It’s not uncommon to associate yoga with Zen, nature, meditation, breathing, “namaste,” calm music, and downward dogs. But when was the last time you associated yoga with actual, evidence-based, scientific research that indicates deep benefits for cognitive functions?

5 Scientifically Documented Benefits of Yoga

1. Improves the brain – Yoga improves neuroplasticity in the brain which aids in overall brain function and strengthens the regions of the brain involved in working memory. Not only does yoga increase brain function; but by coupling the two biological symptoms of focus and breath, it reduces mental fog and increases focus and clarity.

2. Works as a natural anti-depressant- Evidence suggests that yoga boosts the levels of serotonin in the brain, thereby improving symptoms of depression. Yoga lowers levels of stress and influences neurotransmitters to reduce aggression and anxiety. Furthermore, it has been found that yoga, coupled with other exercise routines, results in the greatest lift in mood.

3. Neuroprotective effects – Gray matter includes regions of the brain involved in seeing and hearing, memory, emotions, speech, decision making, and self-control, among other things. Research indicates that seasoned yoga practitioners have more gray matter in multiple brain regions than people in control groups.

4. Enhances self-perception – Research indicates that practicing yoga has helped college students develop nourishing relationships with their bodies who were struggling with body dissatisfaction. Likewise, it has been noted in many studies that even one yoga class can boost self-esteem.

5. Improves psychiatric disorders – Yoga has been documented as improving ADHD, mild depression, insomnia, schizophrenia, and symptoms of trauma. Furthermore, yoga has been shown to decrease impulsivity.

At OMNI Yoga, we often get to hear individual stories of how yoga has transformative effects for the many wonderful people practicing in our studio. However, it never hurts to have science on our side! Whether you are looking for the emotional, neurological, or physiological benefits, in Cary – yoga may very well be the next step in your journey. Contact us at OMNI Yoga today, and we can help you find the right class for your needs.