Sunday, January 24, 2016

Balancing Brain and Mood with Yoga

Did you know that one side of your brain is more associated with anxiety, depression and antisocial behavior than the other? 

High stress and various types of trauma can cause the right forebrain to become excessively dominant. Some people are born with this type of forebrain asymmetry. With frontal asymmetries in the brain, many people have difficulty concentrating, lack social skills, feel disconnected and have poor impulse control. These individuals often experience a high level of negative thoughts and emotions. 

We can address asymmetries in the brain through physical movements which naturally balance activity between the left and right hemispheres, across the corpus calossum. Contralateral movements synchronize opposing limbs on their respective sides, and crosslateral movements cross the midline of the body with opposing limbs. Practicing these sorts of movements in conjunction with the breath in a yoga practice has been shown to balance mood and decrease anxiety and depression. Additionally, these practices enhance the attention network in the brain and nervous system. 

This video demonstrates a few yoga poses which may be quite familiar, yet you may not have known that in doing them, you were balancing your mood and brain hemispheres! 

There are many styles of yoga using these types of movements, and in any good yoga class you will be instructed in breathing and relaxation techniques to address mental and physical imbalances. To find a practice that addresses your particular imbalances, seek out a qualified teacher to custom design a program for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment