Almost anyone who has walked into a yoga class will tell you that they felt clearer and calmer when they walked back out. But most won’t be able to tell you why.
The answer gets a little technical. It turns out that one of the most significant factors that determines our psychological state is our heart rate variability. When we are under pressure, our HRV goes haywire, and causes what neuroscientist Dr. Alan Watkins calls a ‘self-lobotomy’. We fumble, make mistakes and lose our ability to problem solve.
Through yoga, we can learn to manage our breath and movement such that we gain direct control over our HRV and brain function. When we breathe rhythmically, we quite literally smooth out our heart rate variability. When this happens, we send better quality information from the body to the brain. We become more insightful, perceptive and clear thinking.
Focusing on our body and breath drops us out of the noise in our head, and into the quietness and presence of our body. This kind of focus creates a more positive and ‘switched on’ state of mind. Yoga is a way of tuning our heart, regulating our breath, and conditioning our bodies and minds so that we can truly thrive - in work and beyond.
Information in this article is based on the research of neuroscientist Dr. Alan Watkins. Watch his fascinating Ted Talk here.
Keen to bring the benefits of yoga into your workplace? Contact Kiin Yoga for a complimentary consultation.