Yoga is well-known everywhere for its overall benefit to mind, body, and soul. As the saying goes, “A healthy mind is the way to a healthy body” and yoga does just that. There are various yoga poses to increase brain power. A research by the University of Illinois in 2012 revealed the result that people who practiced yoga for at least 20 minutes a day could enjoy improved brain function and increased concentration levels.
This practice is most helpful for students who need a sharp memory to catch up with the vast syllabus of present education system. Yoga engages all areas of the brain and keeps the grey matter intact despite your age. In simpler terms, the practice helps in thickening the cerebral cortex, which is associated with higher learning and the way we perform our daily activities.
So, if you have been wondering “how to increase memory power by yoga” then behold some awesome poses of yoga for brain memory that will help you increase brain power that you can try whenever you want.
11 Yoga Poses to Increase Brain Power
There are many factors which degenerate brain power, resulting in psychiatric disorders. Your brain needs regular exercise for better functioning. Yoga is the best exercise to avoid brain disorders and strengthening your brain’s capabilities. In 200 hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh students are taught following 11 poses poses to increase brain power:
1. Big Toe Pose (Padangusthasana) – To get more blood flow & oxygen to brain
Padangusthasana, being a half-inversion, calms the mind and releases the flow of blood to the brain. This pose is also good for people who suffer from lack of sleep.
To do this, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Exhale and bend forward from your hips and try to touch your big toes with the index and middle fingers. Elongate your spine and touch your head to your knees. If you are unable to touch your toes, use a yoga strap to pull yourself in.
2. Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana) – Yoga to increase concentration and memory power
Downward dog pose increases the flow of oxygen and blood to the brain as in this pose the heart is positioned lower than the head. It is also an invigorating pose that helps in alleviating anxiety when the neck and cervical spine are stretched.
Start with table pose, ensuring that your hands are shoulder-width apart and your knees are in line with the hips.
Your palms need to be grounded to the floor and your toes need to be tucked in. Push your knees up, try straightening your legs and ensure that your feet’s soles are flattened on the ground.
If you are unable to straighten your legs completely, bend your knees inward a little. This will also help in preventing a rounded back.
3. Dolphin Pose (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana) – Yoga for curing depression
Dolphin pose, being another inversion pose, accrues a number of mental health benefits like cure from depression and anxiety, increased mindfulness, improved concentration, better sleep and more stamina.
This pose can also be started with table-top pose just like in the previous pose. The only difference here is that instead of placing the weight on your legs and palms, you will be doing so with your forearms and legs.
Exhale and push your knees towards the back to straighten your legs until your body resembles the alphabet A. Ensure that your spine is not rounded. If it is, bend your knees inward and try straightening your legs again, slowly. Hold the pose for 6 breaths or till you are comfortable. To release, exhale and come back to the table-top position.
4. Tree Pose (Vrkshasana) – Yoga for balance
Tree pose requires your complete concentration and stillness for attaining balance in the pose. It acts as a stimulant for your brain thus increasing mindfulness and improving memory. If you need yoga for brain development, you should try Vrkshasana.
Start with Tadasana, now start shifting your weight to the left foot. Ground the inner part of the foot to the floor and bend your right knee. Bend down and clasp your right ankle, drawing it up and placing its sole against the inner thigh of your left leg.
Ensure that your toes are pointing towards the floor and your tailbone is also extended towards the floor. Raise your hands up towards the sides and bring them together in a prayer position at the chest. Stay in the pose for one minute, exhale and release your hands to your sides and feet to the ground gently. Relax for 5 seconds and repeat with the other side.
5. Lotus Pose (Padmasana) – Pranayama for brain
Lotus Pose is a meditation pose, also one of the simplest poses among others in yoga. Since this pose combines meditation and breathing techniques, it helps in overcoming the deterioration of grey matter in frontal cortex, which is responsible for decision making and storing memories.
Start the pose by sitting on the floor, legs kept straight in front of you. Bend your right knee and cross your foot over to the left thigh. Do the same with your left leg. Ensure that when you do so the soles of your feet are pointing upward and the heels are near the stomach region.
Ensure that your back is not rounded and your head is straight. Attain any hand mudra and place your hands on the knees. Remain in this position while inhaling and exhaling gently. Keep your focus on your breathing.
6. Headstand (Shirshasana) – Yoga for brain blood circulation
Headstand works your blood circulation against the law of gravity, thus increasing the supply of blood to your brain. The pose enhances mindfulness and concentration levels, while also making you more alert during decision making. The headstand, also known as the King of all poses, is difficult to do. So, if you are just starting to do yoga you should opt for supported headstand with the help of wall.
To do headstand pose, you can start with dolphin pose. Clasp your hands together and push your hips forward until they stack up over your shoulders.
Once you feel stable, slowly lift one leg up ensuring that it is straight above your head and then raise the other. Keep your leg joined together as you keep them up. Stay in the position for as long as you feel stable. To come down slowly, lower one leg down first and then bring down the other and come back to dolphin pose.
7. Child Pose (Balasana) – Yoga for a calm mind
If your mind is in a state of unrest and doubt, then child pose is what you must consider. This is a resting pose which helps in relaxing and clearing the mind. Child pose helps in relieving stress, anxiety, and depression.
Sit in Vajrasana with knees together or apart. With an exhale, bend forward from the hips such that your forehead touches the floor and your hands are placed in front of you, palms facing down.
As you come to this position, press your chest to your thighs while breathing normally and stay in the pose for one minute and relax. Inhale and come back to Vajrasana and relax for 5 seconds.
8. Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana) – Yoga for mindfulness
It is a breathing and meditative exercise in yoga which detoxifies your body of all the impurities. This pose is known to increase calmness and concentration in human mind, thus helping in carrying out everyday activities with ease.
Vajrasana is one of the simplest yoga poses and can be done by anyone. You can easily get into the pose by sitting on your knees. All the while bearing in mind to keep the spine elongated and the head straight.
Also, to reap maximum benefits, you can place the soles of your feet, one above the other and keep your hands on your knees with palms facing down. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breath while you stay in the pose for 2 minutes.
9. Meditation – To increase brain power through meditation
In yoga, you can meditate either by sitting on the floor in Padmasana, by sitting on a chair, or by simply standing with folded hands. You can either meditate with eyes closed or open. I
f your eyes are open, ensure to keep your gaze steady and focus forward at an object or to infinity. Meditation involves your flow of breath; hence you need to keep breathing steadily and gently.
Do this for 10 minutes every day allowing your brain to get the required amount of oxygen it needs to function.
Related Post : A Mindful Guide To Meditation
10. Eagle Pose (Garudasana) – Yoga for better concentration
This pose is named after Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu (king of all birds) in Hindu Mythology. To do this pose, stand first in Tadasana. Keep your hands on your hips and gaze forward.
Bend your knees forward and entwine one of your legs around the other. Release your hands from the hips and place them straight in front of your face and entwine them too trying to bring the palms together.
Hold the pose for 10 seconds and release. Relax in Tadasana for 5 secs and repeat with the other side.
11. Plow Pose (Halasana) – Yoga to enhance mental ability
This pose is usually practiced at the end of a class as it is a restorative pose and helps in calming the nervous system, brain, and heart. To do Halasana you need to lie on your back on a mat.
Keep your feet together, arms by your side with palms facing downward. Raise both legs together slowly till they reach an angle of 180 degrees, while pressing your palms on the floor for support.
Try touching your toes to the floor above your head and hold on to the posture for 10 seconds. Release slowly and come back to the initial position.
When we perform yoga, the inversions, twists, and bends involve focused actions, all of which in turn require deep concentration. By doing so, you are training your brain to keep stress levels under control. At first, these 11 yoga poses to increase brain power might seem problematic to adjust and control your brain. But as you keep practicing yoga, you will learn how to keep calm.
Doing yoga increases the levels of brain chemicals like GABA, dopamine, and serotonin, which are stimulants for feeling relaxed and happy. These are the same chemicals that doctors prescribe as anti-depressants, but they have their side effects while with yoga there are no side effects. So if you have been looking and asking “how to increase memory power naturally”, yoga is the medicine that acts effectively to help you regain your lost memories and boost brain power. If you have not started yet, it’s time to make a new beginning.