Dance and Brain Health
Six Requirements for an Active, Healthy Brain
Why is dance so good for brain health? Dancing allows us to stay active, to be engaged in the community, and to feel joyful. Following and remembering dance steps can be quite a challenge. As we move our arms and legs in different directions, both 'sides' of our brain needs to be alert and in harmony. Doing unfamiliar movements is a great way to 'grow' our brain power. Practicing dance not only makes us feel good, but it goes a long way towards keeping our brain healthy. In fact, a Harvard study concluded that "dancing involves both a mental effort and social interaction and that this type of stimulation helped reduce the risk of dementia."
What else do we need for our brain's health? Here are six ingredients of a health brain:
A good memory ensures that we don’t forget what we need to do. Altough technology can help “supplement” our memory, we still need to work on maintaining and challenging our memory.
There exist infinite paths in life. We can get overwhelmed being pulled in to many directions, having too many possibilities. We each need the ability to pick out our own paths from among the infinite choices. For this we need to be able to think in a logical manner.
- Mathematical Skills
Assign priorities or probabilities to the many paths in front of you. The paths may be as simple as deciding what to eat, whether or not to drink, when to exericse. Some paths are not clear-cut, like deciding on a career or where to invest capital, choosing a love interest, or buildlng a friendship. Learning even the basics of probabilities can help us avoid costly mistakes. Life is filled with complex choices and we need to have the tools to make intelligent choices.
- A Set of Ethics
What are your boundaries? When multiple choices come our way, having a set of ethics, clearn boundaries, will help answer questions such as: “Should I lie?” “Should I be dishonest?” “Should I steal?” etc. A healthy brain tells us if the choices being made violate our ethical principles.
- Ability to know “True” from “False”
We've all come across people who are dishonest, people who are con-artists. We need a “method” to know if what we are being told is “true” or “false.”
- Ability to Track Time
Do you wonder how some people seem to be highly aware of time? And some people can't seem to ever make it on time? Our body is not equipped with a clock, but our brain can learn to track time quite accurately. Being able to track time can be a 'deal breaker' between success and failure. We need to develop an internal 'clock' in order succesfully to follow milestones by performing tasks on time.
If you would like to read more, consider ordering our book, "Create Your Own Good Life—Desires, Tools, and Practices: Lessons from Yoga, Science and Technology," available through Amazon.
Thank you for subscribing to YogaDancePower email list! Please come to any class and enjoy 50% off your first class. Just let the instructor know that you have signed up!