Posted by: eveyoga | September 17, 2010

The Brain Gym

There’s a lot of positive press these days about the effectiveness of doing crossword puzzles and sudukos to help ward off dementia and Alzheimers.

There was the story a while back about a certain order of nuns who achieved longevity and mental acuity greater than that of the general population by dint of practicing daily mental activities.

So now, many of us emulate the Sisters of Perpetual Brain Gymnastics by doing
our quotidian exercises, ever hopeful….

I saw some good evidence when made recent retirement community visits to Sara Weinstein, my mother-in-law, age 91,.

Self-confessed book-a-day reader, veteran of many crossword puzzle resolutions, avid news-follower, and deadly Scrabble player, her mental powers are awesome. There is that rather condescending expression “good for her age”, but she is good for any age.

Yoga has an aspect which works as a mind training when we “read” our psyche and body in our regular attentive practice. We plumb our body, emotions and breath for information, not necessarily to increase our knowledge base, but to anchor ourselves completely in the present.

It seems to me that this is a great skill that old yogis and meditators develop through lifelong practice.

Could it be that I have double brain protection with my yoga practice and a penchant for cryptic crossword puzzles, Scrabble and bridge? I’ll have to think about that 🙂

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