The word ageing often conjures up the idea of losing your independence, losing your memory and becoming senile, relying on doctors, walking sticks, pills, losing your energy and longevity and a whole array of various other ailments as the body begins to move into a catabolic state.
NOW IMAGINE a different Scenario!
Imagine even at the ripe age of 90 still bouncing around, enjoying your life, free of medications, visits to the doctors and better yet having a strong mind and memory! It is possible as others are living this way now.
A prominent teacher in my life – The incredible USA Yogi, Emmy Cleaves – is well into her later years of life and is an inspiration to us all. She walks her talk and has one of the sharpest minds of anyone I know.
What is her secret?
Yoga and Real Food !!!
Remember, our choices today in the NOW are setting us up for the future. When we take care of ourselves we give ourselves the best possible chance to live out our later years. Don’t you think you deserve to feel alive and incredible so as to enjoy your retirement years after spending 3 quarters of your life slogging it out in your jobs, careers, family rearing and what not? Of course you do – and YOU CAN!
I am going to talk about memory and cognitive function and give you 3 tips on how to keep your mind sharp through yoga, real food and healthy living. At the end of the article I will also offer you some hands on solutions by studying with me to learn more about your health and wellbeing.
Pathogenesis of one aspect of memory loss: Our thoughts, memories, perceptions, moods and feelings all depend upon neurotransmitters, the brain’s chemical messengers. They make positive moods, increased memory and mental performance possible. If the brain doesn’t receive enough oxygen, acetylcholine levels plummet. When acetylcholine levels are low the brain suffers, thoughts get cloudy, focus gets fuzzy and memory forgetful. The brain then literally kills its own brain cells to acquire acetylcholine. This is one contributor to Alzheimer’s disease.
Another contributor is what can occur during the ageing process. The hippocampus, a part of the brain that plays an integral role in memory, shrinks at a rate of about 1-2% percent a year in older adults.
The good news is it is possible to reduce this shrinkage and increase neurotransmitter production and thus reduce their subsequent losses to memory and cognitive function.
A recent recent study, published in the journal Neurology, states that people with optimal levels of Vitamin B12 were six times less likely to experience age-related brain shrinkage and an Oxford University study published in 2010 found high doses of Vitamin B reduced the rate of brain atrophy by 50 percent for older adults with mild memory problems.
Research studies along with anecdotal studies also shows that YOGA is an effective method of bringing oxygen to the brain. Yoga boosts brain power by stimulating formation of new brain cells (neurons), the process known as neurogenesis swell as connections between brain cells. The areas of the brain that are stimulated through exercise are associated with memory and learning.
Risk Factors of Memory Loss:
- Limited intake of Essential Nutrients
- Loss of / reduced circulation and oxygen to the brain tissue and cell membranes.
- Risk Factors for further memory issues such as Alzheimer’s also include:
- Heavy Metal Toxicity along with the above forementioned factors
A) Yoga: Is one of the most conducive ways to stimulate oxygen to the brain and improve circulation. So by ensuring you are receiving oxygen to the brain you are reducing this situation. Not to mention cells thrive with oxygen so imagine your potential when you are thriving not surviving! Postures such as half tortoise are beneficial for improving oxygenation to brain cells
Half Tortoise Pose – Ardha Kumasana
How to do it: Sit in Vajrasana (sit feet together on your heels). Bring your arms over your head and place your palms together and cross your thumbs. Inhale, stretch up to the ceiling, suck your stomach in, squeeze your inner thighs together, keep your chin forward and slowly stretch forward until your body is on your legs and your hands and forehead are on the floor. In opposite directions stretch forward with your arms and back with your hips to the heels. Try to keep the hands palms together and your shoulders relaxed. Stretch consistently for 20 seconds. Inhale and exhale throughout the posture. Inhale, suck your stomach in and slowly come out the same way you went in continuously stretching forward.
B) Nutritional Support:
We all know the saying we are what we eat. The dietary choices you make are huge in determining your ability to stay healthy for many more years to come. Foods which support brain function and are anti-aging are superb for prevention and reduction of memory loss and the reducing the onset of Alzheimer’s as is liver support and digestive support.
Foods which support these functions are:
Essential Fatty Acids, B vitamins, Anti-oxidant support: Vitamins A,C,E Zinc and Selenium. Include food such as berries (anti-oxidant support and vitamin C), avocados, nuts, seeds (essential fatty acids), green leafy vegetables, kombucha (high in B Vitamins), Brazil nuts (selenium), lecithin are all helpful foods to increase in your diet.
My upcoming Christmas in the Raw workshop will give you some recipes containing these nutrients that you can have on hand to ensure these stores are suffice in your body. For BOOKINGS CLICK HERE:
C) Lifestyle: – Remove intake of Heavy metals
Avoid aluminium cookware, perspirant deodorants, aluminium foil, baking powder, salt, toothpaste, talcum powders. Items with aluminium leeches into the body and is absorbed by the brain and nervous tissues. Also and increase green leafy veggies and sulphur amino acids ( e.g. legumes) for liver support.
Take Action for your health and wellbeing:
- My upcoming Christmas in the Raw Class will show you various recipes which contain nutrients required to enhance your brain health. For bookings Click HERE
- My upcoming retreats will also provide more hands on and detailed information on various postures and how they can restore your bodily functions: Click HERE
- My weekly Yoga classes are also a great way to build a maintenance program for your an your life Click HERE:
- CLICK HERE to view all my events.
References: Harvard Medical School, Harvard Health Publication “When Patients Suddenly Become Confused”, May 2011May 2011 | Harvard Women’s Health Watch,VOLUME 18 • NUMBER 9 May 2011
Nikita L. van der Zwaluwz et al, 2014, Results of 2-year vitamin B treatment on cognitive performance -Secondary data from an RCT, American Academy of Neurology, Nov 12. pii: 10.1212.
Wu CW, Chen YC, Yu L, Chen HI, Jen CJ, Huang AM, Tsai HJ, Chang YT, Kuo YM. Treadmill exercise counteracts the suppressive effects of peripheral lipopolysaccharide on hippocampal neurogenesis and learning and memory.
J Neurochem. 2007 Dec;103(6):2471-81. Van Praag H. Neurogenesis and Exercise: Past and Future Directions. Neuromolecular Med. 2008 Feb 20