Mystic hoopla aside, yoga is concentration in motion. This intense concentration focuses the mind on one point of interest, allowing all the other chatter in the brain to fall away. In yoga, the posture (asana) provides the point of focus, involving your whole brain in keeping your balance. It’s hard to think about your checkbook or your love life when it’s all you can do to grab your ankle and hold on for dear life! Dallas hot yoga challenges your body to a serious workout that captures your attention and your senses. When you’re in the studio, the chatter of the mind dies away as you focus solely on your practice. Pain Management and the Power of the Mind According to Psychology Today , this kind of focused activity calms areas of the brain associated with stress and fear. Brain activity is heightened in areas (specifically, the left frontal lobe of the brain) that represent calmer and happier states of mind. A new study by Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. found that significant pain-relief benefits can be achieved through this kind of mental exercise. The researchers asked 15 volunteers to attend four 20-minute training sessions in mental focus. After the sessions, researchers measured brain activity as the volunteers practiced their techniques. An implement heated to 120 degrees Fahrenheit was applied to the volunteers’ legs. They found that pain intensity was reduced by about 40 percent, and that pain “unpleasantness” was reduced by a whopping 57 percent. Mental Focus vs. Pain Killers in Pain Management Even such heavy-hitting painkilling drugs as morphine only reduce pain intensity by around 25 percent. This means that using the kind of ‘mental exercise’ that goes along with hot yoga has the potential for more effective pain management than even our strongest drugs! So much for the notion that yoga is nothing more than pointless pretzel-ing, right? To find out how Sunstone Yoga can help you manage your pain through movement, check out our website , friend us on Facebook , or come visit your local studio.