By practicing dynamic yoga, climbing a tree or balancing on a beam you can significantly improve your working memory. Researchers at the University of North Florida have found that proprioceptively dynamic activities, or activities that bring awareness to the relative positions of the neighboring parts of the body through movement, where one navigates space , improve our cognitive skills.
Why is your working memory important? Have you ever gone to the store with a short list of goods to buy, and forgotten items? Then you’ll appreciate the frustrations at our working memory’s limitations. Working memory impacts on our ability to hold onto information long enough to use it, to concentrate and follow instructions and our ability to learn.
Often people who have a regular yoga practice speak of such improvements from experience. Our project has been active for over nine years, and we have seen and had teachers notice that after practicing yoga and meditation our children perform better in class. They’re able to concentrate more in class and their academic results improve.
However, the research indicates that even a few hours of proprioceptively activities can increase ones working memory by up to 50%.
So, here are a few suggestions for how you can spend the afternoon (either alone or with your child) doing proprioceptively activities:
- climb a tree (and remember that the tree is doing more than just improving your working memory), walk across a beam,
- move while paying attention to posture (this could be yoga, but it’s important that you move around in space, don’t remain static on your mat – move around the room, use the wall for inversions, use the door frame for stretching, etc),
- go for a barefoot run,
- visit your local park and create a navigation course, moving over, under and around the jungle gym equipment.
Let us know how you it goes?