Every era seems to have been more stressful than the last one. Experts believe that our current times may be some of the most stressful ever. We have worldly information available to us 24/7 on devices that are at our fingertips. No other time have people had personal devices to give them access to all forms of news both print and video. You have other stresses in your life too e.g. family and work. Having the on-demand access can add stresses on your brain for which you are not aware. We understand the physical stresses like high blood pressure or weight issues. We do not realize the effects of these types of stresses on our neural pathways.
“We know that stress damages the brain,” says Maria Carrillo, the medical and scientific relations director for the Alzheimer’s Association. “Along with the aging of the population and lifestyle risk factors, it’s a big factor in the looming epidemic we’re facing.”
According to Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa "about 15 years ago, there were 4 million people with Alzheimer’s; today that number is 5.2 million, and we’re going to see it skyrocket. I think stress and lifestyle are leading causes. Right now in America we’re being told to be afraid, be very afraid. There’s so much stress and pressure in our society, it’s creating an epidemic of memory loss."
When my doctor was in medical school the conventional wisdom was the brain pathways/neurons were set and fixed during childhood. We have since discovered that the brain has the capacity to rewire or create new pathways. According to Michael Merzenich, a professor at the Keck Center for Integrative Neuroscience at the University of California at San Francisco "the brain is a machine that’s constantly remodeling itself based on how you use it. When we start to lose our cognitive abilities, it’s not so much a problem of the brain’s physical condition but a result of how it’s been used.” Many researchers believe the brain can make adaptive changes. Exercise has long been known to be an important component for both your physical and mental well being.
Yoga along with other physical fitness programs can provide pathways to good physical and mental health. Yoga can provide gentle stretching sessions to rigorous flow routines. Another great benefit of yoga is learning control your breathing which extremely beneficial in other physical activities. Yoga helps take you away from the stress and gadgets providing you a safe place to escape. The last pose of a yoga session is shavasana or the corpse pose. This is a small meditative session that is the icing on the cake. This allows you to learn to really turn off the world for these few precious minutes. Hopefully you will take these lessons to a home practice.
The Pad Go Round makes it so easy to continue a yoga practice at home. There are a number of guided yoga sessions available on the internet. Use your tablet to follow the session by attaching a tripod on the back of the Pad Go Round and setting the tablet on the floor in front of your mat. Exercise your brain and your body today!
For more information on the benefits of yoga with your lifestyle, we suggest you read the Yoga Journal.