Or is that choose yoga, get smart? This month’s Wired magazine is all about boosting your brain power, and according to their research, practicing yoga not only makes you feel good, it can make you smarter! The focus on steady and deep breathing in yoga helps to keep a steady flow of vital oxygen to the brain, which you need for things like, well, thinking. Whoe knew! You see, when you stop breathing your brain stops functioning at its optimal level. And the first thing to crash is memory, according to Frank Lawlis, a member of the American Psychological Association and author of The IQ Answer. So of course, yoga would be on the top of the list of exercises to increase oxygen to the brain to promote productivity, therefore making you one smart cookie.
When facing a stressful situation or even a scary email, people often hold their breath. Yoga can break that habit. Under pressure, “most people breathe incorrectly,” says Frank Lawlis, a fellow of the American Psychological Association and author of The IQ Answer. The result: more stress and less oxygen to your brain. “So the first thing that goes is your memory.”
Impact on intelligence: Possibly strong
Not to sound smug, but we kinda already assumed we might have a little more oxygen to the noggin than the hulky dude at the gym pumping iron with the purple face and the veins ready to burst. But it’s nice to have the validation!