We know yoga is great for our BODY because it’s proven to increase strength and flexibility. But have you ever wondered how yoga benefits your BRAIN? Here’s what happens to your gray matter every time you get into warrior or crow pose, according to Harvard Medical School psychiatrist Dr. Jonathan Greenberg:

First, yoga improves focus. Part of it is that when you’re less stressed, your brain’s less distracted by worries and threats. Plus, a study from California State San Bernardino, found when your parasympathetic nervous system is in “chill” mode thanks to yoga, there’s significantly more brainpower available for memory and cognition.

And get this: Yoga makes your brain DENSER. That’s according to new research in the journal International Psychogeriatrics. Dr. Greenberg says it’s mostly due to increased blood flow to your brain because your arteries are more flexible. That changes your brain’s structure in a way that’s proven to boost verbal and visual skills, strengthen emotional resilience, AND even delay brain aging.

This explains why a growing number of health experts now recommend yoga as a treatment for everything from depression, to insomnia, to even eating disorders. And Dr. Greenberg says we only need at least two 40-minute yoga sessions a week to get the most body AND brain benefits.

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