Health, Zoomer Report

Yoga and Brain Health

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If you’re thinking about taking up yoga, there’s evidence it may have benefits beyond what you’re expecting.  A study from the University of Illinois suggests hatha yoga may also boost brain function in older adults.

Researchers studied people between the ages of 55 and 79. Some attended hatha yoga classes, while the others did stretching and toning exercises. At the end of eight weeks, the group that did yoga three times a week performed better on cognitive tests than it had before the start of yoga classes. They displayed significant improvements in working memory capacity and were also able to perform the tasks quickly and accurately, without getting distracted.

The group that did stretching and toning displayed no significant change in cognitive performance over time.

The researchers speculate that the focus on body, mind and breath during yoga practice may have carried over to situations outside of the yoga classes, resulting in an improved ability to sustain attention.

Over the years, all sorts of health benefits have been attributed to yoga – including boosting the immune system, easing migraines and promoting better sleep.

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