship between a healthy brain and aerobic exercise, but recently the relationship between strong muscles and a healthy brain has been shown to be powerful as well. Since yoga involves both cardio and muscle training (and additionally helps with cardio exercises like running), you really can’t do better than that.
Yoga has the added benefit over other forms of exercise of stress relief and mindful concentration integrated into its practice. Yoga emphasizes the fundamental concept of dharana, or concentration, during its practice to quiet the noisy thoughts that can distract yogis from finding a pose. This type of deep concentration hones the mind and its ability to focus fully on one thing at a time. This ability then comes with you off of your mat and into your work, your projects, and your passions.
If you want to improve your life by having more fun, taking more risks, being happier and more motivated, then yoga is a great way to access all of that. But now that we know yoga can make you smarter, too, we can add that to the ever-growing list of benefits.
So what are you waiting for? Get out your mat and start those new year’s resolutions and intentions right with some Sun Salutations. Your brain (and your boss) will be so glad you did!
This post was originally published at YOGANONYMOUS.