Elevate Your brain: 5 Yoga Poses to Boost Cognitive Function and IQ

Subarna Debbarma (BPT, DNHE)

The ancient practice of yoga has emerged as a powerful tool for not just physical health but also mental clarity. While intelligence quotient (IQ) is influenced by various factors, incorporating certain yoga poses into your routine can contribute to cognitive health, focus, and stress reduction. In this guide, we explore five yoga poses believed to enhance cognitive function and potentially elevate your IQ. How to do these yogas also we will explain.

Elevate Your brain: 5 Yoga Poses to Boost Cognitive Function and IQ
Image Credit to: Inc Magazine 

The 5 yoga Poses that Boost cognitive function and IQ are:

  1. Sirsasana (Headstand)
  2. Padmasana (Lotus Pose)
  3. Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
  4. Bhramari Pranayama (Bee Breath)
  5. Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing)

1. Sirsasana (Headstand):

The king of all yoga inversions, Sirsasana, or Headstand, is renowned for its ability to increase blood flow to the brain. As you gently invert, the rush of oxygenated blood may stimulate the pineal and pituitary glands, promoting mental alertness and concentration. It's crucial to practice this pose under the guidance of an experienced yoga instructor to ensure proper alignment and minimize the risk of injury.

2. Padmasana (Lotus Pose):

Beyond its symbolic significance, Padmasana, or Lotus Pose, is celebrated for its calming effects on the mind. By adopting a comfortable seated position and focusing on controlled breathing, practitioners can reduce stress and anxiety, creating an optimal environment for improved cognitive function. Lotus Pose is a great addition to your yoga routine for cultivating a serene mental state.

3. Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand):

Another powerful inversion, Sarvangasana, or Shoulder Stand, stimulates blood circulation to the brain. This pose is thought to enhance mental clarity, improve memory, and alleviate mental fatigue. As with any inversion, it's essential to approach Shoulder Stand with caution and seek guidance from a qualified yoga instructor to ensure proper technique and safety.

4. Bhramari Pranayama (Bee Breath):

In the world of yoga, the breath is a conduit for energy and mindfulness. Bhramari Pranayama, or Bee Breath, involves creating a gentle humming sound while exhaling. This practice is believed to calm the nervous system, reduce stress, and promote mental focus. Integrating Bee Breath into your daily routine can serve as a refreshing mental reset.

5. Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing):

Nadi Shodhana, or Alternate Nostril Breathing, is a balancing pranayama technique. By alternating the flow of breath between nostrils, this practice is thought to harmonize the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Regular practitioners suggest that Nadi Shodhana promotes mental balance, enhances concentration, and contributes to overall cognitive well-being.



How to do Sirsasana (Headstand)?

Performing Sirsasana, or Headstand, requires proper technique, strength, and guidance, especially for beginners. It's essential to approach this inversion with caution to avoid injury. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do Sirsasana:

Sirsasana (Headstand)
Image Credit to: Yoga Selection


1. Ensure that you have a clear and open space with a non-slip surface.
2. Use a yoga mat or blanket for padding and place it against a wall for support.


1. Start on your hands and knees:

   - Begin in a tabletop position, with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.

2. Interlace your fingers:

   - Place your forearms on the mat and interlace your fingers, creating a solid base.

3. Measure your distance:

   - Place the crown of your head on the mat between your interlaced hands, forming a triangle with your forearms and head.

4. Set up your foundation:

   - Lift your hips toward the ceiling and straighten your legs, coming into a Downward-Facing Dog position.

5. Walk your feet in:

   - Gradually walk your feet closer to your head, bringing your hips over your shoulders. Keep your knees bent if needed.

6. Lift one leg:

   - Lift one leg off the ground and bring the knee toward your chest. Maintain a strong foundation with your arms and head.

7. Engage your core:

   - As you feel stable, lift the other leg off the ground, bringing both knees toward your chest. Engage your core to support the lift.

8. Extend your legs:

   - Slowly straighten both legs, extending them toward the ceiling. Focus on maintaining a straight line from your head to your heels.

9. Balance against the wall:

   - If you're a beginner, practice against a wall for support. Walk your feet up the wall until your body is vertical. Use the wall for balance and stability.

10. Hold the position:

    - Breathe deeply and hold the Headstand for as long as comfortable. Start with shorter durations and gradually increase as you build strength and confidence.

11. Come down mindfully:

    - To exit the pose, bend your knees and lower one leg at a time with control. Return to a resting position, such as Child's Pose, to allow your body to recover.



How to do Padmasana (Lotus Pose)?

Padmasana, or Lotus Pose, is a classic seated yoga pose that is known for its ability to promote a calm and focused mind. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do Padmasana:

Padmasana (Lotus Pose)
Image Credit to: yoga journal 


1. Choose a quiet and comfortable space to practice.
2. Wear comfortable clothing that allows for easy movement.
3. It's beneficial to warm up your hips and knees with gentle stretches before attempting Lotus Pose.


1. Start in a comfortable seated position:

   - Sit on your yoga mat with your legs extended in front of you. Sit up tall with your spine straight.

2. Bend your right knee:

   - Bring your right foot up and place it on the crease of your left hip, with the sole of your foot facing upward.

3. Bend your left knee:

   - Cross your left foot over your right leg and place it on the crease of your right hip, with the sole of your foot facing upward. Your left heel should be close to your right hip.

4. Align the knees:

   - Ensure that both knees are on the mat and pointing forward. The heels should be close to the abdomen.

5. Hold your feet:

   - With your palms facing up, place each hand on the opposite foot. You can also use your hands to help adjust your feet and ankles into a comfortable position.

6. Straighten your spine:

   - Sit up straight, lengthening your spine. Engage your core muscles to support your lower back.

7. Relax your shoulders:

   - Allow your shoulders to relax and soften. Keep your chest open and your shoulder blades drawing down your back.

8. Chin Mudra (optional):

   - Place your hands in Chin Mudra by touching the tips of your thumbs and index fingers together, with the palms facing up, resting on your knees.

9. Gaze forward or close your eyes:

   - Soften your gaze and focus on a point in front of you or close your eyes. Take deep, slow breaths.

10. Hold the pose:

    - Remain in Padmasana for as long as comfortable, focusing on your breath and maintaining a sense of calm.


How to do Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)?

Sarvangasana, or Shoulder Stand, is a powerful yoga inversion that offers numerous benefits, including improved blood circulation to the brain and strengthening of the shoulders and neck. It's important to practice Shoulder Stand with proper alignment to avoid strain and injury. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do Sarvangasana:

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
Image Credit to: yogaPaws


1. Use a yoga mat placed on a firm and level surface.
2. Wear comfortable clothing that allows for free movement.
3. Warm up your body with gentle stretches and movements, focusing on the neck, shoulders, and spine.


1. Lie down on your back:

   - Start in a supine position with your arms alongside your body, palms facing down. Keep your legs extended.

2. Engage your core:

   - Inhale, and as you exhale, engage your core muscles and lift your legs off the mat, bringing them over your head.

3. Support your lower back:

   - Place your hands on your lower back for support. Your elbows should be shoulder-width apart, and your fingers can point upward.

4. Lift your hips and legs:

   - Use your core strength to lift your hips and legs toward the ceiling. Keep your legs straight, and avoid bending the knees.

5. Straighten your spine:

   - Extend your legs vertically, allowing your spine to straighten. Your weight should be on your shoulders, not your neck. Keep your neck in a neutral position.

6. Support your back with hands:

   - Adjust your hands to support your mid to upper back, bringing your elbows closer together. Your weight should be evenly distributed on your shoulders and upper arms.

7. Straighten your torso:

   - Continue to lift your torso, bringing it into a vertical position. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your toes.

8. Hold the pose:

   - Maintain the Shoulder Stand for as long as comfortable, breathing deeply and evenly. Focus on lifting through the legs and keeping your neck relaxed.

9. Exit the pose mindfully:

   - To come out of Sarvangasana, lower your legs back over your head, bending at the hips. Gently roll down, vertebra by vertebra, until your back is on the mat.


How to do Bhramari Pranayama (Bee Breath)?

Bhramari Pranayama, also known as Bee Breath, is a calming and soothing breathing technique in yoga. This practice involves producing a gentle humming sound during exhalation, resembling the buzzing of a bee. Bhramari Pranayama is effective in reducing stress, calming the mind, and promoting relaxation. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to perform Bhramari Pranayama:

Bhramari Pranayama (Bee Breath
Image Credit to: Vedic Yoga


1. Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit, either on the floor or in a chair.
2. Sit with your back straight and shoulders relaxed.
3. Close your eyes to enhance your focus and inner awareness.


1. Inhale deeply:

   - Begin by taking a slow and deep inhalation through your nose. Fill your lungs with air, allowing your abdomen to expand.

2. Exhale with a humming sound:

   - Close your lips gently and keep your teeth slightly apart.
   - As you exhale, create a continuous and smooth humming sound, like the buzzing of a bee. Feel the vibration in your throat and face.

3. Maintain a steady pitch:

   - Try to maintain a consistent and steady pitch throughout the exhalation. The sound should be audible to you but not too loud.

4. Feel the vibrations:

   - Pay attention to the vibrations and the soothing sensation in your face and head as you hum.

5. Focus on the sound:

   - Direct your attention inward, focusing on the sound and the vibrations. Allow the sound to fill your entire head, promoting a sense of inner calm.

6. Continue for multiple breaths:

   - Repeat the process for several rounds, ensuring that each exhalation is accompanied by the humming sound. Aim for a smooth and controlled breath.

7. Conclude mindfully:

   - After completing several rounds, conclude the practice by taking a few deep and relaxing breaths without the humming sound.


How to do Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing)?

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama, also known as Alternate Nostril Breathing, is a calming and balancing breathing technique in yoga. This practice involves the sequential inhalation and exhalation through each nostril, promoting a sense of balance in the body and mind. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to perform Nadi Shodhana Pranayama:

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing)
Image Credit to: Yoga Teacher Central 


1. Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit with your spine straight. You can sit cross-legged on the floor or in a chair with your feet flat on the ground.
2. Relax your shoulders and place your hands on your knees with the palms facing up or down.
3. Take a few deep breaths to settle into the present moment.


1. Nasagra Drishti (Nose Gazing):

   - Begin by adopting Nasagra Drishti, where you gently focus your gaze on the space between your eyebrows. This is also known as the "third eye" or "ajna chakra."

2. Vishnu Mudra (Hand Position):

   - Use your right thumb to close off your right nostril. Rest your right index and middle fingers on your forehead or between your eyebrows. Your other two fingers can either lightly touch your nostril or rest on your cheek.

3. Inhale through the left nostril:

   - Close your eyes and inhale deeply and slowly through your left nostril while keeping the right nostril closed with your thumb.

4. Pause and switch:

   - After inhaling, close your left nostril with your right ring finger and release the right nostril by lifting your thumb.
   - Pause briefly, holding your breath.

5. Exhale through the right nostril:

   - Exhale slowly and completely through your right nostril.

6. Inhale through the right nostril:

   - Keeping the left nostril closed, inhale slowly and deeply through the right nostril.

7. Pause and switch again:

   - After inhaling, close your right nostril with your thumb and release the left nostril by lifting your ring finger.
   - Pause briefly, holding your breath.

8. Exhale through the left nostril:

   - Exhale slowly and completely through your left nostril.

9. Repeat the cycle:

   - Continue this cycle, alternating nostrils after each inhalation and exhalation. Inhale, pause, switch, exhale, inhale, pause, switch, exhale, and so on.

10. Conclude mindfully:

    - Finish the practice after completing several cycles. Take a few natural breaths with both nostrils open, and observe the sensations in your body.

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