Does Yoga Affects Brain Structure and Function?
- Recent research suggests that yoga can affect brain structure and function in various ways. Studies using neuroimaging techniques such as MRI have shown that yoga practice can increase the size of brain regions involved in attention, memory, and emotional regulation, such as the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala. Additionally, yoga practice has been found to increase levels of the neurotransmitter GABA, which is important for reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation.
- Other studies have found that yoga practice can enhance cognitive function, including executive function, working memory, and processing speed. These improvements may be due to the increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) that occurs with regular yoga practice. BDNF is a protein that helps promote the growth and survival of neurons in the brain.
- Overall, the evidence suggests that yoga can have a positive impact on brain structure and function, which may contribute to its benefits for mental health and well-being.