Neurons or brain cells cannot reproduce or regenerate! But they stretch out their network and create new pathways.

Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to restructure or rewire itself many many times as and when the demand has risen for the body! Every time the brain adapts and develops all through our lives.

Every time we try something new a faint new pathway is created in the brain. It may be learning to write, read, paint, run, play badminton or even do a difficult pose in Yoga. Every time you repeat that skill it creates long term memory by creating strong chemical interactions at the synapse (junction) of your neurons.

Your brain is an amazingly high grade, magnificent, super-computer, made up of grey and white matter. The grey parts are your neuron cells, which are around 86 million in number. When one part of the brain communicates and coordinates with another, they send an electrical signal (message) down the nerves and spinal cord to various parts of the body. This brings about the movements needed in order for us to just lift our hands, open our mouth, paint, write, play a game or an instrument effectively. These impulses are quite refined and very specific.

Grey Matter Brain

The white matter is called myelin, a fatty tissue that coats the axons. They function like the insulation around an electrical cable. These axons carry the electrical impulse (message) from one neuron to the next and bring about the movements. The more myelin coating the axon has, the faster, stronger and smoother the nerve signals travel along the neural pathway. This means that each impulse and action it brings about does not take much time and we are able to perform that particular skill with greater accuracy, swiftness and precision.


So how does one increase the myelin? Only by practice, more clearly – by Repetition. Every time we repeat a particular action, the brain is then notified to plaster that axon with Myelin and define and clear out the neural path way for quicker signals and accurate actions!

In fact, the same principle helps people heal:

If some incidence damages a person’s brain (such as a stroke or injury) the neurons can make a new communication route around the damaged area. And with repetition the new neural path is strengthened.

Being a new Yoga teacher myself I’m always trying to find ways to bring interest and novelty in class. 

Novelty is really good as everyone has a different body and each has different asanas that they are comfortable doing and different asanas that help them progress.

But this can backfire too.

When we repeat and do the same asanas persistently, we train the muscle to take more strain and get stronger every time it faces the same sequence. It helps us develop specific muscle groups. It helps bring about flexibility. 

Yoga is the same like any other sport or any other skill like singing or playing chess. Repetition is the backbone to any learning process.

It helps neurons fire up in sequence quicker and increases the myelin sheath – the only pathway to mastering any asana!

Hence any yoga pose you have been struggling with:  start out small, one step at a time but build up slowly and consistently – your amazing body and brain will bring it about!!