By Faye Martins
Yoga teachers provide an outlet for mental and emotional enhancement. Yet, how many students attend yoga classes for the mental benefits? Most yoga instructors would think very few students participate for mental and emotional benefits. However, a significant percentage of students participate in yoga training for stress management and many yoga students want to meditate.
Meditation is a powerful tool to clear the mind and reach higher levels of satisfaction. The ultimate goal of meditation for many is to unite the body and the soul. There are hundreds of meditation techniques with varying goals and benefits. Some techniques help to seek clarity while others work toward stress relief or improved concentration. Exercising the mind will have the same results as exercising the body. When you work a muscle with a specific goal in mind, the muscles become stronger and more defined. The same is true of the mind. Try a mind exercise the next time you feel overwhelmed, unsure or are lacking creativity.
Activate the Amygdala
The amygdala is the part of the brain responsible for our emotional well-being. By working with this part of the brain, we can learn to control our reactions in any situation. We can train our brains to react in the way we tell them to as opposed to going with the natural instincts that are hard-wired into our brains. Exercising the amygdala will help improve our interactions with others, allowing the brain to keep flowing even in the event of problems or distractions.
Exercise the amygdala by imagining the frontal lobe of your brain as a soft, blue light. Picture this light glowing and surging, setting off billions of neural connections. Be creative with this exercise, imagining the frontal lobe glowing in any color or way that suits you.
Close your eyes and imagine a feather gently stroking and tickling the amygdala. It is located in the temple region of your face.
Create vivid mental pictures of specific situations to help stimulate the amygdala. Imagine meeting your favorite person in the entire world. What would you do or say? Play out the entire scenario in your mind.
Super Brain Exercise
When you unite both sides of the brain, it will work in unison and give you double the brain power. The Super Brain exercise takes about five minutes and will rev your brain up for the day. Begin by standing tall in mountain pose. Grab your right earlobe with your left thumb and forefinger. Do the same thing with your right hand and left earlobe. Perform a squat by bending from the knees as if you were about to sit in a chair. Inhale as you squat, and then exhale as you come back to a standing position. Repeat the squats for about five minutes.
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