The Best Nootropic Supplements To Enhance Your Yoga Practice

The Best Nootropic Supplements To Enhance Your Yoga Practice

Bliss.

That feeling after 90 stretchy, bendy, sweaty minutes on the mat.

That jello, spacious feeling in your bones where all the worries you came into class with have melted away.

This is why you do yoga.

This feeling of peace and relaxation that seems elusive in most other areas of life.

If yoga is your drug, then you chase it like a dragon.

nootropics for yoga

You also know that it doesn’t take long for that yoga high to wear off while you unconsciously slip back into old habits and thought patterns.

The question then becomes, is there a way to make this feeling last longer?

Can you take that yoga bliss with you as you navigate your daily life?

In short: yes!

The Mental Health Benefits Of Yoga

The mental health benefits of yoga cannot be understated.

Its ability to improve your mood, focus, and calm your anxiety is what has made yoga a multi-billion dollar industry.

Why Yoga Is A Great Holistic Natural Nootropic

Even yogis who have been practicing for years experience these mental benefits.

Yoga’s unique ability to use physicality for mental benefits is hat keeps people coming back to the mat for more.

Stretching specific muscles, twisting the spinal cord, stimulating the vagus nerve, and inverting your entire posture can turn your mental health on its head and leave you with that blissful feeling you desire.

But to make this feeling last, you must focus on the nutrition and chemicals you put in your body.

READ MORE: Nootropic Benefits Of Yoga

Nootropics for Yoga Practice

Yoga, Diet, and Supplements

Like any other workout, attention to diet can help you see better results with yoga.

Focusing on nutrient-dense foods like organic vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and sustainably-raised meats will undoubtedly help you reach your physical goals.

Most diets pair well with yoga.  Plant-based, keto, paleo, and ayurvedic diets all promote benefits that can help you reach your weight and fitness goals.

However, supplementing with the right nutrients can fill in the blanks missed by your diet.

Nutritional supplements help compensate for gaps that many foods just can’t fill.

There are several reasons why diet alone isn’t sufficient to reach an optimal nutritional status.

These reasons include food quality and individual needs for certain nutrients.

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Why Supplementation Is Necessary

Many foods we eat these days are simply lacking in nutrients due to poor quality soil and farming practices1H. S. Jat,a Ashim Datta,b P. C. Sharma,c Virender Kumar,a A. K. Yadav,b Madhu Choudhary,b Vishu Choudhary,b M. K. Gathala,d D. K. Sharma,b M. L. Jat,a N. P. S. Yaduvanshi,e Gurbachan Singh,f and A. McDonald. Assessing soil properties and nutrient availability under conservation agriculture practices in a reclaimed sodic soil in cereal-based systems of North-West India, Arch Acker Pflanzenbau Bodenkd. 2018 .

Pair that with an overly toxic environment that has increased our need for specific vitamins and minerals, and you get the need for increased nutrition through supplementation2Jessie B. Hoffman, Bernhard Hennig. Protective influence of healthful nutrition on mechanisms of environmental pollutant toxicity and disease risks, Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2017 .

Physical and emotional stress from the modern world drains our bodies of the little nutrition we get from our diet alone, and we end up running at a nutritional deficit.

There is reason to believe that this is why so many people suffer from records amounts of chronic disease3CDC. Chronic Diseases in America.

This is why I highly recommend supplementation to almost everyone.

While supplements are certainly not the answer to all of life’s problems, they can offer some physiological support.

nootropic benefits of Yoga, yoga and nootropics,

Nootropics

In the world of supplements, nootropics are the new kids on the block.

Although nootropics have existed for close to 50 years, they have begun to gain popularity amongst many health and biohacking communities.4Giurgea C. Pharmacology of integrative activity of the brain. Attempt at nootropic concept in psychopharmacologye, Actual Pharmacol (Paris). 1972 .

Nootropics are supplements that enhance cognitive ability5Froestl W, Muhs A, Pfeifer A. Cognitive enhancers (nootropics). Part 1: drugs interacting with receptors, J Alzheimers Dis. 2012

These enhancements include overall mental health, mood, focus, memory, neuroprotection, sleep, and even longevity.

Many nootropics are supplements that you may be familiar with and may already have experience using, but didn’t know that they have cognitive-enhancing benefits.

They come in several different forms, including vitamins, minerals, herbals, and fatty acids.

Of course, some nootropics have been synthetically explicitly designed as nootropics, like racetams, which are also very popular.

Read More: Why You Should Never Buy Nootropics From Amazon

Nootropics and Yoga

Pairing nootropics with your yoga practice can enhance the many cognitive benefits of yoga.

This effect is because nootropics support your neurotransmitter formation and balance and physically give you more of the chemicals you want in your brain to feel good.

Add to this the power of enhancing the mind-body optimization of yoga, and you have a powerful combination.

Below are some of my favorite nootropics to pair with your yoga practice.

Keep in mind that the timing and dosing of these nootropics are essential.

These aren’t meant to take during or just before a class, as your body will not absorb well due to the physical stress of yoga.

Check below for my favorite nootropics that help enhance the benefits of yoga.

Read More: Mind Lab Pro vs Qualia Mind- Which Nootropic Stack Is Best For You

The Best Nootropics For Yoga


1. Mind Lab Pro

Mind Lab Pro Best Nootropic for Yoga

The Nootropic Multivitamin

  • Boost energy levels and mental clarity
  • All-natural cognitive enhancers
  • Promotes relaxation and calmness in the body
  • Nootropic supplement for both beginners and enthusiasts

Mind Lab Pro is a preformulated Nootropic "stack" that includes 11 cognitive-enhancing, all-natural ingredients that can boost yoga's benefits.

To get more mental benefits out of your yoga practice, you want something that boosts neurotransmitters, mental energy, and focus while lowering stress hormone output.

Mind Lab Pro includes adaptogens and chlorogenic nootropics that calm the mind, promote mental clarity, and boost energy. 

The supplements themselves are 3rd party tested and free of excess fillers and toxic ingredients. 

I love this stack for nootropic newbies and experienced nootropic users alike.


2. Phosphatidylserine

phosphatidylserine for Yoga

Critical building block of your braincells

  • Improves brain health
  • Increases efficiency in the brain
  • Facilitates chemical messages across the brain
  • Regulates HPA activity and lowers stress hormones circulating in the body

Phosphatidylserine is necessary for healthy brains as it regulates the flow of nutrients and oxygen in and out of each cell while also increasing the uptake and use of glucose in the brain. This process means more efficient energy usage and performance.

It's also involved in building new neurons, facilitating chemical messages across the brain, and maintaining mitochondria6Cenacchi T, Bertoldin T, Farina C, Fiori MG, Crepaldi G.. Cognitive decline in the elderly: a double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter study on efficacy of phosphatidylserine administration. , Aging (Milano). 1993 .

All of this translates into a healthier, faster working brain.

Phosphatidylserine also helps regulate HPA activity and lowers stress hormones circulating in the body7Michael A Starks, Stacy L Starks, Michael Kingsley, Martin Purpura, and Ralf Jäge. The effects of phosphatidylserine on endocrine response to moderate intensity exercise , J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008 .

Pairing phosphatidylserine with yoga can supercharge your cognitive abilities while dramatically lowering stress.


3. Lion's Mane

Powerful medicinal mushroom for brain health

  • Enhance mental health and cognitive function
  • Boost the immune system
  • Activate and enhance brain power
  • Increase stamina during rigorous exercise

Lion's Mane mushroom aka Hericium Erinaceus has been recognized as a potent tonic for the central nervous system.8Md Asaduzzaman Khan , Mousumi Tania, Rui Liu, Mohammad Mijanur Rahman, Hericium erinaceus: an edible mushroom with medicinal values, J Complement Integr Med. 2013

This mushroom is said to have been consumed in the form of tea or coffee for over a thousand years by buddhist monks to boost their brain power, heighten their ability to focus during meditation and enhance yoga practice.

This therapeutic mushroom contains huge quantities of an antioxidant i.e., beta-glucoxylan and four major polypeptides and, polysaccharides.9Anup Sharma, Patricia L. Gerbarg, and Richard P. Brown, Non-Pharmacological Treatments for ADHD in Youth, Adolesc Psychiatry(Hilversum). 2016

The presence of these complex compounds has a substantial impact on enhancing your immune system, attenuate tumor growth factors, support yoga practices, and meditation.10Vikineswary Sabaratnam , Wong Kah-Hui , Murali Naidu , Pamela Rosie David, Neuronal health - can culinary and medicinal mushrooms help?, J Tradit Complement Med. 2013

Freshcap Mushrooms provide the highest percentage of beta glucans and fruiting body nutrients, making this mushroom product my preferred choice for Lion's Mane.


4. Reishi

A staple in Eastern medicine

  • Enhance spiritual awakening
  • Maintain balance in chaos
  • Accelerate spiritual enlightenment

Reishi mushroom has been found to reduce edema, inflammation, promote better blood flow, and supply more oxygen to the brain and eventually boost cognitive performance. It is widely recognized as the spirit mushroom.11Sissi Wachtel-Galor, John Yuen, John A. Buswell, and Iris F. F. Benzie., Chapter 9Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi), CRC Press/Taylor & Francis. 2011.

Yogi gurus have been using this mushroom for generations to potentiate and accelerate the power of spiritualism.

This naturally occurring herb is used to combine conscious awakening while being humbly grounded, calm and centered.12Huihui Wu , Shanshan Tang , Zhaoqin Huang , Qian Zhou , Ping Zhang , Zuohong Chen, Hepatoprotective Effects and Mechanisms of Action of Triterpenoids from Lingzhi or Reishi Medicinal Mushroom Ganoderma lucidum (Agaricomycetes) on α-Amanitin-Induced Liver Injury in Mice, Int J Med Mushrooms. 2016

Consuming this mushroom will enable you to sharpen focus, concentrate for longer periods, and practice stillness in between the chaotic hustle of life.

Reishi's mind-calming properties enhance silent cultivation techniques while meditating and practicing yoga.13Pengjiao Zeng, Zhihua Guo, Xuan Zeng, Cui Hao, Yiran Zhang, Meng Zhang, Yong Liu, Hui Li, Juan Li, Lijuan Zhang, Chemical, biochemical, preclinical and clinical studies of Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide as an approved drug for treating myopathy and other diseases in China, JCMM. 2018

Freshcap Mushrooms provide the highest percentage of beta glucans and fruiting body nutrients, making this mushroom product my preferred choice for Reishi.


5. Chaga

One of the most powerful antioxidants on Earth

  • Reduces inflammation
  • Increases antioxidant levels
  • Increases energy/stamina
  • Supports meditation practice

Chaga Mushroom, recognized as the “King of Plants” according to ancient Chinese culture is a medicinal mushroom believed to contain many therapeutic properties.14C.A. Buckner, PhD, R.M. Lafrenie, PhD, J.A. Dénommée, BA, J.M. Caswell, PhD, and D.A. Want, MD, Complementary and alternative medicine use in patients before and after a cancer diagnosis, Curr Oncol. 2018

It's anti-inflammatory properties make it ideal for yogi's or anyone looking to find space within the body.15Mikhail E Balandaykin, Ivan V Zmitrovich, Review on Chaga Medicinal Mushroom, Inonotus obliquus (Higher Basidiomycetes): Realm of Medicinal Applications and Approaches on Estimating its Resource Potential, Int J Med Mushrooms. 2015

It can also help you to reduce blood sugar levels, combat oxidative stress, and decrease low-density lipoprotein (LDL), total cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing antioxidant levels. 16Antoine Géry , Christelle Dubreule , Véronique André , Jean-Philippe Rioult, Valérie Bouchart , Natacha Heutte , Philippe Eldin de Pécoulas, Tetyana Krivomaz , David Garon, Chaga ( Inonotus obliquus), a Future Potential Medicinal Fungus in Oncology? A Chemical Study and a Comparison of the Cytotoxicity Against Human Lung Adenocarcinoma Cells (A549) and Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells (BEAS-2B), Integr Cancer Ther. 2018

Hence, this power packed mushroom can be used to enhance yoga practice, meditate, relax and revive consciousness.

Freshcap Mushrooms provide the highest percentage of beta glucans and fruiting body nutrients, making this mushroom product my preferred choice for Chaga.


6. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha for Yoga

Traditional herb with potent relaxing effects

  • Control stress and anxiety levels
  • Increase energy throughout the day
  • Balance circadian rhythm to feel energized in the morning, relaxed at night
  • Control cortisol naturally without expensive supplements or herbs

Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that has been used for thousands of years to help both physical and mental health.

Like phosphatidylserine, Ashwagandha modulates the activity of your HPA axis to control cortisol and stress hormone output.

This process helps control feelings of stress and anxiety17K. Chandrasekhar, Jyoti Kapoor, and Sridhar Anishetty. A Prospective, Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Safety and Efficacy of a High-Concentration Full-Spectrum Extract of Ashwagandha Root in Reducing Stress and Anxiety in Adults , Indian J Psychol Med. 2012 .

As an adaptogen, it works according to your body's natural circadian rhythm to give you energy when you need it and calm you down later in the day18Lian-ying Liao, Yi-fan He, Li Li, Hong Meng, Yin-mao Dong, Fan Yi, Pei-gen Xiao. A preliminary review of studies on adaptogens: comparison of their bioactivity in TCM with that of ginseng-like herbs used worldwide , Chin Med. 2018 .

For people using yoga for a mix of rejuvenation and relaxation, an adaptogenic herb like Ashwagandha fits the bill.


7. Gotu Kola

Gotu Kola for Yoga

Medicinal plant used for centuries to support mood and brain health

  • Increase focus, concentration, and memory
  • Calm the mind with nootropic benefits
  • Balance amino acids for neurotransmitter formation
  • Increase mood stability

Gotu Kola is an ancient Chinese herb that has recently become more popular in western culture.

It contains many nootropic benefits, including mood stabilization19Wattanathorn J, Mator L, Muchimapura S, Tongun T, Pasuriwong O, Piyawatkul N, Yimtae K, Sripanidkulchai B, Singkhoraard J. Positive modulation of cognition and mood in the healthy elderly volunteer following the administration of Centella asiatica. , J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 , neuroprotection20Haleagrahara N, Ponnusamy K. Neuroprotective effect of Centella asiatica extract (CAE) on experimentally induced parkinsonism in aged Sprague-Dawley rats. , J Toxicol Sci. 2010 , and memory enhancement21Veerendra Kumar MH, Gupta YK. Effect of different extracts of Centella asiatica on cognition and markers of oxidative stress in rats. , J Ethnopharmacol. 2002 .

Gotu Kola has shown an ability to not only reduce HPA axis activity22Chen Y, Han T, Rui Y, Yin M, Qin L, Zheng H.. Effects of total triterpenes of Centella asiatica on the corticosterone levels in serum and contents of monoamine in depression rat brain. , Zhong Yao Cai. 2005 but to also balance amino acids23Chen Y, Han T, Qin L, Rui Y, Zheng H. Effect of total triterpenes from Centella asiatica on the depression behavior and concentration of amino acid in forced swimming mice, Zhong Yao Cai. 2003 , which are the primary precursor for neurotransmitter formation.


8. L-Theanine

L-Theanine for Yoga

The all-natural "chill pill"

  • Makes for a more tranquil, calming practice
  • Anti-stress effects with boosting neurotransmitters to keep the mind content and stable
  • Promotes alpha waves while lowering beta waves

L-Theanine is a must for any yogi looking to enhance the calming vibes of their practice.

L-theanine has gained popularity over the years for being a good pairing with coffee and tea as it helps take the edge off the caffeine buzz without making you tired.

In the brain, L-theanine antagonizes glutamate24 Pradeep J. Nathan (Associate Professor), Kristy Lu,M. Gray &C. Oliver. Inhibition by theanine of binding of [3H]AMPA, [3H]kainate, and [3H]MDL 105,519 to glutamate receptors. , Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2002 , an excitatory neurotransmitter that can lead to several mental issues, while promoting GABA, dopamine, and serotonin25Pradeep J. Nathan (Associate Professor), Kristy Lu,M. Gray &C. Oliver. The Neuropharmacology of L-Theanine(N-Ethyl-L-Glutamine) , Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy. 2006 . These neurotransmitters help keep the mind stable and content.

It also increases alpha waves, which promote calm and relaxation while lowering beta waves, which are more stimulating26Nobre AC, Rao A, Owen GN. L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state. , Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008 .


9. Qualia Mind

Qualia Mind For Yoga

Most advanced fully-loaded Nootropic formula

  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Enhance testosterone production
  • Reduces fatigue and boosts energy levels so you can do more in your practice
  • Improves mood and decreases feelings of depression

Qualia Mind's comprehensive formula optimizes several feel-good pathways that enhance during your yoga practice.

These include brain-friendly amino acids like:

     L-carnitine

    Taurine 

    L-theanine 

    N-acetyl L-Tyrosine.

You also get a suite of adaptogens to calm your stress response and increase sex hormone production.

This stack is great for yogis who want to enhance the benefits of their practice.

Caffeinated and decaffeinated versions available.


10. NAC

NAC for Yoga

Versatile and effective all-round cognitive supplement

  • Powerful antioxidant
  • Helps with mental health, stress management
  • Improves your ability to concentrate and focus
  • Less risk of addiction or addiction relapse

N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) is a powerful antioxidant whose nootropic benefits have just recently come to light.

Some mental health and nutrition researchers have dubbed it "one of the most promising drug candidates in neuropsychiatric disorders27Berk M, Malhi GS, Gray LJ, Dean OM. The promise of N-acetylcysteine in neuropsychiatry., Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2013 ."

Its benefits include lowering anxiety, controlling drug addiction, managing stress-related disorders28Costa DLC Diniz JB, Requena, Joaquim MA, Pittenger C, Bloch MH, Miguel EC, Shavitt RG. Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of N-Acetylcysteine Augmentation for Treatment-Resistant Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. , J Clin Psychiatry. 2017 , among many more.

Like other amino acids, taking NAC on an empty stomach increases its bioavailability in the body and can give you a profound advantage in building a healthy, calm, peaceful mind.



Wrapping up

What nootropics and supplements are you using in your practice?

Let us know in the comments!

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Author

Erik Abramowitz is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), Naturopathic Doctoral student, health coach, and father. He is the primary content creator for HolisticNootropics.com and the host of the Holistic Nootropics Podcast.

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