How does yoga increase Cognitive/intellectual health?

hotlee-1-1[1]Carolynne, you asked How does yoga increases cognitive/intellectual health?
I was hunting for a scholarly paper that addresses your question but I haven’t located something specific enough. However I’ll give you an answer I believe to be true. When people practice yoga, and the paced deep breathing that goes with it, they are giving their nervous system a break from the usual wound up tension that is held in the body. They are teaching themselves to self sooth, to understand how to do it and learning what it feels like. They are also learning where they hold their tension: in the neck or stomach.. whatever.  Ideas, worry, stress trigger the bodies response to “tense” up ready for fight or flight. The problem is that the reaction is “automatic” and unreasoned. When people understand the connection between their mind and body that awareness helps them choose how to respond.  They can stay open, curious and aware instead of defensive. It is a much healthier place to be when real free will is in place.

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Gardening is dealing with more than Dirt

My mind is an instrument for my use
My mind is an instrument for my use

While attempting to clean off a layer of gravel on a flower plot in between two parking lots, I was dealing with more than dirt. Every year the snow plow pushes salt, sand and gravel onto this mound of earth and the flowers complain. The tulips had migrated from the center to the edges and the soil was full of grass, and pebbles. The plan was to put in new taller plants, rocket salvia and some deep purple lilies. Scratching around it became clear that that space wasn’t working. Heck. I resented the dawning painful realization that change was required, a do over. Wanting to go back to the known path, the comfort zone was strong. As much as I claim to like change, the effort to bushwhack through the possibilities, dig into different turf and rearrange my expectation was daunting. I could feel that sense of I’m old, I don’t want to change but reality required an adjustment. That’s the point though, isn’t it? Ignorance is willfully resenting what reality requires. All the plants aren’t in yet, but we are heading in the right direction.

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